"A county of England [map (above) shows location] reaching from the Bristol to the English Channel, and bounded by Cornwall, and Somersetshire, and Dorsetshire. It is 69 miles in length, and 60 in breadth, and is divided into 31 hundreds. It is very hilly, and abounds in huge granite rocks, some of whose peaks are above 1500 feet in height. The highland is covered with wide moors, of which Dartmoor is the most extensive. But in the valleys and lower ground the soil is fertile. Its rivers are the Exe, the Culm, the Dart, the Tamar, the Otter, &c. Some parts of its coasts are composed of lofty cliffs, but at others there is a beautiful sandy shore. The air and climate are so mild and salubrious that invalids often retire to its sea-ports for the winter. Limestone, granite, some building-stone, and a species of wood-coal are found here, as well as some kinds of variegated marble. It produces corn, &c. and fruit trees, especially apples, whence much cider is made. Its fisheries also are of value. Exeter is its chief city. Population, 533,460. It sends 22 members to parliament." (From Barclay's Complete and Universal English Dictionary, 1842.)  


NOTE 1: The Online Gazetteer of Devon can be used to identify which town or parish a place is located in. There is also a FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) file for these Devon pages, and a What's New page listing major recent additions. A discussion forum, DEVON-GEN, the Google Group associated with GENUKI/Devon, is co-sponsored by the Devon FHS. For information related to specific families or individuals see Genealogies, and Biographies; to locate transcripts of wills for specific individuals see Wills

NOTE 2: Volunteers are sought for the Devon Pre-1841 Census and Population Listing Transcription Project, the Devon Book Indexing Project, and the Devon Online Parish Clerks scheme.



Gray, T. The Devon Almanac, Mint Press, Stevensbooks, 76 Longbrook Street, Exeter, EX4 6AP (c1999). [ISBN 19033560]


Archives & Libraries






Business & Commerce Records

Licensed Victuallers for the north-west area of Devon for 1651-1671, and for the North Shebbear and Hartland hundred for 1728-17491750-17751776-1800 and 1801-1828, together with an overall Index, provided by David Carter.

Bank Returns (providing Name listings together with Residence and Occupation details), from the Exeter and Plymouth Gazette, the Exeter Flying Post, the North Devon Journal, the Western Times and the Western Morning News, provided by Lindsey Withers.

Amery, P.F.S. Statutes from Magna Carta to End of Reign of George II bearing on the Woollen Trade in Devon. In: Sketch of Ashburton and the Woollen Trade. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 8 (1876), pp. 338-350. [Transcript]

Gray, Todd. The Exeter Cloth Dispatch Book, 1763-1765, Devon and Cornwall Record Society (1990) 352 pp. [ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0901853639] ["a newly discovered manuscript detailing the exports of Claude Passavant, a Swiss émigré merchant. . . Thirteen chapters discuss the local and wider contexts of sixteenth century cloth making."]

Randell, Brian. Bank Returns in GENUKI/Devon, Devon Family Historian, vol. 178, (2021) pp.18-19.

Strong, H.W. A Contribution to the Commercial History of Devonshire. Trans. Devon Assoc., 1890, Vol XXII, pp. 129-137. [Transcript]

Sun Life Fire Office Records for Devon. Devon Historian, 33 (Jan 1985) pp.15.





  • Devon - Census - links and information.


A North Devon Chronology - from The Heritage Album: 175 years in North Devon (1824-1999).


Church History


Church Records


Civil Registration

Certificates of birth, death and marriage (post-1837) can be obtained (by post or online) from the General Register Office.

Alternatively, they can be obtained, for all of Devon, other than Plymouth and Torbay from:

Devon Register Office
Castle Street

Telephone: +44 (0)845 155 1002
Fax: +44 (0)1392 384232
Email: srexeter[at]devon.gov[dot]uk

For details of ordering Plymouth and Torbay area certificates see:

Microfiche copies of post-1837 marriage registers can be purchased from the Devon Record Office.

