Suffolk Registration Districts and Poor Law Unions (1836)

Registration districts of Suffolk in 1836, with maps and list of parishes, based on material compiled by Donovan J. Murrells. This archive may be freely reproduced, except for advertising, endorsement or sales purposes. Please acknowledge the source. 

"When working with the list of places contained in the index books on the shelves of the public search rooms at St. Catherine's House in London, I have long felt the need of continuity from pre-civil registration times. As I pursue a one name study the cost of pursuing the relevant certificates is prohibitive. How much more helpful it would have been if the compilers had known about the future generations of family historians and the use to which their efforts would be put. Perhaps they would have listed under sub-districts rather than the massive all-enveloping Superintendents Districts (RD's). But all my wishful thinking will not put the clock back and we have to work with the situation as it is. In 1946 I asked the Registrar General's Office if any maps or lists were available for study. The reply said that there were not but in any case they would have rapidly have become out of date. In an effort to overcome this difficulty I published a pocket size booklet setting out the registration districts and parish locations for Norfolk in March 1993. This complementary work covers the County of Suffolk also at a time when the area was first divided into Poor Law Unions and subsequently into registration districts, measures taken for the purpose of conducting the first name gathering census and for the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths. The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies in Canterbury do publish two maps of England and Wales on which are marked the general location of each of the registration districts but however useful they may be I need to pinpoint particular parishes within a district. All the parishes listed have been checked as appearing on the maps and vice-versa so keep looking if at first you do not see the one you seek. Names set adjacent to their area can be particular evasive."

"A list in alphabetical order with a three letter abbreviation for use with the list of parishes. There were 19 Superintendents' Registration Districts each of which contained a number of sub-districts. When White makes mention of the latter I have included them in his description of each district. The maps show the Suffolk parishes which were grouped together by the New Poor Laws enacted in 1836 and are based on the details provided by William White's 1844 Gazetteer and Directory of Suffolk. Their location is taken from a map I was given many years ago to show the Deaneries within the Archdeaconries of Sudbury and Suffolk in 1836. Should you wish to see the whole picture I recommend the map sold by the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies of Northgate in Canterbury, Kent. this map gives dates of commencement of the parish registers. Newmarket RD is more in Cambridgeshire than in Suffolk and I made use of the Victorian History of Counties of England to locate the relevant parishes. Thetford RD has a number of its constituent parishes in Norfolk and the map appears in both Suffolk and Norfolk books. Ipswich is shown on the Samford map and Bury St. Edmunds on the Thingoe. There were many changes to these districts in succeeding years but in 1836 the whole county was put in area XII. In 1852 the number was changed to 4a and so it remained until 1946, when in company with so much else those who were incapable of leaving the old establishment in place changed the entire system. Numbering began in Northumberland, descended down the eastern side of the Country to the South Coast and then carried on back up the western side. In 1974 the system was changed yet again with the Country being sub-divided into some 40 areas. Suffolk is in area 10. The reform Bill of 1832 divided Suffolk into two Divisions for electoral and other purposes with 13 of the old Hundreds in the Eastern Division and 9 in the Western. Alfred the Great is reputed to have split England into Tithings, Hundreds and Counties; each of which had the responsibility of maintaining civil order within its border. A tithing may have comprised 10 freeholders and their families and a number of these tithings, towns or villages, perhaps in groups of 100 were set together and called a Hundred. A variable number of such areas form a county or shire and Suffolk was made up of 22 Hundreds which are listed below with a three letter abbreviation again for use with the list of parishes. In only three cases does the boundary of the Hundred coincide with the 1836 RD, namely Hartismere, Samford, and Wangford. Ipswich and Bury St. Edmunds were independent in their own right. In the list of Hundreds where the same name was used for the RD the three letter abbreviation is repeated. The map of the Hundreds has a dotted line to show the East/West divisional break."

Donovan J. Murrells, 428 Bedonwell Road, Abbey Wood, London, SE2 0SE, England, November 1993

Suffolk Registration Districts in 1836

In addition, England Jurisdictions 1851 provided by Family Search is a live clickable map providing information on Suffolk parishes. Click on the map to explore. Also look for the similar parish/place link under "Maps" on the individual town and parish pages.

Location of Suffolk

Suffolk Map

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Suffolk Hundreds

Corrigenda to Suffolk Hundreds Map
Barbergh should be Babergh
Threadling should be Thredling
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Suffolk Hundreds Map

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Suffolk Registration Districts

Suffolk Registration Districts Map

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Blything RD

49 parishes comprising all the 47 parishes of Blything Hundred and Carlton and Kelsale parishes, two detached members of Hoxne Hundred. Blything Hundred is divided into 3 districts, Cratfield, Blythburgh and Wenhaston.

