Other Sources of Information

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

A brief general history of Somerset can be found on the Somerset Archive and Local Studies website. http://www1.somerset.gov.uk/archives/ which also has online maps for the whole of Somerset and you can zoom in on maps of South Petherton c 1885 and c 1903.

The South Petherton online website has a brief history at  http://southpetherton.online/Local-Information/Local-History/Local-History.html

More detailed information can be found in the Victoria County History for Somerset.    South Petherton (both the Parish and the Hundred of South Petherton are covered in Volume 4). You might be able to pick up a second hand copy of the parish of South Petherton section which was reprinted as a slim A4 booklet  for the Somerset County Library but is now out of print. Other sources of information include a book based on a 1879 lecture by the village doctor and antiquarian Dr Hugh Norris, South Petherton in the Olden Times.  This has been reprinted by the South Petherton Local History Group together with a more recent book with lots of photos,South Petherton in the Twentieth Century: A Village Album. There are other books with a lot of old photographs from South Petherton and nearby villages such as Crewkerne and the Ham Stone Villages in Old Photographs and Around Yeovil.

Another useful booklet is another reprint by the South Petherton Local History Group,a small booklet by Muriel Waldock called Exploring South Petherton which suggests walks and identifies some of the old buildings in South Petherton and tells you about previous occupants. The new version contains photographs and is available in local shops in South Petherton. The old version is still  available from Somerset Libraries as is The Official Guide to the Parish of South Petherton from 1949.

South  Petherton Parish Council website – includes maps and local walks http://www.southpethertonparishcouncil.gov.uk/

South Petherton online website includes local photos and a History of South Petherton –    http://www.southpetherton.online/

South Petherton photographs and old maps: http://www.francisfrith.com/south-petherton/

A description of South Petherton in 1868 and Information on family history sources: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/SOM/SouthPetherton/index.html

For information on families who emigrated from South Petherton to Australia there is a fascinating book by Florence Chuk, The Somerset Years. It discusses 50 Assisted immigrants from Somerset and Bristol 1839-1854.and has a comprehensive index of passengers and vessels and detailed descriptions of Emigration schemes.

Peter Lawson-Clarke has written a very interesting book called “The Blakes of South Petherton, Throughout six generations.

The Parish Church has a website with a history of the Church and photos http://www.southpethertonchurch.org.uk/  as does the Methodist Church http://www.southpethertonmethodist.org.uk/
The history of the Roundwell Chapel (now the David Hall Arts Centre)  is on this website.

Lists of People.

All census returns (except 1921 which is currently only available on FindMyPast) can be viewed various commercial websites such as  http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ (1881 is free), http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/  and www.findmypast.com

Census transcriptions for  1841, 1861, 1871, 1891 and 1901 available at  http://www.freecen.org.uk/  

Although the census records with full lists of the entire population did not start until 1841, there are a variety of sources from the C16th onwards which list either able bodied males or of people who had enough property or goods to be taxed or required to serve as jurors. These surviving lists can be found at the Somerset Heritage Centre or at the National Archives at Kew http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ . Some of these Somerset records have been transcribed and published separately, particularly by the Somerset Record Society (SRS) http://www.westcountrygenealogy.com/somerset/somrecsoc.htm  and by Harry Galloway Publishing. A list of some of these sources is set out below:

Dwelly’s National Records Vol 1 Hearth Tax for Somerset 1664-5 with Indices copied from the original rolls by R Holdworthy (1916) – reproduced 1994 by Harry Galloway Publishing ISBN 1-873931-37-9 [none survive for South Petherton]

Somerset Record Society (1904) The Somerset Muster of 1569

Adrian J Webb: The 1601 and 1628 Subsidy Returns for South Somerset; Harry Galloway Publishing (1993) ISBN 1-873931-20-4

Adrian J Webb: Somerset Jurors List 1748; Harry Galloway Publishing (1994) ISBN 1-873931-45-X

A J Howard (transcriber) T L Stoate (Ed): Somerset Protestation Returns and Lay Subsidy Rolls 1641-2

The Harleian Society has published various Visitations including the 1623 Visitation of Somerset published 1876, edited by Frederick Thomas Colby, and the 1672 Visitation of Somerset and the City of Bristol by Sir Edward Busshe transcribed by G D Squibb (1992) ISBN 09 513335 34.  They contain pedigrees of families – of relevance to South Petherton are the AYSHE, BONNER, BROME, COMPTON, FORTE, JOHNSON, MICHELL and SANDYS (1623) and ASHE, BALE, BONNER, COMPTON, HELE, JOHNSON, SANDERS and SANDYS (1672).

