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Guide to Keston, Kent family history and genealogy: parish register transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
Keston Parish Church Kent
|Poor Law Union||Bromley PLU|
|Parish registers: 1540|
|Bishop's Transcripts: 1670|
|Probate Court||Pre-1845 - Court of the Peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Deaneries of Arches, Croydon and Shoreham; Post-1844 - Search the courts of surrounding parishes|
|Location of Archive|
|Kent Record Office|
KESTON, a parish, in the union of Bromley, hundred of Ruxley, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 5 miles (S. by E.) from Bromley. 
Keston is a place in the London Borough of Bromley Keston Wikipedia
Keston is an Ancient Parish in the Diocese of Rochester; a map of the parish boundary is available at A church near you
Keston Parish Church has been designated as a grade B listed building British listed building
Following bomb damage in World War II to the church wall excavation found evidence of an earlier wall likely to have been constructed in the 11th century. below the footing of the wall Romano British burials were found indicating that the site In the traditional place by the East Wall, South Side, are the remains of a piscina basin damaged, in all probability, by Cromwellian soldiers.
In the mid 17th century Puritan mobs damaged churches throughout the land and Keston did not escape. Parish records record…….. ‘1645. On the 23rd April our church was defaced, our font throwne down and new formes of prayer appointed’.
The chancel is known as a ‘weeping chancel’, in that it is not built in line with the nave but is inclined to the North side. This was customary in the building of ancient churches, following the tradition that Christ’s head fell on his right shoulder when on the cross.
The church has no dedication.
Within the parish boundary is the Wesleyan Methodist Chapel Prospect Place (now Croydon Road) which dates from 1828
Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.
Keston, Kent parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:
|FS BTs = England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts (FamilySearch) - free|
|FS PRs = England, Kent, Parish Registers (FamilySearch) - free|
|IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free|
|KOPC = Kent Online Parish Clerks - free|
|Keston, Kent Parish Online Records|
International Genealogical Index Christenings 1541-1875 Batches (C131521, C131522) Marriages 1540-1752; 1754-1876 Batches (M131521, M131522)
Deposited Parish registers are held at Bromley Archives reference P 208
Bromley Central Library
Telephone: 020 8461 7170
Fax: 020 8466 7860
The Keston Composite Register Bromley Archives reference P 208/1/1 includes Keston Baptism Register, 1541-1685; Marriage Register, 1540-1682; and Burial Register 1542-1685 including two victims of the plague 1666, deaths by accident are also recorded.
The register is on 86 parchment leaves with the remains of a further 3 which have been cut out. A note in the register on a paper leaf shows that the register was copied by Sir Alfred Scott, Garter King of Arms in 1887. Sir Alfred was additionally a distinguished musician in addition to his appointment as York Herald.
The Baptisms and burials in the register on close examination are not consecutive but are found in different parts of the volume, which appears to be a replacement for an earlier binding or book since there are several sheets of burials inserted which are identical in the register. Additional insertions include:
- the lease of Thomas Stevens (1602)
- Parish Accounts
- a partial letter signed by Wm Wynard and others
Baptismal entries for 1638 are interrupted with a Latin inscription to refer to the latter pages of the volume ( in the Family Search image presentation the register entries for 1838 resume at image 22 of 29 and continue until 1685).
Marriage Register, 1540-1682 in the FamilySearch image presentation is found from image 7-11 of 29 images, burial entries follow on the same image. The path to these images reads England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911>Kent>Keston>Baptisms, Marriages, Burials 1540-1685 although the last marriage in the volume is for August 1682.
The Ancient Parish register shows that Holwood was the principal land ownership in the parish and the early owners were the Pearch family. Later Holwood became the property of Sir William Pitt and subsequently the Frasier family who lived in the neighbouring parish of Cudham, Kent
The most frequent entries relate to the Phillips and Whiffen families (also found frequently in the neighbouring Downe, Kent parish registers).
London's citizens were often buried at Keston. John Pepys for example was a watch maker, who in common with his name-sake came from the parish of St Bride's, Fleet Street .
Another common feature is the burial of "nurse children". This term is found in local parish registers and may be defined as a child sent from London to local parishes to be nursed or cared for payment. Contrary to misperception the term used in burial registers does not imply that the child was unwanted or illegitimate but were often placed in the countryside to offer a healthier environment and in the case of Keston probably the parent's had a local connection. Death in the nurse's parish is reflected in the Keston registers like the 1692 burial of Elizabeth Staples. There are several generations of Staples in both the parish and the district in rural parishes.See also London Foundling Hospital: Reclaimed Foundlings for information on this subject.
