Devon Genealogy and Family History Resources
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Genealogy Resources

Devon Record Office provide a page on the sources of materials available for those wishing to trace their Devon Ancestry: Family History  So whether you are new to researching your family history or an experienced genealogist this is a useful place to start.

GENUKI HomepageGENUKI is a wonderful site, providing a wealth of information for genealogists researching their ancestry.  GENUKI-Devon is hosted by Brian Randell and through Devon Towns and Parishes you can find lots of links to information for a specific parish, along with transcribed material.

Here you can also find the Devon Gazetteer, an index constructed from the names of hamlets, farms, houses, inns, etc from Peskett's "Guide to the Parish and Non-Parochial Registers of Devon and Cornwall 1538-1837" and Whites (1850) "History, Gazetteer and Directory of Devonshire".

The Devon Online Parish Clerk Project is co-ordinated by Deborah O'Brien.  OPC stands for Online Parish Clerks and these people are volunteers who have adopted a specific parish and will do free look-ups from records that they have accumulated.

Devon Record Offices, Library's and Museums

If you are looking for a researcher to help you with your Devon ancestors, each of the Record Offices either have their own researchers, or hold lists of researchers. Contact details for each office are shown below.

Devon County
Record Office

Great Moor House
Bittern Road

Tel: +44 (01392) 384253
 [email protected]

Plymouth and West Devon
Record Office

3 Clare Place

Tel: +44 (01752) 305940
[email protected]

North Devon
Record Office

Tuly Street
EX32 7JE

Tel: +44 (01271) 388608
[email protected]

The Devon County Record Office website provides a list of Parish Registers and also a Map of the Devon Parishes.

List of Devon Parishes Registers provided by Devon County Record Office.

List of Devon Parish, Non-Parochial and Civil Registers

Click to view in current Browser or Rght-click, then select SAVE AS and choose destination to save this file for viewing offline.Map of Devon Parishes

Adobe Reader can be downloaded free from the Adobe website.

Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates

The General Record Office (GRO) holds all Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates since registration began on the 1st July 1837.  You can find full details on their website of all the records that they hold, including how to obtain certificates for a BMD that took place overseas, along with adoption records too.  Please note that the GRO also offer an Online Certificate Ordering Service - you can find the link from their index page.

  • Free BMD - An ongoing project providing transcriptions of the General Register Office (GRO) Index.  More transcribers are sought for this project, so if you could help, please visit the Transcribers section of this website.  
  • 1837 Online - Scans of the General Register Office Index (fee payable to view)
  • Registration Districts in Devon - GENUKI provides a list of the Registration Districts in Devon and the places each covers.
  • Information contained within Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates - Compiled by Norman Buckley.
  • UK BDM Exchange - Details of nearly 50,000 Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates and the details of their submitter's.  Also baptisms, marriages and burials before 1837.
  • UK BMD - Not to be confused with the BDM Exchange above.  The UK BMD website provides links to on-line resources for genealogists researching births, marriages and deaths for the UK.  There are also links to websites containing transcriptions of parish registers for various counties including Devon.

Government Related Offices and Websites

  • Access to Archives (A2A) - This is a database containing indexes of the catalogue entries submitted by Record Offices in England.  You can search the indexes for your surname interests and find records such as Apprenticeship Records, Bastardy Bonds, Orders and Examinations, Resettlement Orders and Wills, to name but a few.  Many of the Record Offices will send the relevant papers to you by post, for a small fee, if you provide them with the catalogue reference.  Contact details for each of the Devon Record Offices are above.
  • Documents Online - Provided by the Public Record Office, an index of all the digitalised images that they hold for both academic and genealogical resources.  Some of the records you will find include Wills between 1384 and 1858.  You can search the indexes for free, but a charge is made to download anything that you find of interest.
  • Family Records Consortium - This site aims to help you find sources or family history research and is divided into two main sections: Topics and Partners.
  • The National Archives - This is a new Organisation launched in April 2003 and is an amalgamation of the Public Record Office (PRO) and Historical Manuscripts Commission (HMC) - links to both sites can be found from the National Archives site.
  • Contact Details for Departments and Projects at the PRO
  • Wills and Probate Records

Mormon Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (LDS)

LDS WebsiteThe Mormon Church provide a wonderful site with lots of valuable information for genealogists, around the world.  Their site includes Ancestral files submitted by members of the Church and the International Genealogy Index (IGI).  The IGI contains transcriptions of baptisms and marriages from various parish registers, along with entries submitted by members if the church.  Note that only about 60% of Devon Parish Registers were transcribed between various dates.

