Other Sources of Information

There is no one library that has undertaken the task of providing a comprehensive record of the Bible Christians, but within the UK there are three libraries, which are listed below, where Bible Christian material has been collected.

John Rylands University Library of Manchester

The Lewis Court Bible Christian Collection. This is part of the Methodist archives at John Rylands University Library of Manchester.

Address:Methodist Archives & Research Centre
John Rylands University Library of Manchester
150 Deansgate
M3 3EH

Telephone: +44 (0)161 275 3764Further information: Web page

Shebbear College

A small collection of material concerning the Bible Christians is held by the college. Much of it refers to the history of the college.

Address:Mrs Jacky Rowe
Shebbear College
North Devonshire
EX21 5HJ

Telephone: 01-409-281-228

Fax: 01-409-281-784

United Church Archives

In Canada, the United Church Archives at Victoria University, Toronto holds some records concerning the Bible Christians.

United Church Archives of Canada     

Address:The United Church of Canada
Victoria University Archives
73 Queen's Park Crescent East,
M5S 1K7

Telephone: (416) 585-4563

Fax: (416) 585-4584

BMD Records

BMD records in England and Wales before 1837 are deposited in local record offices. As the BMD records prior to 1837 were kept by the Church of England, each event is shown within the parish in which it occurred. This is NOT the case for non-conformist records. The non-conformist churches organised themselves by circuits, which often covered an area containing several parishes. Each circuit had a number of chapels for which a minister was responsible and records were thus kept by circuit.

In searching for a non-conformist ancestor, it is necessary to know not only the location, but also which non-conformist circuits served the location in order to check each possible record where a relevant entry may have been made. Most local record offices will have details of the circuits in their areas.

FOR EXAMPLE : If you find that you have an ancestor from Bridgerule in North Devonshire whom you believe to have been a Bible Christian, by reference to Roger Thorne's list of Bible Christian circuits in Devonshire, in Appendix A or B, you will see that Bridgerule was part of the Holsworthy circuit. The records for the Bible Christian Holsworthy circuit may be found in both Barnstaple and Exeter record offices.

The Bible Christians kept records from the earliest times of their existence. Baptisms and burials were recorded until 1837. Whilst many of their records survive, there are those that have been lost. There is no central repository for Bible Christian records and no central record system. Their records are held in numerous public record offices.

Public Record Office

The original records of baptisms and burials from the Bible Christians at Shebbear are kept in the National Archives in Kew.


Address:Public Record Office

Telephone: 02-083-925-200
Fax: 02-088-788-905
Enquiries: https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact-us/

Devon Record Office

Copies of Bible Christian baptism and burial records for Devonshire are held by the Devon Record Office in Exeter. Copies are also available in local record offices for the circuits in their areas. Shebbear comes within the area covered by the local record office in Barnstaple.

Devon's Heritage Collections (archived copy)

Address:Westcountry Studies Library
Castle Street

Telephone: 01-392-384-216

Address:North Devon Local Studies Centre
Tuly Street
EX31 1EL

Telephone: 01-271-388-607

Cornwall Record Office

Bible Christian baptism and burial records for Cornwall are held in the Cornwall Record Office in Truro.

Address:County Archivist
Cornwall Record Office
County Hall

Telephone: 01-872-323-127
Email: cro[at]ceo.cornwall.gov[dot]uk

Somerset Record Office

Copies of Bible Christian baptism and burial records for Somerset and some for Devonshire where the circuit was cross border.


Address:Somerset Archive and Record Service
Somerset Record Office
Obridge Road

Telephone: 01-823-337-600

Fax: 01-823-325-402

National Register of Archives

The location of records for other Bible Christian circuits may be obtained from the National Register of Archives. Search for Bible Christians under the Corporate Names Index.


International Genealogical Index - IGI

Some of the Bible Christian records have been transcribed on to the IGI. There are three sets of records that cover Devonshire.

Kilkhampton: Although Kilkhampton is located in North Cornwall, the circuit covered much of North West Devonshire. The IGI batch numbers are: C065171 - C065172.

Ringsash: This circuit covered an area towards the north east of Devonshire. The IGI batch number is: C063871.

Shebbear: This circuit covers the area around Shebbear and includes family members of some of the Bible Christians leaders. The IGI batch number is: C063891.

Last modified, 2 Aug 2015

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