Detailed listing, by Brett Langston, of the places covered by the various Devon Registration districts.


Correctional Institutions

Printed Sources on Prisons in Devon (archived copy), and on Crime and Punishment (archived copy), from the Devon Record Office.

Devon Prisons (archived copy) - brief details and staff listings, from the Rossbret Prisons web-site.

Reports in Australian Newspapers (1819-1829) of Escaping Devon Prisoners, provided by Lindsey Withers.

Persons Executed at the Devon County Gaol - 1795-1854 (listing provided by Devon Heritage).

Howard, A.J. (Ed.). Medieval Gaol Delivery Rolls for the County of Devon (1354-1412) (1986). [Devon FHS Library p942.35041]

Scott-Fox, Charles. Devon County Prison 1853-2003: Origins and history of HM Prison & Remand Centre, Exeter. Charles Scott-Fox, Ayshford House, Westleigh, Tiverton, Devon EX16 7HL (2004) viii, 96p: ill, maps, ports [ISBN 0954701305].

Prison Ladies Photographs - 1870s, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D034). [Foreword]


Court Records


Description & Travel




Emigration & Immigration


Encyclopaedias & Dictionaries

Downes, J. A Dictionary of Devon Dialect, Tabb House, 11 Church St, Padstow, Cornwall PL28 8BG. (1986). [ISBN 0-907018-33-5] [On Devon social history, as well as dialect.] [2nd edition titled A Guide to Devon Dialect (1998)]



  • Devon - Folklore - links and information.


An extensive listing of Devon places (nearly 12,000 in number) is provided by the Online Devon Gazetteer. This has been produced mainly from White's History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Devonshire (1850), whose text is used to to infer (unfortunately not necessarily always accurately) which parish or town the various places (chapels, churches, farms, hamlets, houses, inns, manors, schools, streets, villages, etc.) are located in. (This listing does not provide actual grid references.)

The transcription of the Devonshire section from the National Gazetteer (1868), is provided by Colin Hinson. Links to the transcriptions of the gazetteer's parish descriptions are provides on individual parish pages.

The Historical Gazetteer of England's Place Names - Devon Section (archived copy).

Devon Local Studies Service has a very useful online Historic Gazetteer down to parish level, with summary historical and statistical information, and in most cases an early map, illustration and descriptive text.

Samantha Letters' Gazetteer of Markets and Fairs to 1516 - Devon section.

Devon Section of the Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales, 1894-5, together with a map of the county.

White, W. History, Gazetteer, and Directory of Devonshire (Reprint of the 1850 edition), Newton Abbot: David & Charles (1968) 804p.
"The first county directory of Devon of any real historical value."





Index to Devon Entries in Phillimore's Hatchments in Britain, Vol 7: Cornwall, Devon, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Somerset, eds. Peter Summers and John E Titterton (1988).

Heraldry of the West of England - "The core of this site is a list in progress of about seven thousand coats of arms and their variants associated with Devon and Cornwall . . . The main purpose of the list is to aid identification of coats of arms seen in such places as churches in the West Country."

Devon Heraldry - a very extensive and lavishly-illustrated Wikipedia entry, providing not just large numbers of escutcheon illustrations, but also lots of details about associated people and places.

Carew, Sir G. Sir George Carew's Scroll of Arms - With Additions from Joseph Holland's Collection of Arms 1579. Devon Notes & Queries, Vol. vol 1, pt. 2. (Jan. 1900 to October 1901) illus. pp. 152. [Index] [Index to Holland's Collection]

Colby, F T. Mottoes of some Devonshire families. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol 29, (1897) pp. 286-290. [Index]

Jewers, A.J. Heraldic & Genealogical Notes from South Devon Churches, (1885).

