Swindon (city), Wiltshire Genealogy
Guide to Swindon, Wiltshire ancestry, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
History[edit | edit source]
Today Swindon is a large town, in the ceremonial county of Wiltshire, South West England, midway between Bristol, 35 miles (56 kilometres) to the west and Reading, 35 miles (56 km) to the east. London is 78 miles (126 km) to the east, and Cardiff is 78 miles (126 km) to the west. At the 2011 census, it had a population of 182,441.
The original Anglo-Saxon settlement of Swindon sat in a defensible position atop a limestone hill. It is referred to in the Domesday Book as Suindune, believed to be derived from the Old English words "swine" and "dun" meaning "pig hill" or possibly Sweyn's hill, where Sweyn is a personal name.
Swindon was a small market town, mainly for barter trade, until roughly 1848. This original market area is on top of the hill in central Swindon, now known as Old Town.
The Industrial Revolution was responsible for an acceleration of Swindon's growth. It started with the construction of the Wilts and Berks Canal in 1810 and the North Wilts Canal in 1819. The canals brought trade to the area and Swindon's population started to grow.
Between 1841 and 1842, Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Swindon Works was built for the repair and maintenance of locomotives on the Great Western Railway(GWR). The GWR built a small railway village to house some of its workers. The Steam Railway Museum and English Heritage, including the English Heritage Archive, now occupy part of the old works. In the village were the GWR Medical Fund Clinic at Park House and its hospital, both on Faringdon Road, and the 1892 health center in Milton Road – which housed clinics, a pharmacy, laundries, baths, Turkish baths and swimming pools – was almost opposite.
From 1871, GWR workers had a small amount deducted from their weekly pay and put into a healthcare fund – its doctors could prescribe them or their family members free medicines or send them for medical treatment. In 1878 the fund began providing artificial limbs made by craftsmen from the carriage and wagon works, and nine years later opened its first dental surgery. In his first few months in post the dentist extracted more than 2000 teeth. From the opening in 1892 of the Health Center, a doctor could also prescribe a haircut or even a bath. The cradle-to-grave extent of this service was later used as a blueprint for the NHS.
On 1 July 1923, the GWR took over the largely single-track M&SWJR and the line northwards from Swindon Town was diverted to Swindon Junction station, leaving the Town station with only the line south to Andover and Salisbury. The last passenger trains on what had been the SM&A ran on 10 September 1961, 80 years after the railway's first stretch opened.
During the first half of the 20th century, the railway works was the town's largest employer and one of the biggest in the country, employing more than 14,500 workers. The closure of the railway works (which had been in decline for many years) was a major blow to Swindon.
Because of this and the major growth in population diversification was continued at a rapid pace and the town now has all the features of a successful urban/rural council in the Outer South East Zone.
Resources[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]
Swindon has 3 cemeteries and or crematoria. Information follows:
Whitworth Road Cemetery
Swindon SN25 3BG
Phone: +44 1793 523081
St Margaret Cemetery
Swindon SN3 4JY
Swindon SN25 6SG
Phone: +44 1793 822259
Church Records[edit | edit source]
Parishes[edit | edit source]
Swindon has a number of Anglican churches, and many of these have attached graveyards. These follow::
Swindon SN5 3NE
Phone: +44 1793 772417
26 Cricklade St
Swindon SN1 3HG
Phone: +44 1793 522832
St Margaret's Church
Swindon SN3 4YA
St Peter's Church
Phone: +44 1793 721921
St Andrew's Church
Parsonage Farm Hse
21 Church Rd
Wanborough, Swindon SN4 0BZ
St Bartholomew's Church
1 Church St
Royal Wootton Bassett, Swindon SN4 7BQ
Phone: +44 1793 853272
St Mark's Church
Swindon SN1 5EH
St John's Church
Thames Avenue/Westfield Way
Haydon Wick, Wiltshire, SN25 4QP
Phone: +44 1793 726000
St Saviour's Church
Swindon SN1 3NS
St Mary's Lydiard
Swindon SN5 3PA
Phone: +44 1793 874221
St Sampson's Church
Cricklade, Swindon SN6 6AX
Phone: +44 1793 979304
Holy Trinity Church
Shaw Village Centre
Shaw, Swindon SN5 5PY
Phone: +44 1793 874221
St Luke's Church
Swindon, Wiltshire, SN1 2DS
Phone: +44 1793 526542
Non Conformists[edit | edit source]
Swindon is in an older section of the England, and tends to be more conservative than many other parts of the country. The Anglican church is by far the largest percentage of the community. However there are many other churches, as listed below:
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Chinese Christian
- Gateway Church
- Holy Rood Church
- Jehovah's Witnesses
- Plymouth Brethren
There are a number of communities of non Christian religions including the following:
Civil Registration[edit | edit source]
Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the UK government from July 1837 to the present day. Prior to that, the only available records were those kept by the ecclesiastical bodies. For later records contact the Swindon registration office as below.
Swindon has an office for the registration of BMD data. It follows:
Euclid St, Swindon SN1 2JH
Phone: +44 1793 522738
Online websites follow:
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
- localhistories.com: Swindon
- Swindon Council local history
- Central Swindon History Through Time by Mark Child
- Swindon Illustrated History by Mark Child
Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
- Google Maps: Swindon
- Michelin street map of Swindon
- oldmapsonline: Swindon
- Swindon Gazetteer
- genuki gazetteer of Swindon
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Occupations[edit | edit source]
While agriculture and market town activites were the major activities in Swindon up to the 20th. century, anf still are important, Swindon has now developed a diversified employment base.
In the Insurance and Financial arena, such companies as Nationwide Insurance, Intrinsic Financial Services, and Connect Group PLC provide major employment opportunities.
In the electronics arena, Intel, nPower, Fairchild Semiconductor, and Tyco are large players in Swindon and the Southwest.
In transportation and automotive, First Great Western (railways), MAN Truck and Bus UK, Cambria Automobiles, Castrol.
In general manufacturing and engineering; The Hardware Group, Openwork Ltd., Swindon Pressings, Arval UK, and Dick Lovatt.
Also providing major employment opportunities is the power company, Npower Ltd.
Societies[edit | edit source]
Archives[edit | edit source]
- Wiltshire and Swindon Archives
- Wiltshire County Council Archives
- The National Archives: Swindon
- Historic England Archives
Web Sites[edit | edit source]
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Swindon," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swindon, accessed 12 November, 2017.
- Wikipedia contributors,"Swindon" in "Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia", https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swindon, accessed 12 November 2017.