Devon Record Office provide a page on the International Genealogy Index (IGI) with further information useful to researchers.

Hugh Wallis has provided the following two sites to compliment the IGI:


Family Records Centre factsheet on census returns.

A Census has been taken every ten years in England and Wales since 1801, with the exception of 1941.  Most of the very early censuses were simply head-counts, so of little use to us.  Those from 1841 recorded individuals who were living in each household.  The Family Records Centre provide a fact sheet on the Census Returns explaining the information you can expect to find in them.  Click on the PDF link on the left, to open the link.

Archive CD Books.Archive CD Books has scanned the original census enumerator's books for various counties including the Devon 1841, 1861 and 1871 Census and reproduced them on CD-rom to view with Adobe Acrobat Reader.  They are available as complete county sets, or for the Devon 1841 and 1871 they can be purchased as individual CD's, divided into Registration Districts.

  • - Ancestry has scanned and indexed the 1841-1901 Census Returns for England, Wales, the Isle of Mann and the Channel Islands.  To view these returns requires either a monthly or annual subscription to the UK and Ireland Records collection.  Alternatively you can buy 10 credits which are valid for 14 days.
  • 1851 Census Devon, Norfolk and Warickshire  - CD available from Latter Day Saints (LDS) which contains a searchable database of transcriptions of this Census.  Please note that this link will take you to a page of World Wide Distribution Centres giving details on how you can contact distributors in your country of residence.
  • 1861 Census for Devon - Joint transcription project by Devon Family History Society and FreeCen.  Details of the project can be found here.
  • 1871 Census for Devon - See links above for Archive CD Books and
  • 1881 Census for United Kingdom - Online at the Latter Day Saints (LDS) Family Search site, also available to purchase as a CD set from the LDS.
  • 1891 Census for Devon - A searchable database provided by FreeCen.  Full details of the projects progress for Devon can be found here.
  • 1901 Census for England and Wales - Provided by the Public Record Office.  You can search the indexes for free but will need to pay to view the images.
  • 1901 Devon Census Transcriptions - Transcriptions of whole pages from the Devon 1901 Census contributed by other Devon Researchers.
  • 1901 Left-Overs - Transcriptions of pages from the 1901 Census for England and Wales contributed by other researchers.


  • Map of Devon Parishes - Provided by Devon County Record Office.
  • Anglo Saxon England - Provides map of early dioceses and discussion of history, religion and language in Saxon England.
  • - Providing maps in various detail.
  • GenMaps Devon - Lots of links to old maps of Devon.
  • - Providing modern day maps to everywhere in the world.
  • - Landmark and Ordnance Survey providing historical maps for the for the United Kingdom... find where your ancestors used to live!
  • Ordnance Survey - Britains National Mapping Agency.
  • - Providing modern day maps for the United Kingdom.

Personal Devon Websites

  • A Genealogists Devon Connection - Hosted by Shirley Turner and containing lots of information for Devon.
  • Debbi and Friends  - A forum dedicated to those researching their Devon ancestry. 
  • Devon History Selection - John Lerwill's pages dedicated to Devon.
  • Littleham (near Bideford) - Liz Shakespeare has published two books on the parish of Littleham (near Bideford), which may be of interest to those with ancestors from this parish.  Indexes of surnames and place-names are provided at Liz's website: Letterbox Books and also through those added at GENUKI shown by the book titles below.

L. Shakespeare (1990) "The Memory Be Green: An Oral History of a Devon Village", Letterbox Books. [ISBN: 0-9516879-0-5]
"The Memory Be Green" is a twentieth century oral history.

L. Shakespeare (2005) "Fever: A Story from a Devon Churchyard", Letterbox Books. [ISBN: 0-9516879-1-3]
"Fever" is an investigation into a 1871 Scarlet Fever epidemic.