Shirley, Evelyn Philip. Devonshire, pp. 53-69. In The noble and gentlemen of England; or, Notes touching the arms and descents of the ancient knightly and gentle houses of England, arranged in their respective counties. (1859). Westminster: John Bowyer Nichols & Sons, illus. vii, 315 pp. [Index]


Historical Geography



  • Devon - History - links and information.

Jewish History

Friedlander, Evelyn. The Jews of Devon and Cornwall: Essays and exhibition catalogue, Bristol, Hidden Legacy Foundation (2000) 123 pp. : ill. [ISBN 1900178826] [Essays: Judaism and the Jewish people, Synagogues and cemeteries in the South-West, The rabbis and ministers, Nathan Joseph Altmann, Lemon Hart, Solomon Alexander Hart RA, 1806-1881, Ezekiel Abraham Ezekiel of Exeter, The Jews of Barnstaple]

Fry, Helen. Jews in North Devon During the Second World War, Halsgrove (2005) 160 pp. [ISBN: 1841144371] [Index]

Susser, Bernard. The Jews of Devon and Cornwall, from the Middle Ages until the early twentieth century Thesis, University of Exeter (1997) xxi, 421 l. facsims.

Susser, Bernard. The Jews of Devon and Cornwall, Tiverton, Halsgrove Press (2000) 124 pp. [ISBN 1900178826]

Susser, Bernard. The Jews of south-west England: the rise and decline of their medieval and modern communities, Exeter, Devon, University of Exeter Press (1993) xxii, 361 pp. : ill. [Based on the author's PhD thesis] [New York Public Library]


Land & Property


Language & Languages

The Britsh Library's Survey of English Dialects provides recordings of many dialects, including eleven from Devon.

The Devonshire Association's Devonshire Dialect Dictionary - "the most comprehensive collation and ordering of dialectal lexis yet achieved in respect of Devon . . . The total lexical corpus of approximately 14,400 words is arranged in dictionary form."

Devon Voices - BBC pages on the Devon dialect.

Devon Alphabet - from the BBC Radio Devon website.

Jan Stewer CDs - "During the 1930's A. J. Coles wrote a number of short stories in the Devon Dialect, and these were collated as a series of books, using phonetic spelling to indicate the appropriate pronunciation. . . John Sage has been given permisson by the Copyright holder to record these stories and sell the recordings to raise money for the maintenance of Luppitt Church."

Brushfield, T N. Who wrote "The Exmoor scolding and courtship"? Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol 20, (1888) pp. 400-409. [Index]

Downes, John. Dictionary of Devon Dialect, Tabb House, 11 Church St., Padstow, Cornwall (1986) 97 pp. [ISBN: 0907018335]

Elworthy, F.T. Fourth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XIII, (1881), pp. 78-97. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Fifth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XIV, (1882), pp. 128-151. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Sixth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XV, (1883), pp. 74-98. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Seventh Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XVI, (1884), pp. 86-121. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Eighth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XVII, (1885), pp. 77-117. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Ninth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XVIII, (1886), pp. 78-102. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Tenth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XIX, (1887), pp. 63-82. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Eleventh Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XXI, (1889), pp. 84-109. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Twelfth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XXIII, (1891), pp. 125-143. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Thirteenth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XXV, (1893), pp. 181-211. [Index]

Elworthy, F.T. Fourteenth Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XXVII, (1895), pp. 40-60. [Index]

Firth, F.H. First Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol.  IX, (1877), pp. 123-142. [Index]

Firth, F.H. Second Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol.  IX, (1877), pp. 123-142. [Index]

Gray, Todd. How to Swear Like an Elizabethan in Devon, Mint Press (2016) 36 pp. [ISBN-13 ‏: ‎ 978-1903356685] ["Nearly 200 other insulting words and terms were commonly used by Elizabethan Devonians. Mell, ninny hammer, wittol, bally rag, nippy and bull beef. These and nearly 200 other insulting words and terms were commonly used by Elizabethan Devonians. This book unveils them in this list of scandalous, offensive and rude language."]

