Bournemouth (city), Hampshire Genealogy

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Guide to Bournemouth history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Bournemouth 01.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

Bournemouth coat of arms
Bournemouth location in England
Flag of the county of Hampshire

While Bournemouth was relocated a number of times by the British Government in the late twentieth century, it was always historically part of Hampshire, and has been left with its historic county.

Bournemouth is a large coastal resort town on the south coast of England directly to the east of the Jurassic Coast, a 96-mile (155 km) World Heritage Site. Bournemouth is about 94 miles (151 km) southwest of London. The borough borders the neighboring boroughs of Poole and Christchurch to the west and east respectively and the East Dorset District to the north.

The word bourne, meaning a small stream, is a derivative of burna, old English for a brook. From the latter half of the 16th century "Bourne Mouth" seems to be preferred, being recorded as such in surveys and reports of the period, but this appears to have been shortened to "Bourne" after the area had started to develop.

Bronze Age burials near Moordown, and the discovery of Iron Age pottery on the East Cliff in 1969, suggest there may have been settlements there during that period. Hengistbury Head, added to the borough in 1932, was the site of a much older Palaeolithic encampment.

In the 12th century the region around the mouth of the River Bourne was part of the Hundred of Holdenhurst. The hundred later became the Liberty of Westover when it was also extended to include the settlements of North Ashley, Muscliff, Muccleshell, Throop, Iford, Pokesdown, Tuckton and Wick, and incorporated into the Manor of Christchurch. Although the Dorset and Hampshire region surrounding it had been the site of human settlement for thousands of years, Westover was largely a remote and barren heathland before 1800. In 1574 the Earl of Southampton noted that the area was "Devoid of all habitation", and as late as 1795 the Duke of Rutland recorded that "... on this barren and uncultivated heath there was not a human to direct us".

Anticipating that people would come to the area to indulge in the newly fashionable pastime of sea-bathing, an activity with perceived health benefits, Tregonwell built a series of villas on his land between 1816 and 1822, which he hoped to let out. The common belief that pine-scented air was good for lung conditions, and in particular tuberculosis, prompted Tregonwell and Tapps to plant hundreds of pine trees. These early attempts to promote the town as a health resort meant that by the time Tregonwell had died in 1832, Bournemouth had grown into a small community with a scattering of houses, villas and cottages. The town would ultimately grow up around the scattered pines and tree-lined walk to the beach, later to become known as the Invalids' Walk.

The Bournemouth Improvement Act of 1856 granted greater financial autonomy to the town and a pier was approved that year. A number of wooden structures were built before an 838 feet (255 m) cast iron design by Eugenius Birch was completed in 1880. Under the Act, a board of 13 Commissioners was established to build and organize the expanding infrastructure of the town, such as paving, sewers, drainage, street lighting and street cleaning.

The arrival of the railways in 1870 precipitated a massive growth in seaside and summer visitors to the town, especially from the Midlands and London. In 1880 the town had a population of 17,000, but by 1900, when railway connections to Bournemouth were at their most developed, the town's population had risen to 60,000 and it had become a favorite location for visiting artists and writers. The town was improved greatly during this period through the efforts of Sir Merton Russell-Cotes, the town's mayor and a local philanthropist, who helped to establish the town's first library and museum. The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum was housed in his mansion, and after his death it was given to the town. Bournemouth became a municipal borough in 1890 and a county borough in 1900.

The town escaped heavy bombing during the Second World War, but the sea front incurred great damage when it was fortified against invasion. The cast iron lampposts and benches along the front were removed and melted down for munitions, as was much of the superstructure from both Bournemouth and Boscombe piers before they were breached to prevent their use by enemy ships. The large amounts of barbed wire and anti-tank obstacles along the beach, and the mines at the foot of the chines, took two years to remove when peace was finally achieved.