  • Petrockstowe One Place Genealogy - Contains a wealth of information for the area including Parish and Census records
  • Plymouth Data - Brian Moseley has spent over 40 years researching the history of Plymouth and his website contains a wealth of information covering the "Three Towns" of old Plymouth, Devonport and East Stonehouse (commonly known as Stonehouse), along with the ancient parishes of St. Budeaux, Eggbuckland and Tamerton Foliot.  This website also contains a very useful Street Index covering the ancient parishes of Charles, St. Andrew's, Stoke Damerel and East Stonehouse.
  • South Hams Family History - Roy Osborn's website is dedicated to the South Hams area of Devon, roughly bounded by Dartmoor, the sea and the River Erme and River Dart.  It contains a collection of indexes, census transcriptions and a free look-up service of church registers for most of the parishes within the ancient district of South Hams.  A list of the parishes covered can be found here.
  • Templeton - Barbara Lupton's lovely website dedicated to the parish of Templeton.  This is a work in progress tracing the people that lived in the parish, from where they came and where they went.  Currently there's lots of information on families that lived there during the mid-C19th, although now this is expanding into both the C18th and C20th.
  • United Kingdom Genealogy (includes Devon) - Hosted by Nigel Batty-Smith. Includes scans from Devon and Cornwall Record Society's publications of Registers of Exeter Cathedral, Parracombe (1597-1836), Plymtree (1538-1837) and also the Visitations of Devon. Nigel is transcribing WHITE's (1878) Devonshire Directory and will be adding The Western Antiquary (11 Volumes) in due course. With links relating to genealogy in other parts of the UK and a message board to share your research interests for Devon and other counties.

Family Trees Online

Travel and Tourism

County Councils in Devon


Research Guides for Tracing your Ancestors

Resources for Sale

  • Ambra Books - Ivor Cornish. Established 1972.  Local history items bought and sold.
  • Archive CD Books - Providing a vast array of genealogical material on CD, available to purchase, of things like old books, documents and maps, Trade Directories and Census.
  • GenFair - One stop shop from the Federation of  Family History Societies, with over 12,000 items from more than 100 suppliers of Family and Local History publications.
  • - A website for reuniting family heirlooms with present generations, so if you have a family heirloom and would like to reunite it with its rightful family, or want to go in search of some for your own family, then this is the site to visit.
  • LDS Family History Product List - UK Prices (current as of April 2004).  Contact your local LDS World Distribution Centre for product availability and pricing.LDS World Distribution Centres - The Church of the Latter Day Saints (LDS) have a wide selection of Family History products available to purchase on CD-rom.  These can be ordered through the World Distribution Centres, divided into Country lists.  To give some idea of the products available, you can click on the PDF icon on the right.  This was a UK product list correct as of April 2004.  Please contact your local World Distribution Centre for up to date product availability and pricing.
  • Letterbox Books - Liz Shakespeare has published two books on the parish of Littleham (near Bideford) which can be ordered through her website.  You can find more details on these publications above.
  • S & N Genealogy Supplies - Providing Family History Software and Data CD's to help with researching your ancestry.
  • Society of Genealogists Publications and Products - Genealogy materials available from the Society of Genealogists.
  • Stepping Stones - Trade Directories and Censuses scans on CD-rom, that can be purchased for private viewing.

Free Genealogy Programs

  • GenoPro v.1.91b - GenoPro is a free genealogy program that enables you to draw your complete family tree, add pictures to create a picture album.  You can also generate and print detailed family reports, analyse and compile detailed statistics about your ancestry.  It can also be used to import and export research with other genealogy programs.
  • Personal Ancestral File (PAF) - PAF is a free program provided by the LDS to help you organise your family history records.  It has the ability to produce pedigree charts, family group sheets, family history reports, amongst other reports.
  • UK Parish Locator - This is a very useful freeware program enabling you to locate over 15,000 UK parishes.  It can find the distance between any two specified parishes, provide a list of parishes within any given radius of a parish and even plot the location of parishes, either on screen or for you to print out.
  • 1901 England & Wales Census Decoder - The 1901 Census Decoder is a program designed to help you search the UK's 1901 Census site.  Search results can be transferred to the decoder, enabling you to sort and group the data into probable family groups.

Other Useful Programs

Essential PIM

Essential PIM is a personal information manager that can help you schedule your day, manage your contacts, keep track of To Do Lists and organise your notes.  (See full-features list)  It has a host of uses for organising your personal life, but could also be a valuable asset for genealogists who want one program where they can keep both their personal life and family history interests organised.  I use this one myself, so can highly recommend as a very versatile little program.  What's best is the basic version is free, although there is a Pro-Version available to purchase. Free Office Suite is a free multi-platform office productivity suite comprising a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation manager and drawing manager.  It is free to download and use.

Paint.NETPaint.NET is image and photo manipulation software supporting layers, special effects, unlimited undo and a wide variety of other useful tools.  This is free to download and use, but please check the System Requirements page before downloading as this is designed to run on Windows 2000, XP, Vista or Server 2003, so is not a multi-platform application.

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Devon maintained by Sue Davey
Last Updated 29 Aug 2006