Exeter Cathedral, Devon Genealogy

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England  Gotoarrow.png  Devon Gotoarrow.png  Devon Parishes

View A Comprehensive List of Parishes and Chapels of Exeter.
Exeter Cathedral, Devon.jpg

Parish History

EXETER, a city, and a county of itself, locally inthe hundred of Wonford,S. division of Devon, ofwhich it is the chief town,44 miles (N. E.) from Plymouth, and 172 (W. by S.)from London; containing, within the municipal boundary, and exclusively of the suburban parishes of St.Thomas, St. Leonard, and Heavitree.

Previously to its establishment at Exeter, the see of Devon was seated at Crediton; but Leofricus, who was bishop of the see and lord chancellor of England, prevailed on Edward the Confessor to remove it hither in 1049; and that monarch, with Editha his queen, attended at the installation, and placed the bishop in the new see, which he then endowed with the lands and emoluments that had previously belonged to Crediton. The see being thus established, it is probable that a suitable cathedral was soon afterwards provided; but whether constructed by enlarging and altering some existing edifice, or by the erection of a separate and entire building, is uncertain. During the stay of the parliamentary forces, the cathedral was shamefully defaced, and divided into places of worship for Presbyterians and Independents. During the Protectorate, two zealous royalists, who had attempted to restore Charles II., were by Cromwell's order beheaded in the city. No burials are entered in the cathedral register from 1646 to 1660; there is not a will, nor any entry by which it can be established that any wills were proved in the ecclesiastical courts of Exeter within that period, during which they were proved by commission, and deposited with the city and county records. St. Mary's chapel at the end of the choir, was the original Saxon church, and that the whole of the existing fabric was 500 years in building. To the north and south of the Lady chapel are the chapels of St. Mary Magdalene and St. Gabriel, and in various parts of the cathedral are other chapels richly adorned with sculpture, in one of which, dedicated to St. Edmund, is held the consistorial court every Friday during term. There are places of worship for Baptists, the Society of Friends, Independents, Wesleyans, Methodists, and Unitarians, a Roman Catholic chapel, and a synagogue.[1]


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

Online Exeter Cathedral, Devon Genealogy Parish Register Images and Indexes
Indexes 1790-1812 Ancestry[2]

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

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.

Probate records

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

Web sites


  1. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 195-206.
  2. Pallot's Marriage and Birth Indexes, Guide to Parishes (n.p.: n.p., n.d.). FHL British Book 942 V25pm