"PARKHAM (ST. JAMES), a parish, in the union of BIDEFORD, hundred of SHEBBEAR, Great Torrington and N. divisions of DEVON, 6 miles (S. W.) from Bideford; containing 995 inhabitants. The parish is situated on the shore of the Bristol Channel, by which it is bounded on the north, and comprises 5330 acres, whereof 1426 are waste; the surrounding scenery is strikingly diversified, and the views are interesting and extensive, embracing the Welsh coast, Lundy Island, Clovelly, Hartland Point, and Bideford Bar. Lime is extensively burned; and excellent sand for manure is obtained on the beach. . . The church has an enriched Norman door. Two schools are supported by subscription. Bableigh, in the parish, was long held by the family of Risdon, of which the county historian of that name was a member." [From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England (1844)]

A parish in Shebbear Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Barnstaple, and the Diocese of Exeter.



Few, Janet. The King of Bucks: The Life of Captain James Braund 1809-1898, Braund Society (2001) 36 pp. [ISBN 978-0954045005]

Jacob, George. Looking back with George Jacob on Parkham and Bideford of years ago. Printed by the Bideford Gazette Ltd, 5 Grenville St, Bideford (undated) 49 pp. [Index]

Reichel, Oswald J.; Rose-Troup, Frances. Walter de Clopton. Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries 11:1, (1920) pp.41-42. [See vol.10, p.321, par.315.] [Clergy, -1347] [Transcript]


Business & Commerce Records

Listings of Licensed Victuallers for this parish are to be found here.



MIs for this parish are included in the NDA North Devon index - see under Cemeteries on the main Devon page.



Transcriptions of the Parkham Census for 1841 and 1861, provided by Elizabeth Glover Howard.

Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler. [Covers 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]


Church History

Drawing of Parkham Church and Churchyard, from about 1833, provided by Elizabeth Howard.


Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1537 are held in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1537 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library.

Transcriptions of Parkham Baptisms 1813-1843, Marriages 1813-1882, and Burials 1813-1871, provided by Elizabeth Glover Howard, and made available here by kind permission of the incumbent, Rev. Phil Goodey.

The Genogold search service  for Parkham PRs is currently unavailable (August 2017).

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Marriages 1537-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their Devon Parish List.

Bideford Methodist Circuit baptisms (1819 -1870) transcribed by David Carter. (Contains entries from the following parishes: Abbotsham, Allington, Alverdiscott, Alwington, Appledore, Arlington, Barnstaple, Bideford, Buckland Brewer, Bucks Mills, Burrington, Chulmleigh, Clovelly, Fremington, Frithelstock, Great Torrington, Hatherleigh, Huntshaw, Ilfracombe, Instow, Landcross, Little Torrington, Littleham, Loxhore, Marystowe, Monkleigh, Newton Tracey, Northam, Parkham, South Molton, St Giles in the Wood, Wear Giffard, Westleigh, Woolfardisworthy.)

An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of Abbotsham, Alverdiscott, Alwington, Bideford, Buckland Brewer, Bulkworthy, Clovelly, East Putford, Frithelstock, Hartland, Landcross, Littleham, Monkleigh, Northam, Parkham, Wear Gifford, Welcombe and West Woolfardisworthy. With photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850 and Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England 1844, CD-ROM, Exeter, Devon FHS (2009). [Abbotsham Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Alverdiscott Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1775-1837; Alwington Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bideford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Buckland Brewer Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Bulkworthy Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1814-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Clovelly Bapt: 1813-1838, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; East Putford Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1797-1837, Bur: 1813-1839; Frithelstock Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Hartland Bapt: 1838-1839, Mar: 1558-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Landcross Bapt: 1814-1839, Mar: 1761-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Littleham Bapt: 1813-1841, Mar: 1755-1837, Bur: 1813-1851; Monkleigh Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Northam Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Parkham Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1537-1837, Bur: 1813-1837; Wear Gifford Bapt: 1813-1840, Mar: 1755-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; Welcombe Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1757-1836, Bur: 1813-1837; West Woolfardisworthy Bapt: 1813-1839, Mar: 1754-1837, Bur: 1813-1837.]

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

  • Wesleyan Chapel: Registers for c1807-37 - see Barnstaple Circuit, Bideford (PRO RG 4/954, 955)

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1537-1812, Marriages 1813-1837.

