St Thomas the Apostle, Winchelsea, Sussex Genealogy

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England  Gotoarrow.png  SussexGotoarrow.png  Sussex Parishes  

Winchelsea St Thomas the Martyr East Sussex.jpg

Parish History

WINCHELSEA (St. Thomas the Apostle), a borough and parish, having separate jurisdiction, and formerly a market-town, in the union of Rye, locally in the hundred of Guestling, rape of Hastings, E. division of Sussex, 74 miles (E. by N.) from Chichester, and 63¾ (S. E.) from London. The town is about a mile and a half distant from the sea, and occupies a space nearly two miles in circumference, divided into squares by streets intersecting each other at right angles, probably after the plan of the ancient town. The choir, the only remaining portion of the ancient church, a magnificent cruciform structure, is now appropriated as the parochial church, aud presents an elegant specimen of the early and decorated English styles. On the south side are some stalls and a piscina of beautiful design, and in other parts are several splendid monuments, including three supposed to be memorials of Knights Templars, cross-legged and in armour, of which one, in particular, is hardly excelled by any in the kingdom. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. In addition to the church of St. Thomas were anciently two parochial churches dedicated respectively to St. Leonard and St. Giles.[1]

Winchelsea St Thomas a Becket is an Ancient parish; sometimes referred to as St Thomas the Martyr.

History of St Thomas a Becket and Winchelsea Beach formed as an ecclesisatical parish in the parish of Pett, Sussex originally. Winchelsea parishes

The church has been designated as a grade I listed building British listed building

See also Winchelsea Wikipedia

The Wesleyan Methodist in Winchelsea has deposited records from 1795 and has been designated as a grade II listed building Wesley Methodist Chapel

See also list of places of worship in Rother


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.

From 1837 this parish was within Rye Registration district, from 1935 this was incorporated into Battle Registration district
Certiificates may be obtained from
East Sussex County Council
The Register Office
Town Hall
Grove Road
BN21 4UG
Phone: 01323 464780
Fax: 01323 431386

Church records

St Thomas the Apostle, Winchelsea, Sussex Genealogy parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

BIVRI = British Isles Vital Records Index (Ancestry) - (£)[2]
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[3]
NBI = National Burial Index (FindMyPast) - (£)[4]
SOPC = Sussex Online Parish Clerks - free[5]
St Thomas the Apostle, Winchelsea, Sussex Genealogy Parish Online Records


Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
BIVRI 1606-1641, 1881-1893

IGI 1606-1640, 1881-1893


Link to the Family History Library Catalogue showing the film numbers in their collection Winchelsea

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 464159.


Poor Law Unions

Rye Poor Law Union, Sussex

Probate records

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Sussex 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. Samuel A. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 592-613. Date accessed: 30 September 2013
  2. 'British Isles Vital Records Index - 2nd Ed. Breakdown of Records', Genoot, accessed 30 December 2013.
  3. Hugh Wallis, 'IGI Batch Numbers for Sussex, England,' IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 3 January 2014.
  4. 'Parish Records - National Burial Index Records 1538 - 2005 Coverage', Find My Past, accessed 30 December 2013.
  5. Sussex Online Parish Clerks, accessed 7 January 2014.