In 1993, the IRA orchestrated a terrorist attack in the town center. The only injuries sustained were minor ones but over £1 million in damage was caused.[1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

The Bournemouth Government office relating to Cemeteries and Crematoria follows:

Wimborne Road Cemetery
Wimborne Rd
Bournemouth BH9 2EG
Phone: +44 1202 526238

Kinson Cemetery
28 S Kinson Dr
Bournemouth BH11 8AB

North Cemetery and Crematorium
27 Strouden Ave
Bournemouth BH8 9HX
Phone: +44 1202 526238

East Cemetery
Bournemouth BH7 6LP

For help in finding specific graves, consider using the following:

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

St Peter's
Church address:
4 Hinton Rd
Bournemouth BH1 2EE
Phone: +44 1202 290986

St Saviour's
Church address:
32 Colemore Rd
Bournemouth BH7 6RZ
Phone: +44 1202 430078

St Francis of Assisi
Church address:
Charminster Road
Bournemouth BH8 9SH
Phone: +44 1202 529336

St Barnabas'
Church address:
Mount Pleasant Dr
Bournemouth BH8 9JN
Phone: +44 1202 430078

St Michael's
Church address:
Poole Rd
Bournemouth BH2 5QU
Phone: +44 1202 556645

St John the Evangelist
Church address:
Holdenhurst Village Rd
Bournemouth BH8 0EE
Phone: +44 1202 247588

St Andrew's
Church address:
53 Bennett Rd
Bournemouth BH8 8QQ
Phone: +44 1202 397452

St Christopher's
Church address:
Arnewood Rd
Bournemouth BH6 5DW
Phone: +44 1202 418394

St Thomas' Parish Church
Church address:
5 Western Ave
Bournemouth BH10
Phone: +44 1202 519735

St Mark's
Church address:
Talbot Village
Wallisdown Rd
Bournemouth BH10 4HY
Phone: +44 1202 529349

Christ Church, Westbourne
Church address:
Alumhurst Rd
Bournemouth BH4 8EL
Phone: +44 1202 760952

Non Conformists[edit | edit source]

Other Christian and non-christian groups follow:

  • Baptist
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Destiny Life Church
  • First Church of Christ Scientist
  • Jehovah's Witness
  • Methodist
  • Presbyterian
  • Roman Catholic

Non Christian groups that meet regularly in Bournemouth include:

  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Sikh

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. Bournemouth Town Council does have its own BMD source. The following links provide access for Bournemouth:

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

Similarly to the rest of the South West Coastal area, Bournemouth's economy is primarily in the service sector, which employed 95% of the workforce in 2010. This was 10% higher than the average employment in the service sector for Great Britain and 11% higher than the South West.

The banking, finance and insurance sector is the most valuable to Bournemouth’s economy in terms of GDP (Gross Domestic Product). JP Morgan established their Global Technology Hub in Bournemouth in the 1980s. RIAS, McCarthy & Stone, and Liverpool Victoria have their regional or national headquarters in the town.

According to the UK's Tech Nation report 2015, Bournemouth is the fastest growing location in the UK for tech jobs, with over 400 agencies across Bournemouth and the surrounding area contributing to a growing creative and digital scene.

Other sectors that have seen major growth since 1991 are Public Administration, Education and Health (25.6% increase). Bournemouth has a skilled local workforce, and wages are relatively low compared to national levels. Bournemouth is also comparatively less expensive in the housing and cost of living sectors. This means, Bournemouth is ideal for companies who want to employ high quality staff in the service sector.

Finally Bournemouth still has major employment opportunities in its core competence area of holiday making and vacations. Its climate is very benign, and its beaches fabulous, and this draws many holidaymakers to the town every year. [2]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

Because of the major changes the UK Government has recently made relative to Bournemouth's county associations, both Hampshire's and Dorset's websites are listed below.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Bournemouth," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 21 January, 2018.
  2. Bournemouth Borough Council, Business Support,, accessed 23 January, 2018.