Did your ancestor’s baptism take place in Kent? Discover when and where the baptism took place, as well as your ancestor’s parents’ names, professions, and residence. These records constitute a valuable resource for researching ancestry in Kent and have been provided in association with Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Kent County Council and the North West Kent Family History Society and Val Brown. For a full list of all parishes and date ranges currently covered, view our parish list.
Each record comprises a transcript of the original baptism register where available. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestor:
Some records may have further details that may reveal more about your family history. These additional details may include
Parish records are a fabulous resource for those family historians who have hit the pre-registration, 1837, wall. By discovering parish records, you can extend your family tree back another generation or two.
Kent is a county in the southeast of England. It borders London, Essex, Surrey, and Sussex, and nominally France, midway through the Channel Tunnel. Maidstone is the county town of Kent.
Baptism records state the date and place an individual was baptised into a church, and are an essential part of researching your family history. In most records, the parents of the individual being baptised are included, which is often the key to finding out the names of the previous generation.
Included in this collection of records is the Archdeaconry of Canterbury. Before 1841, Canterbury was the only archdeaconry in the diocese of Canterbury. From 1841 until 2011, the diocese of Canterbury was divided into two archdeaconries: Canterbury in the east and Maidstone in the west. In 2011, the Archdeaconry of Ashford was created and the archdeaconry boundaries redrawn.
The records include all parishes that are within the Archdeaconry of Canterbury and agreed to online publication. There are four parishes that withheld consent for publishing images of their records. As such, where provided, you will only be able to search transcripts of their records: Cheriton St Martin, Harbledown St Michael, Ramsgate St Luke, and Shepherdswell (also known as Sibertswold) St Andrew. Original records for each of these four parishes can be consulted on microfilm at Canterbury Cathedral Archives.
Three ancient Thanet parishes can be found within these records: St John in Thanet, St Lawrence in Thanet, and St Peter in Thanet (rather than under the names Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs respectively).
Included in these records are also the baptism registers at the Buckland (Dover) Workhouse between 1855 and 1912. These may be beneficial if your ancestors were from anywhere within the extensive catchment area of Dover Union: the parishes of Alkham, Buckland, Capel le Ferne, Charlton by Dover, Coldred, Denton, Dover, Guston, Hougham, East Langdon, Lydden, Oxney in Dover, Poulton, Ringwould, River, St Margaret at Cliffe, Shepherdswell (Sibertswold), Temple Ewell, Westcliffe, West Langdon, Whitfield, and Wootton.
These records constitute a valuable resource for researching ancestry in Kent and have been provided in association with Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Kent County Council, the North West Kent Family History Society, Val Brown, and the College of Arms, the official heraldic authority for England, Wales, Northern Ireland and much of the Commonwealth including Australia and New Zealand.
Within these records, you can find the composer Thomas Clark. He is most famous for his hymn Cranbrook. The tune has been used historically for the Christmas carol While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks and, more famously, for the Yorkshire folk song On Ilkla Moor Baht ‘at, considered Yorkshire’s unofficial anthem. From the records we learn that Clark’s baptism date was 5 February 1775 at Canterbury, St Peter. His parents’ names were William and Mary.
Edmund John James Reid’s baptism records can also be found within these records. Reid was a detective inspector and head of the criminal investigation division of Metropolitan Police’s H Division in 1888 during Jack the Ripper’s reign of terror in Whitechapel. As such, he was the officer in charge for the murders of Emma Elizabeth Smith and Martha Tabram. From the records, we learn that Reid’s baptism occurred on 4 October 1846 at Canterbury, St Alphege. His parents’ names were John and Martha. By looking at the image of the baptism register, we learn that they resided on Palace Street and that his father’s profession was that of a greengrocer.
Begin your search broadly with just a first and last name.
You can narrow your results if needed by adding a year, place, or parent’s name.
If provided, be sure to explore the image of the original register to discover more details.