Difference between revisions of "West Thorney, Sussex Genealogy"

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England  Gotoarrow.png  SussexGotoarrow.png  Sussex Parishes

Parish History

THORNEY, WEST, a parish, in the union of West Bourne, hundred of Bosham, rape of Chichester, West division of Sussex, 7½ miles West by South from Chichester. This place, also called Thorney Island, is situated nearly in the center of the great estuary termed Chichester harbour, and communicates with the small port of Emsworth, on the main land, by a causeway passable at low water for horses and carriages. The church is an ancient edifice, chiefly in the early English style, with a fine Norman tower at the west end; the chancel is separated from the nave by a screen and rood-loft. The interior was wholly restored in 1839, chiefly at the expense of the Rev. C. P. Lyne, rector. On the exterior of the north wall are three large circular arches, now stopped up, evidently part of an aisle or chantry chapel, supposed to have belonged to a religious house near the church, the remains of which are now incorporated in a farmhouse.[1]

West Thorney St Nicholas is an Ancient Parish in on Thorney Island, the southern peninsula of land in Chichester Harbour West Sussex.

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

history and images

West Thorney Sussex Online Parish Clerks (OPC) and St Nicholas includes batches in the International Genealogical Index.

West Thorney Wikipedia


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

West Thorney St Nicholas

West Sussex Record Office has deposited parish Registers Bap 1570-1985 Marr 1570-1999 Bur 1570-1986

Bishop's Transcripts 1592-1885

Contact West Sussex Record Office 3 Orchard Street Chichester West Sussex
PO19 1DD
Phone: 01243 753602
Fax: 01243 533959
Email: records.office@westsussex.gov.uk

Link to the Family History Library Catalogue showing the film numbers in their collection Thorney, West

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 474674.

See Sussex Census

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.

The 1851 census of England and Wales attempted to identify religious places of worship in addition to the household survey census returns.

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.

Poor Law Unions

Westbourne 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.

Web sites


  1. Lewis, Samuel A. A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 331-335. Adapted 16 May 2013