Hanna Nicholas and Liz James (formerly Hebditch) have been sharing research for many years, being cousins three times over through the HEBDITCH, VAUX & HARDING families. The families lived in South Petherton or the surrounding villages for at least 400 years, many of whom were non-conformists so do not always appear in the parish registers.

The surnames we are researching are:-
Axe, Clark, Gifford, Gundry, Harding, Hare, Hazelbrook, Hebditch, Humphr(e)y, Laver, Light, Mantel, Masters, Ostler, Palmer, Terrell, Vaux, Vile, Weare, Wheller, Wines.

These and other families from South Petherton can be found on Hanna's database on the Rootsweb Worldconnect website - just type in the name of the database: hnicholas1

Liz is also researching: Anstice, Beaton, Bishop, Chaffey, Goodland, Judge, Kingwill, Lentell, Lovibond, Maltravers, Robbins, Stark, Savidge, Trenchard, Winslade.

On this site you will find various records, articles and photographs connected to the parish either transcribed by ourselves or generously donated by others. Please feel free to use any of this information (with the exception of the photograph of the tithe map which must not be reproduced) in your own personal research.  Please attribute anything that you do use back to this source and/or the copyright owners specified.  It must not be used for commercial purpose or gain in print, online, on CD, on DVD, or in any electronic or other format whatsoever.


South Petherton Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul - Index of transcripts available

South Petherton Non-conformist Registers -

Old Meeting House     Roundwell St Chapel        South Petherton Wesleyan Chapel        Middle Lambrook Chapel       Bower Hinton Chapel

There are a few South Petherton people recorded in the transcription of civil marriages during the Commonwealth period 1653-1656 -

South Petherton - Photographs

South Petherton - Lists of People

South Petherton Bastardy and Removal Orders

South Petherton Emigrants

Jury Lists

South Petherton - Parish Positions Held

South Petherton Soldiers

Somerset Tithe Award

Useful web-site links for the South Petherton area

Information from fellow researchers in the South Petherton & surrounding area




We have been fortunate in that one of our ancestors, Benjamin Hebditch (1791-1861) compiled a diary and although we do not have the original we have photocopies. Benjamin lived in the parish of South Petherton in a small hamlet known as Over Stratton where he owned land. Benjamin was a farmer but his ancestors were blacksmiths. The diary contains a mixture of farm accounts, legal matters, parish and chapel business, family news, weather and some world events. Please note, we have not altered any spellings from the original diary. DIARY

FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHS  (Harding, Hebditch & Vaux)


Notes -  early childhood    Notes prepared for - biography, including Army career     Letters written during WWI     A snippet regarding WW1


Letters   written by Geoffrey Pether (first cousin to Alan Harding) to his family. Geoffrey was a young lad in Heidelberg in 1914 and was interred at Ruhleben camp. His mother was Sarah Sophia Harding, daughter of William Harding & Priscilla Savidge of South Petherton.


Sarah Anson Vaux has been writing the history of the Vaux family of England, the United States, and Australia for many years. There is a wealth of information on other families - such as GODDEN, HARE, HEBDITCH, LAVER, OSTLER, PALMER, TERRELL and VILE. It is worth reading Sarah's book for an insight into the history of South Petherton and of non-conformity.   List of chapters  and photographs


History of South Petherton Congregational Church  (Roundwell Street)  published in 1883

further sources of information on South Petherton (both online and books)

If you have anything which will interest other researchers of South Petherton families that you are willing to share, please contact Liz

History of South Petherton - South Petherton is a market town, and a parish but also the name of an ancient Hundred and a Manor.

The Hundred of South Petherton included the parishes of:

 Barrington,  Chaffcombe,   Chillington, Cricket St Thomas, Cudworth, Dinnington, Dowlish Wake,  Knowle St Giles, Lopen

South Petherton, Seavington St Mary, Seavington St Michael, Shepton Beauchamp, Wambrook, Whitestaunton

The manor of South Petherton was made up of four tithings -

1. Town tithing - 3 irregular streets about the church

2. South Harp tithing (SE) - also sometimes known in the past as Southington or Southapbrigg

3. Over Stratton (SW)

4. Compton Durville (NW)

Can’t find your ancestor in the South Petherton parish registers? If you can't find the entry you are looking for in the South Petherton parish registers, then it may be worth checking the non-conformist records below or some of the neighbouring parishes.  The parishes which border South Petherton are East Lambrook, Kingsbury Episcopi, Martock, Stoke Sub Hamdon, Norton sub Hamdon, Chiselborough, Merriott, Lopen, Seavington St Michael, and Shepton Beauchamp. 

The non-conformist records prior to 1837 are copyright of the National Archives. Copies are also held on microfilm at the Somerset Heritage Centre which also has the surviving the post 1837 registers (although the copyright is still held by the United Reform Church or Methodist Church). The transcriptions are published online by kind permission of the Somerset Record Office, the Methodist Church and the United Reform Church on condition that its use is free from profit.

Last updated:21st October 2018