Corrigenda to Blything RD Map
Heveringham should be Heveningham
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Blything RD Map

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Bosmere & Claydon RD

39 parishes comprising all the parishes in the Hundred of that name, except Whitton and Westerfield which are mostly within the Liberty of the Borough of Ipswich and form part of the Ipswich Union. Bosmere and Claydon Union also includes the five parishes of Threadling Hundred namely Debenham, Ashfield with Thorpe, Framsden, Pettaugh and Winston. The Union is divided into 2 sub-districts :- Coddenham and Needham Market.

Corrigenda to Bosmere RD Map
Ash Bocking should be Ashbocking
Offten (with Little Bricett) should be Offton
Stonham Aspall should be Stonham Aspal
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Bosemere RD Map

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Bury St Edmunds RD

Comprises 2 parishes, St. Mary and St. James.

No map.

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Cosford RD

28 Parishes comprising 18 parishes of Cosford Hundred and 10 parishes of Babergh Hundred, namely Boxford which includes Hadleigh Hamlet, Brent Eleigh, Cockfield, Edwardstone, Groton, Lavenham, Milden, Monks Eleigh, Polsted and Preston. It is divided into 2 sub-districts:- Hadleigh and Lavenham.


Corrigenda to Cosford RD Map
The topmost of the two parishes shown as Boxford should be Groton
Chelesworth should be Chelsworth
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Cosford RD Map

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Hartismere RD

Comprises the 32 parishes of Hartismere Hundred grouped into 3 sub-districts :- Botesdale, Eye and Mendlesham.

Corrigenda to Hartismere RD Map
The unmarked parish outline adjacent to Brome and Stuston is Oakley
Pinningham should be Finningham
Westhope should be Westhorpe
Yanley should be Yaxley
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Hartismere RD Map

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Hoxne RD

Comprises 24 of the 26 parishes of Hoxne Hundred, the exception being Carlton and Kelsale which, being detached members of Hoxne Hundred are in Blything Union. Hoxne is divided into 2 sub-districts:- Stradbroke and Dennington. Mendam parish is partly in Norfolk (800 acres).

Hoxne RD Map

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Ipswich RD

14 parishes comprising 12 in the town of Ipswich plus the parishes of Westerfield and Whitton which are mostly within the liberty of the borough.

No map.

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Mildenhall RD

Comprises 13 parishes:- Mildenhall, Eriswell, Icklingham, Lakenheath, Wangford, Barton Mills, Cavenham, Elveden, Freckenham,
Herringswell, Kentford, Tuddenham and Worlington. Mildenhall Union is divided into 2 sub-districts :- Lakenheath and Worlington.

Corrigenda to Mildenhall RD Map
The Parish of Wangford on the Mildenhall R.D. map should not be confused with Wangford near Southwold in Blything R.D.
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Mildenhall RD Map

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Mutford RD

Comprises 25 parishes in Mutford and Lothingland Hundred which includes South Town or Little Yarmouth, a suburb of Great Yarmouth which forms part of that Borough, to which Gorleston was added by the reform act.

Corrigenda to Mutford RD Map
Carton should be Corton
Oulton Broad near Lowestoft is not shown
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Mutford RD Map

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Newmarket RD

17 parishes comprising the two parishes of Newmarket :- All Saints which is in Chevely Hundred, Cambridgeshire and St. Mary's which is in Lackford Hundred, Suffolk, plus the 6 parishes of Dalham, Gazeley, Lidgate, Moulton, Ousden and Exning which are in Suffolk together with the 21 parishes of Ashley, Burrough Green, Bottisham, Brinkley, Burwell, Cheveley, Chippenham, Dullingham, Fordham, Isleham, Kennet, Kirtling, Lanwade, Soham, Snailwell, Stretchworth, Swaffham Prior, Swaffham Bulbeck, Westley, Wicken, and Wood-Ditton all in Cambridgeshire.

Newmarket RD Map

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Plomesgate RD

40 parishes, the 23 in Plomesgate Hundred, Wickham Market in Wilford Hundred and 16 of the 18 in Loes Hundred. The two exceptions of the latter being Kenton and Woodbridge which are in Woodbridge Union. Plomesgate Union is divided into 6 sub-districts :- Earl Soham, Saxmundham, Aldeburgh, Orford, Wickham Market, and Framlingham.

Corrigenda to Plomesgate RD Map
Banhall should be Benhall (e.g. Benhall Street & Benhall Green)
Gedgrave is not shown on the Map, but is near Orford
Havergate Island is not shown on the Map, but is near Orford
Hazelwood is not shown on the map, but is in the area of Friston near Aldeburgh
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Plomesgate RD Map

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Risbridge RD

26 parishes comprising 20 0f the 30 parishes in Risbridge Hundred, the exceptions being :- Hawkedon which is in Sudbury Union, Kentford which is in Mildenhall Union, Dalham, Gazeley, Lidgate, Moulton, and Ousden which are in Newmarket Union, Chedburgh, Denham and Depden which are in Thingoe Union. The Union is divided into 3 sub-districts :- Haverhill, Clare and Wickhambrook. Risbridge Monks is extra parochial.

