Chatham, Kent

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England  Gotoarrow.png  Kent Gotoarrow.png  Kent Parishes

Chatham St Mary Kent.jpg

Parish History

Chatham St Mary Dock Road Chatham is an Ancient Parish ; the  church  was declared redundant in 1974 when the parish church of St Mary Island church took over serving the parish .

The church dated from a rebuild of 1884-1887 but stands on the site of a former Saxon church and contains two grade II listed tombs designated by English Heritage.

The church functioned for some time as the Medway Heritage Centre.

Luton Christchurch was formed from this parish see Luton North West Kent Family History Society and Luton, Kent

Here is an important jurisdictional perspective by Samuel A. Lewis. CHARTHAM (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bridge, hundred of Felborough, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 3 miles (S. W. by W.) from Canterbury; containing, with the chapelry of Horton, 974 inhabitants. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.CHATHAM (St. Mary), a borough, market-town, and parish, and the head of the Medway union, partly within the jurisdiction, and adjoining the city, of Rochester, but chiefly in the hundred of Chatham and Gillingham, N. division of the lathe of Aylesford, W. division of Kent, 8 miles (N. by E.) from Maidstone, and 30 (E. by S.) from London St. John's church, of the Doric order, with a tower, and containing 1624 sittings, of which 1090 are free, was completed in 1821. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, and Unitarians; also a Jews' synagogue.[1]


Civil Registration

Medway Registration District Chatham Registration District and registrations from July 1837 to the present day are held at

Medway district
The Register Office
Telephone 01634 338902
Fax 01634 338913

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

Kent Online Parish Clerks (OPC)

From Spring 2012 material formerly held at
Centre for Kentish Studies,County Hall,Maidstone,Kent ME14 1XX
is available at Kent History and Library Centre see Kent Archives which also enables a search of the catalogue for Kent Archives material deposited at Canterbury Cathedral Archives

International Genealogical Index Christenings 1822-1827 Batches (C166062, C738921) Marriages 1781-1834 Batches (M166061, M166063, M166066, M166068)

Family History Library film numbers
Chatham St Mary

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records.

Census records

Census returns for Chatham 1841-1891

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.

[1] to locate local Family History Centres in UK

[2] 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.

Ancestry UK Census Collection

Find my Past census search 1841-1901

Prior to the 1911 census the household schedule was destroyed and only the enumerator's schedule survives.

The 1911 census of England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911 and in addition to households and institutions such as prisons and workhouses, canal boats merchant ships and naval vessels it attempted to include homeless persons. The schedule was completed by an individual and for the first time both this record and the enumerator's schedule were preserved. Two forms of boycott of the census by women are possible due to frustration at government failure to grant women the universal right to vote in parliamentary and local elections. The schedule either records a protest by failure to complete the form in respect of the women in the household or women are absent due to organisation of groups of women staying away from home for the whole night. Research estimates that several thousand women are not found by census search. Find my Past 1911 census search

Poor Law Unions

Medway Poor Law Union,Kent

Probate records

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.

See England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Local Family History Centre

Gillingham Family History Centre, Kent

Canterbury Family History Centre, Kent

Maidstone Family History Centre, Kent

Maps and Gazetteers

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Web sites


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 554-558. Date accessed: 15 April 2013.