A further composite register Bromley Archives register reference P 208/1/2 includes Keston Baptism Register, 1683-1812; Marriage Register, 1690-1752; Burial Register 1690-1812 contains 115 pages, several of which are left blank, others contain duplicate entries. There appear to be several years of "rough" and final versions and several Baptisms are recorded out of sequence. This includes a variety of other records relating to the parish including a 1637 copy of a lease to the rector (Bromley Archive reference P 208/21/2) and a manuscript of burials for 1738-1744 (Bromley Archive reference P208/12/1
This register contains collations, 1545-1800; list of rectors, 1602-1868; copy of clerk's fees c.1636 and following the burials of 1757, memoranda concerning the erection of a new font, 1716; building of a barn and stable, 1729; additional pews, 1732; erection of a gallery for young men and servants, 1733; and the conversion of the spring head into a parish well to be called the Archdeacon's Well, 1736
The sequence of this register can be confusing and there are several pages of duplicate entries. For this reason the Kent Online Parish Clerks transcript has been prepared to provide easy search and free from duplication.
Keston Baptism Register 1813-1862 Bromley Archives reference P/208/1/4
Keston Baptism Register Bromley Archives reference 1862-1903 P/208/1/5 (microfilmed until 1900)
Keston Baptism Register, including lists of confirmation candidates, 1913, 1915 1903-1946 Bromley Archives reference P/208/1/6
Keston Marriage Register, 1754-1810; banns 1754-1801 Bromley Archives reference P/208/1/3 is the familiar standard form post 1754 marriage and Banns format. The volume for Keston was published by Joseph Fox, Parish Clerk to the House of Commons. See Kent Online Parish Clerks transcript http://www.kent-opc.org/Parishes/PRTranscripts/KestonMarrC.html
Keston Marriage Register 1818-1835 Bromley Archives P/208/1/7 see Kent Online Parish Clerks transcript http://www.kent-opc.org/Parishes/PRTranscripts/KestonMarrD.html
Keston Marriage Register 1838-1941 Bromley Archives reference P/208/1/8 see Kent Online Parish Clerks transcript http://www.kent-opc.org/Parishes/PRTranscripts/KestonMarrC.html
Keston Marriage Register 1941-1955 Bromley Archives reference P/208/1/9
Keston Burial Register 1813-1890 Bromley Archives reference P/208/1/10
Keston Burial Register1890-1943 ( microfilm until 1900) Bromley Archive reference P/208/1/11
The burial register series for Keston in common with neighbouring parish registers for Cudham, Kent and Downe, Kent contain references to local traveller families who resided for part of the year in the surrounding district. See also Farnborough, Kent
Keston Banns Register 1862-1906 Bromley Archives P/208/1/12
Microfilm conversion to digital images are included in England, Kent, Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts (FamilySearch Historical Records) for certain years due to limited filming and contractual agreements/privacy considerations.
Kent Online Clerks are in the process of production of complete parish register transcripts for baptismal registers, marriage registers and burial records and transcription work is completed; efforts are under way to deliver these online by Summer 2013. These will cover events to 1913 working from original records with the consent of the Diocese of Rochester and Bromley Archives.
Keston Methodist Church was within the Bromley Methodist Circuit; Keston Methodist Church: Registers see Bromley Archives reference 622/K/1
Images for Keston are available at FamilySearch Records see England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments (FamilySearch Historical Records) 1780-1831
FamilySearch Records includes collections of census indexes which can be searched online for free. In addition FamilySearch Centres offer free access to images of the England and Wales Census through FHC Portal Computers here have access to the Family History Centre Portal page which gives free access to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions.
 to locate local Family History Centres in UK
 to locate outside UK.
Many archives and local history collections in public libraries in England and Wales offer online census searches and also hold microfilm or fiche census returns.
Images of the census for 1841-1891 can be viewed in census collections at Ancestry (fee payable) or Find My Past (fee payable)
The 1851 census of England and Wales attempted to identify religious places of worship in addition to the household survey census returns.
Poor Law Unions
Included in the parish records 1709-1754 under Bromley Archives reference P/208/12/1 Accounts including assessments, the appointment of overseers, and Burial Register, 1732-7, 1744-5
For post 1844 records see Bromley Poor Law Union
Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Kent Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.
Maps and Gazetteers
Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.
Extract from A Topographical Dictionary of England
KESTON, a parish, in the union of Bromley, hundred of Ruxley, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 5 miles (S. by E.) from Bromley. Samuel A. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 659-663
Local Family History Centre
Orpington Family History Centre, Kent is within the London Borough of Bromley, located adjacent to Orpington Station and on major bus routes through the borough.
- FHC Portal This centre has access to the Family History Centre Portal page which gives free access in the centre to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions.
- Publication of the restricted access images England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FamilySearch Historical Records) and England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments (FamilySearch Historical Records) means that it is advisable to telephone the centre to reserve a computer if you wish to view these collections using the portal.
- ↑ Samuel A. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 659-663. Date accessed: 19 August 2013.
- ↑ 'England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts, 1560-1911,' FamilySearch, accessed 11 November 2013.
- ↑ 'England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911,' FamilySearch, accessed 13 November 2013.
- ↑ Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Kent, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 18 November 2013.
- ↑ Kent Online Parish Clerks, accessed 20 November 2013.
- This page was last modified on 3 June 2014, at 15:45.
- This page has been accessed 2,213 times.
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