Corrigenda to Risbridge RD Map
Mundon should be Hundon
Monk's Risbridge is an extra parochial place adjoining the parish of Barnardiston, in the hundred of Risbridge, 4 miles N.W. of Clare.
It gives name to the hundred and Poor-law Union of Risbridge, which comprises 26 parishes and townships.
Note that this map includes part of Essex
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Risbridge RD Map

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Samford RD

Comprises the 28 parishes in Samford Hundred. It is divided into Capel and Holbrook sub-districts.

Corrigenda to Samford RD Map
The un-named Parish outline is Belstead
Parish of Higham is perhaps better described as Higham by Nayland
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Samford RD Map

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Stow RD

34 parishes comprising 14 in Stow Hundred, 11 in Blackbourn Hundred, and 9 in Thedwestry Hundred. The Union is divided into 3 sub-districts :- Stowmarket, Rattlesden, and Walsham-le-Willows.

Stow RD Map

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Sudbury RD

Comprises the borough of Sudbury and 41 other parishes of which 22 are in Babergh Hundred and 18 in Hinckford Hundred in Essex. The latter are Alphamstone, Ballingdon, Belchamp-Otten, Belchamp-St. Paul, Belchamp-Walter, Borley, Bulmer, Bures Hamlet, Foxearth, Gestingthorpe, Great Henny, Little Henny, Lamarsh, Liston, Middleton, Pentloe, Twinstead and Wickham St. Paul. Sudbury Union is divided into 5 sub-districts :- Sudbury, Hartest, Melford, Bulmer and Bures.

Sudbury RD Map

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Thetford RD

34 parishes comprising the 3 parishes of Thetford, namely St. Peters, St. Cuthberts and St Marys, Kilverstone, Croxton, East Wretham, West Wretham, Brettenham, Rushford, Hethwold, Northwold, Santon, Hockwold-cum-Wilton, Feltwell, Mundford, Lynford, West Tofts, Sturston, Cranwich, and Weeting-cum-Broomhill all in Norfolk. Also the parishes of Santon Downham, Brandon, Barnham, Fakenham-Magna, Euston, Honnington, Sapiston, Coney Weston, Barningham, Weston Market, Hepworth, Thelnetham, Hopton and Knettishell in Blackbourn and Lackford Hundreds in Suffolk. Thetford Union is divided into 2 sub-districts :- Thetford and Methwold.

Corrigenda to Thetford RD Map
Note that this map includes parts of Norfolk
Rymer is an extra-parochial place in the hundred of Blackbourn, 5 miles S. of Thetford
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Thetford RD Map

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Thingoe RD

46 Parishes of which 15 are in Thedwestry Hundred, 10 in Blackbourn Hundred, 18 in Thingoe Hundred plus 3 in Risbridge Hundred viz. Chedburgh, Denham, and Depden.

Corrigenda to Thingoe RD Map
Hargreave should be Hengrave
Harringer should be Horringer
Chimney Mills is an extra-parochial place in the hundred of Blackbourn, in the county of Suffolk, 5 miles N.W. of Bury St. Edmunds, it became part of Culford in 1897
Blank Parish outline below Bardwell should be Stanton
Un-named Parish outline above the words Risbridge RD is Depden
Ickworth is not shown on map, there is no village, the whole of the parish being comprised within Ickworth Park.
Farnham All Saints should be Fornham All Saints
Farnham St Genevieve should be Fornham St Genevieve
Farnham St Martin should be Fornham St Martin
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Thingoe RD Map

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Wangford RD

Comprises the 27 parishes of Wangford Hundred. South Elmham All Saints and St. Nicholas being united as one. Wangford Union is divided into Beccles and Bungay sub-districts.

Corrigenda to Wangford RD Map
Flinton should be Flixton
Cove North should be North Cove
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Wangford RD Map

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Woodbridge RD

46 parishes comprising the 28 of Colneis and Carlford Hundreds, Woodbridge and Charlsfield in Loes Hundred and 16 of the 17 parishes in Wilford Hundred, the exception being Wickham Market which is in Plomesgate Union. Woodbridge Union is divided into 4 sub-districts :- Woodbridge & Wilford Town, Woodbridge Outer, Carlford and Colneis.

Corrigenda to Woodbridge RD Map
Dallinghoo Wield (not shown, but between Dallinghoo and Debach) was the smallest parish in England (38 acres, no population) until local government changes saw it disappear completely
Petistree should be Pettistree.
Purdies Farm should be Purdis Farm.
It is hoped to provide updated maps in the near future

Woodbridge RD Map

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