Gregory, Alfred T., (Ed.). Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms: As Collected by Members of the Devonshire Association for Advancement of Science, Literature, & Art etc. 1877 to 1908, Devonshire Association (1909) viii, 196 p.

Hewett, Sarah. The Peasant Speech of Devon, and other matters connected therewith, (1892) ix + 184 p.

Lamplugh, Lois. Four Centuries of Devon Dialect as Recorded in Print, R.M. Young, 17 Broad Street, South Molton EX36 3AQ (1999) 175 pp.

Laycock, Charles H. (Ed.). Twenty-Third Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol.  XLII, (1910), pp. 64-90. [Index]

Laycock, Charles H. (Ed.). Twenty-Seventh Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol.  44, (1914), pp. 79-92. [Index]

Laycock, Charles H. (Ed.). Thirty-Second Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol.  51, (1919), pp. 65-78. [Index]

Laycock, Charles H. (Ed.). Thirty-Third Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol.  52, (1920), pp. 62-77. [Index]

Marten, Clement. The Devonshire dialect: being a collection of reminiscences, anecdotes, customs and traditions in which the Devonshire dialect is shown to be an important part of the character of the Devonshire people ... (4th ed.), Newton Abbot, Peninsula (1992) 48 pp. [ISBN: 1872640222]

[Palmer, Mary] A Dialogue in the Devonshire Dialect, London, Longman & Co. (1837) vi + 85 pp.

[Palmer, M.]. Devonshire Courtship, Devonport and London, (c186-) 74 pp.

Pearse Chope, R. The Book Dialect of North Devon. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. 49, (1917), pp. 320-340. [Index]

Pengelly, W. Verbal Provincialisms of South-Western Devonshire. Trans. Devon Assoc. Vol. XI, (1879), pp. 122-145. [Index]

Pengelly, W. Third Report of the Committee on Devonshire Verbal Provincialisms. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol.  IX, (1877), pp. 123-142. [Index]

Pengelly, W. Words Current in Devonshire in the Fifteenth Century but which are now Obsolete or Obsolescent. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XIV, (1882), pp. 199-220. [Index]

Phillips, K.C. Westcountry Words & Ways, David & Charles: Newton Abbot (1976)

Sherracombe, Will. Devonshire folk: Stories from remote village, farms and hills, London, Heath Cranton Limited (1937) 180 pp. [Westcountry Studies Library 828.99]



Ian Mortimer has produced a splendid Guide to the Manors of Devon, which provides a detailed listing of Devon's over two thousand manors. Please note: it is requested that anyone citing material from these pages should take care to acknowledge the source of their information.

The Survey of West Country Manors 1525: Devon, Somerset, Dorset and Wiltshire is available on microfiche from Harry Galloway Publishers and Booksellers, The Cottage, Manor Terrace, Paignton, Devon TQ3 3RQ.

Catalogue of documents relating to a number of Devon manors held by King's College, Cambridge: "Alphington, Crealy Barton, Highampton, Honeychurch, Ipplepen, Sampford Courtenay, St James Priory in Exeter, Tiverton and Walkhampton."

Pearson, J B. Manors in Devon, 1755. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 35 (1903) pp. 654-661. [Index]

Scott, Brad. The rural manor in South-west Devon in the nineteenth century. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 129, (1997) pp.129-143: ill.

Stoate, T.L., (Ed.). A Survey of West Country Manors 1525, Bristol, T.L. Stoate (1979) 193 pp.



  • Devon - Maps - links and information.

Medical Records

Devon County Lunatic Asylum, Exminster - Indexes to Admissions 1845-1916 and Burials 1845-1982, compiled by Jeff Ellis.

Exeter burials of patients who died in Devon and Exeter Hospital, compiled by Peter Selley.

Hinchcliffe, Peter. Devon Constabulary Benefit Society: Study of infant mortality before the National Health Service, Devon Family Historian, vol. 167, (2018) pp.38-40.

