Difference between revisions of "St Mary Cray, Kent Genealogy"

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== Reference ==
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Revision as of 14:06, 13 December 2012

England  Gotoarrow.png  Kent England  Gotoarrow.png  Kent Parishes

St Mary Cray St Mary Kent.jpg

Parish History

CRAY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bromley, hundred of Ruxley, lathe of Sutton-at-Hone, W. division of Kent, 2 miles (S. by W.) from Foot'sCray. [1]

St Mary Cray is a district in the London Borough of Bromley, formerly a village and civil parish known as South Cray and has a local tradition of Romany and traveller families. St Mary Cray Wikipedia

St Mary the Virgin St Mary Cray was originally formed as a chapelry of Orpington, Kent in the Diocese of Rochester; a map of the parish boundary is available at 

The church of St Mary the Virgin High Street St Mary Cray has been designated asa grade B listed building British listed building

See Edward Hasted The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent: Volume 2 (1797), pp. 112-125 at British History Online and Kent Churches website

Crockenhill All Souls was built 1851-1852 as a chapel of ease and later parish in Eynsford, Kent and this parish; a map of the parish boundary is available at A church near you See also Kent Churches website.

See St Mary Cray North West Kent Family History Society and St Mary the Virgin St Mary Cray

Other places of worship include

St Joseph Roman Catholic High Street St Joseph St Mary Cray

Baptist: (1869-pre.1928).
Baptist: Zion. (1887-pre.1928)

Congregational: The Temple, High St. (1851).


Civil Registration

See Bromley Registration district

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)

International Genealogical Index Christenings 1579-1874 Batch (C147591) Marriages 1580-1837 Batch (M147591)

Deposited Parish registers are held at Bromley Archives reference P 277B

Bromley Central Library
Telephone: 020 8461 7170
Fax: 020 8466 7860
e-mail: localstudies.library@bromley.gov.uk

Link to the Family History Library Catalogue showing the film numbers in their collection Cray, St Mary

See also England, Kent, Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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

Land Tax

Images for Cray St Mary available at FamilySearch Records see England, Kent, Land Tax Assessments (FamilySearch Historical Records) 1780-1831

Images for this collection are derived from 1987 microfilming

Land tax assessment for St. Mary's Cray, 1780-1831 Family History Library BRITISH Film 1469936 Item 7

Census records

Census returns for St Mary Cray 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

A parish workhouse existed at St Mary Cray; the burials register contains reference to residents until the opening of the Union workhouse at Locks Bottom. Presumably the burial entry "John Scudder St Mary Cray Union House 26 December 1860 age 72" refers to the Union workhouse at Locks Bottom. The workhouse is also referred to in the 1836 minutes of the Board of Guardians and received some transfers from the Cudham Workhouse at Leaves Green, for further information see:

Bromley Poor Law Union

In the Orpington Vestry minutes P277/8/2 1808-1847 held at Bromley Public Libraries, Local Studies and Archives there is both reference to the purchase of clothing for poor from interest on parish stock in1814 with the parish giving up possession of poor house, 1815 and establishing a joint workhouse with St. Mary Cray, Orpington parish providing £900, 1815-1816.
At about this time the St Mary Cray burial register shows burials from St Mary Cray Poor House.
The Orpington Vestry Minutes of 3 March 1816 refer to the workhouse to be built on land "near Reynoldsmiths in the parish of St Mary Cray".

Reynolds Smith was a hamlet in St Mary Cray parish close to the parish boundary with Orpington parish and also contained the Red Lion public house.

The workhouse and garden appear as item 46 on the St Mary Cray Tithe Map 1839/40 and the Occupier appears as Samuel Chinock, presumably the master.

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)

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Local Family History Centre

Orpington Family History Centre, Kent is within the London Borough of Bromley, located adjacent to Orpington Station and on major bus routes through the borough.

Web sites


  1. Lewis, Samuel A.,A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 717-720.