Eyam, Derbyshire Genealogy
EYAM (St. Helen), a parish, in the union of Bakewell, hundred of High Peak, N. division of the county of Derby; containing, with the townships of Woodland-Eyam and Foolow. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. 
Eyam is associated as the "plague village". The plague had been brought to the village in a flea-infested bundle of cloth that was delivered to tailor George Viccars from London.
Within a week he was dead and was buried on 7 September 1665. After the initial deaths, the townspeople turned to their rector, the Reverend William Mompesson, and the Puritan Minister Thomas Stanley. They introduced a number of precautions to slow the spread of the illness from May 1666. These included the arrangement that families were to bury their own dead and the relocation of church services from the parish church of St. Lawrence to Cucklett Delph to allow villagers to separate themselves, reducing the risk of infection. Perhaps the best-known decision was to quarantine the entire village to prevent further spread of the disease. The plague raged in the village for 14 months and it is stated that it killed at least 260 villagers with only 83 villagers surviving out of a population of 350. This figure has been challenged on a number of occasions with alternative figures of 430 survivors from a population of around 800 being given.
When the first outsiders visited Eyam a year later, they found that fewer than a quarter of the village had survived the plague. Survival appeared random, as many plague survivors had close contact with the bacterium but never caught the disease. For example, Elizabeth Hancock never became ill despite burying six children and her husband in eight days (the graves are known as the Riley graves). The unofficial village gravedigger Marshall Howe also survived, despite handling many infected bodies, as he had earlier survived catching the disease.
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.
To find the names of the neighbouring parishes, use Jurisdictions 1851. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.
The Ancient parish includes townships of Eyam Woodlands with Grindleford and Foolow.
Derbyshire Record Office has deposited registers Bap 1630-1957 Mar 1630-1993 Burial 1630-1964 Banns 1754-1790, 1922-1964Record Office reference D 2602
Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts 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 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 2412898.
Poor Law Unions
Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Derbyshire 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.
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- Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England,(1848), pp. 195-206.Date accessed: 15 April 2013.