Dredge, J.I. The Rectors of Parkham. Notes and Gleanings - Devon and Cornwall 1 (1888) pp.10-13 and 24-25.

Dredge, J.I. The Registers of Parkham, 1537-1812, Devon & Cornwall Record Soc. (Old Series) A2. (1906). [With list of contributors to Poor Rate in 1640.] [Full text - with complete index, pp.181-214]

Riley, Henry Thomas. The manuscripts of the parish of Parkham, North Devon. IN: Great Britain. Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. Report of the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. London (1874) 32 cm. Fourth report. Appendix, pp. 468-469

Parkham Church Rate for 1674 and 1675, transcribed by Arthur Dark.


Description & Travel

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

You can see pictures of Parkham which are provided by:



Transcript of complete entry in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

Transcription provided by Val Henderson of the entry (description and names) in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devonshire 1870.



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 Elizabeth Glover Howard, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: PRs 1537-1812 1841, 61 census.)

Janet Few is conducting a One-Place Study of the village of Bucks Mill (which is partly also in the parish of West Woolfardisworthy), and invites anyone researching in this village to contact her.

Glover Family History - an illustrated account of a family that has been traced back to 16th century Parkham, by Elizabeth Howard.

Bates, I.M. Tardew, a history of the Tardew family around the world: Descendants of Philip and Prudence of Parkham, N. Devon (1997). [ISBN 09587021] [DFHS Library]

Dark, Arthur. A North Devon family: a family history of some of the descendants of the Darks of Parkham. [s.l.]: A. Dark (1986) 130p: ill, maps. [Westcountry Studies Library - sx929.2/DAR]

Dark, Arthur. Dark of Parkham. CD-ROM, Arthur Dark (2004). [Supersedes A North Devon Family (1986) - obtainable from the author.]

Jackson, Patricia. Two Devonians Meet and Marry in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, Devon Family Historian, vol. 138, (2011) pp.26-27. [Henry James Kivell and Beatrice Mary Day Glover, both from Parkham families]

Few, Janet. Before Braundsworthy: The Braund Family History 1000-1500, Braund Society (2012) 28 pp. [ISBN 978-1906416003]



Portrait of a Parish: Parkham 1841/1842, by Arthur Dark.

The History of Bucks Mills, by Janet Few.

The Parkham Murder, by Elizabeth Glover Howard - based on newspaper acounts of the murder in 1871 of Anthony Clements.

Few, Rebecca and Few, Janet. Who lived in Cottages like these - the inhabitants of Bucks Mills, Braund Society (2003) 83pp. [Index]

Giffard, Hardinge F. Giffard's jump. Trans. Devon. Assoc., Vol. 34, 1902, pp.648-703. Westcountry Studies Library [Giffard family] [Westcountry Studies Library 929.2/GIF] [Index]

Jacob, George. Looking back on Parkham and Bideford of years ago. Bideford: Bideford Gazette (1970) 46p: ill. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/PAR 3/1900/JAC]


Land & Property

Transcription of Parkham Land Tax for 1780, 1800 and 1830, provided by Elizabeth Glover Howard.

Transcription of Parkham-Related Deeds, from John Tingey's Index to aCalendar of Deeds Enrolled Within the County of Devon 1536 - 1673, provided by Elizabeth Glover Howard.



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

You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SS388215 (Lat/Lon: 50.970299, -4.297259), Parkham which are provided by:


Military History

Parkham's Fallen Heroes, compiled by Elizabeth Howard

Lawrence, Janet. On the north wall of St James Church, Parkham hangs an illustrated Roll of Honour to Parkham's soldiers and sailors from the Great War 1914-1918, Devon Family Historian, vol. 181, (2022) pp.46-47. [Well illustrated. Includes an account of Titus Tithecott Pearce (1894-1918).]


Names, Personal

Transcription of the Parkham Protestation Returns (1641), provided by Elizabeth Glover Howard.

Parkham contributors to a 1678 brief for the rebuilding of St Paul's Cathedral.



Parkham Apprentice Register 1802-1848. [Devon]: Devon Family History Society (2013). [Foreword]


Probate Records

Will of William Braund (1811), transcribed by Janet Few.

Will of Christian Britten (1660), transcribed by Bev Edmonds.