Trade Directories are another useful source of information which are increasingly being made available to purchase on CD or the originals can be consulted in the Local Studies Library in Taunton. Many directories are also available on line via the Historical Directories website  which is a digital library of local and trade directories for England and Wales, from 1750 to 1919. It contains (as at August 2007) high quality images of 21 directories which mention South Petherton and include useful information on residents and business people as well as a description of the town. These include:

Slater’s Directory of Berks, Corn, Devon …, 1852-53
Hunt & Co.’s Directory for Gloucester, Bristol & Welsh towns, 1849
Pigot & Co.’s Directory of Berks, Bucks … , 1844. [Part 2: Hants to Wilts, & Wales]
Hunt & Co.’s Directory of Dorset, Hants, Wilts, Som, 1851
Kelly’s Directory of Somerset, 1902
Kelly’s Directory of Somerset, 1897
Kelly’s Directory of Somerset, 1914
Slater’s Directories of Important English Towns, 1847
Hunt & Co’s Directory of Gloucester & Bristol, 1849
Pigot & Co.’s Directory of Derbys, Dorset …, 1842
Kelly’s Directory of Somerset, 1919
Kelly’s Directory of Somerset, 1889
Kelly’s Directory of Bristol, 1902

South Petherton Reading list – detailed references of the books mentioned above:

ANSELL, Robin and BARNES, Marion, Around Yeovil, The Archive Photographs Series (1995), The Chalfont Publishing Company ISBN 0 7524 0178 5

CHUK, Florence The Somerset Years.(1987) Pennard Hill Publications, Ballarat, Victoria ISBN 0 7316 0136 X

DUNNING, R W, South Petherton (1985), Somerset County Library, ISBN 0 86183 095 4  extracted from  The Victoria History of the County of Somerset Volume IV originally published 1978 for the University of London Institute of Historical Research

GOSLING, Gerald and HUDDY, Frank, Crewkerne and the Ham Stone Villages in Old Photographs (1993), Alan Sutton Publishing Ltd ISBN 0 7509 0360 0

LAWSON-CLARKE, Peter – The Blakes of South Petherton, throughout six generations.  ISBN 0 951351338

NORRIS, Hugh  South Petherton in the Olden Time 3rd Edition, reprinted by South Petherton Local History Group (2000) ISBN 1 903785 01 4

NORRIS, Hugh. South Petherton in the olden time! A lecture … Revised edition, with notes. Crewkerne, (1882.)

Official Guide to the Parish of South Petherton, Somerset. With … Illustrations, etc. ; Home Publishing Co.: Croydon (1949)

SOUTH PETHERTON LOCAL HISTORY GROUP, South Petherton in the Twentieth Century : A Village Album (2000) ISBN 0 9513513 5 4

SOUTH PETHERTON LOCAL HISTORY GROUP, Explore South Petherton’s Past (2007)

WALDOCK, M F Explore South Petherton past & present  (1982)

For help with researching family history in Somerset contact the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society:  http://www.sdfhs.org/


 For a list of online resources for Somerset genealogy, try Cyndi’s list website: http://www.cyndislist.com/eng-som.htm


Holdings for South Petherton  in the Somerset Heritage Centre:   http://somerset-cat.swheritage.org.uk/

You can also use their online catalogue to search for documents with your family names (insert name into “Text” box or if you already know the reference number put this in the “Ref No” box).  The Heritage Centre advise that the other fields depend upon manual indexing by place, name and subject and these have not yet been completed.


Curious Fox – a website of village by village genealogy, family and local history enquiries for Somerset. With nearby village finder, links to old photographs and maps etc:




 If your ancestors ended up in the Workhouse check out this fascinating website: (From 1834 the nearest Workhouse was at Yeovil.)



Sue Redfearn has  photographed all gravestones at South Petherton – http://www.maryjane-sue.co.uk/southpetherton/southpetherton.htm

For other villages in Somerset – http://www.maryjane-sue.co.uk/


Website listing Somerset parish register transcriptions available on-line


The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) – http://www.ffhs.org.uk/  

The FHHS website gives  information on first steps in family history and a comprehensive list of useful websites.


Bygone South Petherton Face Book page


Sarah Hawkins Genealogy Site – South Petherton