Southampton, Hampshire Genealogy

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

Southampton port.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

Flag of the County of Hampshire
Logo of Southampton City Council
Location of Hampshire in England

The area presently identified as Southampton has been settled since pre-history. Following the Roman invasion of Britain in AD 43 and the conquering of the local Britons in 70 AD the fortress settlement of Clausentum was established.

During the first Millennium AD, the area saw major conflicts as waves of Celts, Angles, Saxons, and Vikings, struggled for dominance in the area. This continued through the reign of King Harold, who was the last Anglo-Saxon king of England.

Following the Norman Conquest in 1066, Southampton became the major port of transit between the then capital of England, Winchester, and Normandy.

During the Middle Ages, shipbuilding became an important industry for the town. Henry V's famous warship HMS Grace Dieu was built in Southampton.

Southampton has been used for military embarkation from the Middle Ages, including during 18th-century wars with the French, the Crimean war, and the Boer War. Southampton was designated No. 1 Military Embarkation port during the Great War (World War I) and became a major center for treating the returning wounded and POWs. It was also central to the preparations for the Invasion of Europe in 1944 during WWII.

Southampton became a spa town in 1740. It had also become a popular site for sea bathing by the 1760s, despite the lack of a good quality beach. Innovative buildings specifically for this purpose were built at West Quay, with baths that were filled and emptied by the flow of the tide.

The town experienced major expansion during the Victorian era. The Southampton Docks company had been formed in 1835. In October 1838 the foundation stone of the docks was laid, and the first dock opened in 1842. The structural and economic development of docks continued for the next few decades, with the railway link to London fully opened and in operation in May 1840. Southampton subsequently became known as The Gateway to the Empire.

The port was the point of departure for the Pilgrim Fathers aboard Mayflower in 1620. In 1912, the RMS Titanic sailed from Southampton. Four in five of the crew on board the vessel were citizens of the town, with about a third of those who perished in the tragedy hailing from the city. Southampton was subsequently the home port for the transatlantic passenger services operated by Cunard with their Blue Ribon liner RMS Queen Mary and her running mate RMS Queen Elizabeth. In 1938, Southampton docks also became home to the flying boats of Imperial Airways (subsequently merged with British Airways). Southampton Container Terminals first opened in 1968 and have continued to expand.

The Supermarine Spitfire or WWII fame was designed and developed in Southampton, evolving from the Schneider trophy-winning seaplanes of the 1920s and 1930s. Its designer, R J Mitchell, lived in the Portswood area of Southampton, and his house is today marked with a blue plaque. Heavy bombing of the factory in September 1940 destroyed it as well as homes in the vicinity, killing civilians and workers. World War II hit Southampton particularly hard because of its strategic importance as a major commercial port and industrial area. Prior to the Invasion of Europe, components for a Mulberry harbor were built here. After D-Day, Southampton docks handled military cargo to help keep the Allied forces supplied, making it a key target of Luftwaffe bombing raids until late 1944.

630 people lost their lives as a result of the air raids on Southampton and nearly 2,000 more were injured, not to mention the thousands of buildings damaged or destroyed. [1]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

Southampton Old Cemetery

  • Address:
  • Cemetery Road

The Common Southampton SO15 7NN

Southampton Hollybrook Cemetery

  • Address:

Hollybrook Road Southampton, United Kingdom

  • Phone:+44 23 8022 8609

Southampton Stoneham Cemetery

  • Address:

Stoneham Cemetery Rd, Southampton SO18 2NF, United Kingdom

  • Phone:+44 23 8022 8609

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

The following web site lists the parishes of Southampton:

Nonconformists[edit | edit source]

The following denominations and sects are to be found in Southampton:

  • Above Bar Church
  • All Saints' Church, Bassett
  • Avenue St Andrew's United Reformed Church
  • Bitterne United Reformed Church
  • Bitterne Park Baptist Church
  • Bitterne Park United Reformed Church
  • Bridge Christian Fellowship
  • Calvary Chapel Church Southampton
  • Central Baptist Church
  • Christ Church, Freemantle
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Covenant Life Ministry, Southampton
  • City Life Church
  • Floodlight Church
  • Freemantle Baptist Church
  • Highfield Church
  • Holy Family Catholic Church
  • Holy Trinity Weston
  • Holyrood Church, Southampton
  • Jesus Chapel, Peartree Green
  • King's Church
  • Life Church Southampton
  • Living Word Liberation Centre Redeemed Christian Church of God Southampton
  • Living Word Liberation Centre Redeemed Christian Church of God Bitterne
  • Mercy Vineyard Church
  • Mountain of Fire & Miracles Ministries
  • New Community Church
  • New Life International Church
  • Northam Methodist Church
  • Peartree Green United Reformed Church
  • Portswood Church
  • Riverside Family Church
  • Shirley Baptist Church
  • Shirley Parish Church
  • Southampton Vineyard Church
  • Spring Road Evangelical Church

Additionally there are congregations for the following:

  • Roman Catholic
  • Eastern Orthodox
  • Greek Orthodox
  • Muslim
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Sikh

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Civil registration is the recording of births, marriages and deaths in England and began in 1837. Civil registration records were recorded at the local registration office and the National registration offices. If you cannot find the civil registration in one index, search the other index as they are different indexes.

  • FreeBMD - National registration office index

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers for Southampton:

Occupations[edit | edit source]

From its earliest history, Southampton has had a thriving maritime industry. Initially this was military in nature, and related to the defense of the realm. However from the 1600's onward, Southampton has built up its Merchant Marine base, and during the 19th. and 20th. centuries was the primary port for UK based liner departures. even today it is the home port for the Cunard Lines fleet and the P & O line.

Today Southampton has added a large container depot and is used for both European and worldwide container vessel movements.

In addition to this, Southampton has built up a large electronics sector, including such companies as Garmin (GPS),MANTA, Finnelectronica., etc.

The University of Southampton is a large employer in the area, and is ranked in the top 15 Universities in the UK, and 81st. worldwide.

Societies[edit | edit source]

Southampton has a chapter of the Hampshire Genealogical Society.

The group meets at the Roman Catholic Church Hall, Commercial St, Bitterne at 7:30 pm on the third Monday of the month.

There is also the Friends of Southampton Old Cemetery Group. This group actively promotes Family History Research in the area.

Archives[edit | edit source]

Southampton Archives
Civic Centre
Civic Centre Road
Civic Centre Road
SO14 7LY
Telephone: +44 023 8083 2251
Southampton city archives Southampton city archives.

University of Southampton
University Road
SOuthampton SO17 1BJ
Telephone: +44(0)23 8059 5000
University of Southampton Archives University of Southampton Archives

Hampshire Newspaper Archives
*newspaper archives

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Southampton, Hampshire," in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia",, Hampshire, accessed 18 August 2016.