Grantham, Lincolnshire Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png Lincolnshire Gotoarrow.pngLincolnshire Parishes

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

Grantham, Lincolnshire
St+Wulfrum Grantham Lincolnshire.JPG
St+Wulfrum Grantham Lincolnshire
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Grantham Borough
County Lincolnshire
Poor Law Union Grantham
Registration District Grantham
Records begin
Parish registers: 1562
Bishop's Transcripts: 1562
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Grantham
Diocese Lincoln
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Bishop of Lincoln (Episcopal Consistory)
Location of Archive
Lincolnshire Record Office

Parish History

The town is best known as the birthplace of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, and the place where Isaac Newton went to school. It is close to an ancient Roman road, and was the scene of Oliver Cromwell's first advantage over Royalists during the English Civil War at Gonerby Moor. Grantham is also notable for having the first female police officers in the United Kingdom, in 1914, and producing the first running diesel engine in 1892, and the UK's first tractor in 1896.

The parish church of St Wulfram's, has the sixth highest spire (282 ft) among English churches. It is the second tallest church in Lincolnshire after St James Church in Louth, and is also home to the country's first public library. In 1598, Francis Trigge, rector of  Welbourn, Lincolnshire, gave £100 for a small library of books for the clergy and literate laity of Grantham. Two hundred and fifty of the original volumes remain and are kept in the parish church. The Bishop of Grantham  has his official residence in  Long Bennington, Lincolnshire. Grantham House is to the east of the church, and a National Trust property.

Other places in the parish include: Earlesfield, Walton, Harrowby, Low Somerby, and New Somerby.

GRANTHAM (St. Wulfran), a borough, market town, and parish, and the head of a union, in the wapentake of Loveden, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln. There are places of worship for Huntingtonians, Independents, and Weslevans, and a Roman Catholic chapel. [1]


During the famous Dams Raids Royal Air Force (RAF) mission in May 1943, the RAF Bomber Command's No. 5 Group and the operation HQ was in St Vincents, a building which later housed a district council planning department. It was built by Richard Hornsby in 1865, lived in by Richard Hornsby's son, and is now a private house. In 1944 (including D-Day), this was the headquarters for the USAAF's Ninth Air Force's IX Troop Carrier Command, being known as Grantham Lodge.

RAF Spitalgate

RAF Spitalgate trained pilots during both world wars, initially as a Royal Flying Corps establishment, but has never been an operational fighter or bomber base; although it did see operational service during the 1943 invasion of Europe as a base for American and Polish gliders and parachutists. It officially closed in 1974. RAF Spitalgate is now a Territorial Army (RLC) barracks called Prince William of Gloucester Barracks.

RAF Regiment

The RAF Regiment was formed just north east of the town in parts of Londonthorpe and Harrowby Without during December 1941 with its headquarters at RAF Alma Park which is recognised as the birthplace of the Corps. The Alma Park and Belton Park estates had jointly also been the training centre for the Machine Gun Corps from November 1915. In total Harrowby Camp as it was known housed 18,000 men during World War I.

The RAF Regiment quickly grew to in excess of 66,000 personnel and during training they were housed at RAF Belton Park which was the Regiment's first depot, RAF Folkingham and RAF North Witham. The RAF Regiment stayed until August 1946, when they left for RAF Catterick.

Women's police force

Grantham is notable as being the first place in the world to recruit and train women police officers. Grantham was the first provincial force to ask the newly formed Women’s Police Service to supply them with occasional policewomen, recognising them as particularly useful for dealing with women and juveniles. In 1915, Grantham magistrates swore in Mrs Edith Smith, making her the first proper policewoman in Britain with full powers of arrest.


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

Material deposited at Lincolnshire Archives,

St Rumbold Street

Enquiries: The website enables you to view a PDF file for all records held for each parish as part of continuing effforts to provide an online catalogue.

The digitisation of parish records for the county now offers images  via the Lincs to the past website (July 2011). Use advanced search terms at Search Lincs to the past to search for available images for parish registers and other records for this parish with images. Advance search terms Grantham Par 1 will identify available images.

Search FamilySearch Catalogue Grantham

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 438760.

See Lincolnshire Census

Poor Law Unions

Grantham Poor Law Union, Lincolnshire

Probate records

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



  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England(1848), pp. 325-332. Date accessed: 21 August 2013.