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Guide to Ely, Cambridgeshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Ely, Cambridgeshire
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Ely
County Cambridgeshire
Poor Law Union Ely
Registration District Ely
Records begin
Parish registers: 1559
Bishop's Transcripts: 1600
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Ely
Diocese Ely
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Bishop of Ely (Episcopal Consistory)
Location of Archive
Cambridgeshire Record Office


Parish History

ELY, a city, in the Isle of Ely, county of Cambridge, 16 miles (N. N. E.) from Cambridge, and 67 (N. by E.) from London. The city, exclusively of the extra-parochial liberty of the College, comprises the parish of St. Mary, which, with the chapelry of Chettisham,and the parish of Holy Trinity, which, with the chapelry of Stuntney. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion, Independents, and Wesleyans. [1]

Ely, also known as the Isle of Ely, consisted historically of three ecclesiastical parishes:

  • The Cathedral
  • Holy Trinity
  • St Mary

It also consisted of lands outside of the city and attached to Trinity and Mary parishes.  It was called the Isle of Ely because the city sat atop high ground surrounded by marshes that were later drained.


Civil Registration

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.

Church records

An indexed transcription of the parish registers of Ely, Holy Trinity : baptisms, 1559-1877; marriages, 1559-1881; burials, 1559-1863; banns, 1754-1881 at FHL

A register of marriages, christenings & burials within the Cathedral Church of the holy and undivided Trinity, Ely at FHL

Bishop's transcripts for Trinity Church, Ely, 1600-1860 at FHL

Non-Conformist Churches
  • Baptist
  • Independent/Congregational
  • Primitive Methodist
  • Wesleyan Methodist

Census records

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library. The first film number is 241231.


Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Cambridgeshire 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.


Ely Holy Trinity on GENUKI


  1. Samuel A. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 167-173. Date accessed and adapted: 03 July 2013.
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  • This page was last modified on 25 November 2015, at 03:13.
  • This page has been accessed 2,816 times.