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Cambridgeshire is an inland county which comprised part of the region known as East Anglia in east central England.
"CAMBRIDGESHIRE, an inland county; bounded, on the NW, by Northampton; on the N by Lincoln; on the E, by Norfolk and Suffolk: on the S, by Essex and Herts; and on the W, by Beds and Huntingdon...
"The county contains 152 parishes, part of another parish, and 3 extra-parochial tracts, besides the parishes and extra-parochial colleges of Cambridge...
"The assizes are held at Cambridge; and quarter sessions at Cambridge, Ely, and Wisbeach... The county is in the diocese of Ely, and constitutes the archdeaconry of Ely, and the deanery of Fordham in the archdeaconry of Sudbury...
"The places of worship, in 1851, in the county proper, were 176 of the Church of England, 38 of Independents, 72 of Baptists, 3 of Quakers, 2 of Unitarians, 57 of Wesleyan Methodists, 39 of Primitive Methodists, 5 of Wesleyan Reformers, 1 of Lady Huntingdon's Connexion, 5 of isolated congregations, 2 of Latter Day Saints, 3 of Roman Catholics, and 1 of Jews.
"Population in 1801 was 89,346; in 1821, 122,387; in 1841, 164,459; in 1861, 176,016..."
The above extract comes from: John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72). Read the full account online at Vision of Britain.
The modern county of Cambridgeshire covers a much larger area than the historic one. In the Middle Ages Cambridgeshire covered only what is now the south-eastern part of the county, while the Isle of Ely to the north and Huntingdonshire to the west were separate counties in their own right. In the late 19th century the Isle of Ely was incorporated into Cambridgeshire, and in 1974 Huntingdonshire joined too. From 1974 to 1998 Cambridgeshire also included the Soke of Peterborough, which is now a separate city-level authority.
Historical records of all these places, with the exception of Peterborough, are now held by Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies. Records of ancient Cambridgeshire and the Isle of Ely are held at Cambridgeshire Archives, at Shire Hall in Cambridge. Records of the former county of Huntingdonshire are held at Huntingdonshire Archives, in Grammar School Walk, Huntingdon.
- Cambridgeshire Baptism Index 1801 to 1837
- Cambridgeshire Archives and Local Studies online catalogue
Use an interactive map to find jurisdictions for each parish in Cambridgeshire. From this map you will be able to determine the Civil Registration District, Deanery, Poor Law Union, Hundred, Probate District, of every parish.
When civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1837, Cambridgeshire was divided into ten districts. More were added over time. Go to the GENUKI website to see a list of districts and the parishes they contain.
Read more about England Civil Registration.
See a list of the parishes in Cambridgeshire with links to articles.
Before 1858, every town and parish in Cambridgeshire was under the probate jurisdiction of one or more ecclesiastical court. To see lists of Cambridgeshire places and the pre-1858 courts that had probate jurisdiction over them, go to Cambridgeshire Probate Records.
Maps and Gazetteers
- England Jurisdictions, 1851 is an interactive map of all the parishes in each of the counties of England. Learn about its features and functions. This site also includes OS maps for the country.
- 1885 County Map: Courtesy of London Ancestor
The GENUKI (Genealogy for the United Kingdom and Ireland) website has links for Cambridgeshire research.
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