"LIFTON is a considerable village, pleasantly situated in the valley of the river Lyd, about a mile from its confluence with the Tamar, 4 miles E. of Launceston, and 15 miles W.S.W. of Okehampton, on the mail road. Its parish contains 784 inhabitants, and 5982 acres of land, including about 600 acres of plantation; the hamlets of Tinney, High Cookworthy, Beara, and West Week, and many scattered houses. . . . The manor of Lifton . . . was sold, with 4580 acres, in September, 1845, by W.A.H. Arundell, Esq., to the trustees of the late R.H. Bradshaw, Esq., for Henry Blagrove, Esq, but to be let in trust till he attains the age of 36 years, or till 1856. Mr. Blagrove married Mr. Arundell's eldest daughter, and has a handsome seat here, called Lifton Park, and sometimes Castle Park. . . . The Rev. W. Rayer, Sir W. Molesworth, the Rev. C.T.C. Luxmore, and many smaller proprietors, have estates in the parish, which contains limestone, lead ore, manganese, &c., An argentiferous lead mine has lately been opened at Gatherley, and is likely to be profitable. The Church (St. Mary,) is a large antique fabric, with a lofty tower, containing eight bells, and crowned by a crocketted spire. " [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

A parish in Lifton Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter.



Kirsop, Joseph. The life of Thomas Truscott: missionary to Sierra Leone. London: Andrew Crombie [1890?] 165, [3]p: port.

Pengelly, W. John Harris, Serjeant-at-Law. In: Devonshire gleanings from Manningham’s Diary. Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1875, Vol VII, pp. 382-383. [Transcript]



Nick Mayne has prepared an index to the 1891 census, and is prepared to check for particular names in it on request.


Church History

Duncan Honey. St. Mary's Church, Lifton: history (2nd ed.) (1978) 12p. [Westcountry Studies Library - p726.5/LIF/HON]


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1653 are held in the Devon Record Office.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1650-1837, Burials 1723-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Other churches and chapels (with pre-1840 records):

  • Wesleyan Chapel (erected 1839): Registers - see Launceston Methodist Circuits (Cornwall Register Office)

Nothing entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993).

Brown, Mike. 1754-1812 Burial Indexes: Lifton. RT57, Dartmoor Press (2000).

Lifton Parish Registers, 1653-1812. Typescript (n.d.) [Westcountry Studies Library - x929.3/LIF/1653]

The Deanery of Tavistock, CD008, Devon Family History Society, Exeter (2007). [Contains indexes: Bradstone - Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1755-1838, Burials 1813-1837; Brentor - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1834, Burials 1801-1845; Bridestowe - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Broadwoodwidger - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1836, Burials 1813-1837; Coryton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1837, Burials 1806-1860; Dunterton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1836, Burials 1752-1837; Kelly - Baptisms 1813-1842, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1838; Lamerton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1844, Burials 1812-1838; Lewtrenchard - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1840; Lifton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1650-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Lydford - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1780-1841; Maryystow - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1837, Burials 1792-1837; Milton Abbot - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1838; Princetown - Baptisms 1813-1839, Burials 1815-1853; Sourton - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1723-1837, Burials 1814-1838; Stowford - Baptisms 1811-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Sydenham Damerel - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1837, Burials 1750-1837; Tavistock - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Thrushelton - Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1755-1837, Burials 1813-1837; Virginstow - Baptisms 1813-1839, Marriages 1755-1836, Burials 1813-1839.]


Court Records

Register of Freeholders - Lifton, Northtawton & Plympton c1816, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D131). [Foreword]


Description & Travel

Section on Lifton from Samuel Lewis: A Topographical Dictionary of England (1831), provided by Mel Lockie.

You can see pictures of Lifton which are provided by:



Transcription by Neil Stanton of the entry for Lifton in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.



The transcription of the section for this parish from the National Gazetteer (1868), provided by Colin Hinson.



The Online Parish Clerk scheme's representative for this parish is Diana Perry, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: 1841 census; bapt 1813-51; marr. 1813-37; burials 1813-73.)



Alexander, J.J. The Beginnings of Lifton. Trans. Dev. Assoc. 63 (1931) pp349-358.

Reichel, Oswald J. The "Domesday" Hundreds: The Hundred of Listone. Trans. Dev. Assoc 28 (1896) pp. 464-493. [Listone Hundred encompassed what became Lifton and Tavistock Hundreds.] [Index]

Reichel, O J. Hundred of Lifton in the time of Testa de Nevil, 1243. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 46 (1914). [Index]

Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Lifton, Devon. Typescript (1963) 13 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]



View a map of the boundaries of this town/parish.

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SX386850 (Lat/Lon: 50.642278, -4.284047), Lifton which are provided by:


Names, Personal

1641 Protestation Returns for the Hundred of Lifton, provided by Neil Stanton.

Dixey, Barry. Old Papers Recently Found - Smallacombe, Devon, Devon Family Historian, vol. 161, (2017) p.16. [Papers deposited with DFHS. Names mentioned: Paul, Willis, Pidsley, Blackwall, Mountain, Halse, Palmer, Avant, Mudge, May, Jeffery, Blake, Anning, Goodridge, Gibbons, Wooland, Wheaton, Perriam, Mitchell and Hoskin]


Probate Records

Wills of Thomas Brown (1829) and John Brown (1841) transcribed by Trevor Brown.