Sellley, Maureen. The North Devon Infirmary, Devon Family Historian, vol. 176, (2020) pp.32-33.

Thomas, Gail. 'Yellow Jack' or the 'Black Vomit': Devonian victims of yellow fever in the 19th century, Devon Family Historian, vol. 169, (2019) pp.24-29. [Details of nearly 30 Devonians who died abroad.]


Merchant Marine

Listing of books and papers on Devon Maritime topics.

Shipping Records (archived copy) at the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office.

Bob Sanders provides a lengthy listing of: Bristol Channel Shipping accidents.

Fund for widows and orphans of Clovelly fishermen lost in the 1821 storm - extracts from Trewman's Exeter Flying Post.

Plymouth and Devon Shipwrecks - by Submerged Productions.

Devon Crew Lists available on film from the LDS.

Crew lists of several vessels that sailed from Dartmouth to Newfoundland in 1770.

The Sinking of the "John", May 1855 (archived copy), by Mark Sandford. (The John was en route from Plymouth for Quebec under Captain Edward Rawle - this website reproduces contemporary newspaper and court reports, and provides many details of the crew and passengers.)

Article by Thomas Cole on Clears Cove and Devon Fishermen.

A Maritime Collection - a set of articles, mainly relating to North Devon, provided by John Lerwill.

The Great Storm of 1821 - by Peter Christie.

South Devon-registered Master Mariners & Mates (archived copy), from Lloyd's Captains' Register 1869, by the late Ray Osborn.

The Fishery and Fish Trade, 1500-1800, by Olaf U. Janzen, Professor of History, Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

How West communities faced 300 years of terror from Barbary pirates (archived copy), from This Is Cornwall.

Salt Cod and the Atlantic Crossing: an important aspect of Exe Estuary life for several centuries, by Jenny Moon.


Military History


Names, Geographical


Names, Personal








Politics & Government

Pearson, Rev. J.B. Devonshire in Parliament, 1660-1832. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. XXX, (1898), pp. 371-377. [Indexes]

Pengelly, W. Representatives of Devonshire in the Parliament Dissolved September 21st, 1710. In Miscellaneous Devonshire Gleanings, Part II, Trans. Devon. Assoc., 1875, Vol VII, pp. 72-73. [Transcript]


Poor Houses, Poor Law



Friends of Devon's Archives: preliminary report of the Black History Project - a collection of 17th and 18th century documentary references to blacks, currently (Oct 2006) listing just 80.

Details of people from Devon that were "associated with" claims for compensation when slavery was abolished, extracted from the database created by the Legacies of British Slave-ownership project.

Gray, Todd. Devon's Last Slave-Owners: Plantations, compensation & the enslaved. 1834, Mint Press (2021) 300 pp. [ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1903356760]

MacKeith, Lucy. Local Black History - a beginning in Devon. Archives and Museum of Black Heritage, 378 Coldharbour Lane, London SW9 8LF (2003) [Full text and illustrations (archived copy).]

Comparative Account of the Population of Great Britain in the years 1801, 1811, 1821, and 1831. House of commons (19 October 1831) 432pp. - Devon Section. (Provides parish-level population counts.)


Probate Records



Devon schools as listed in the UK Schoolswebdirectory.

Devon and Exeter Boys' Industrial School - from childrenshomes.org,

Bond, Sue. Devon Dairy Schools, Devon Family Historian, vol. 164, (2017) pp.12-13.

Bovett, Robert (comp.). Dates of School Buildings in Devon: a list of dates of the present buildings of schools maintained by the Devon Local education Authority & some notes about the buildings still in use dating from the 18th century and earlier, (1965). [SoG Library DE/G 105]

Bovett, Robert. Historical Notes on Devon Schools, Devon County Council (1989) 438 pp. [ISBN 0-86114-995-5]

Griffin, Richard. Devon connections from Harrow School. The author. [DFHS Library p378.4231]

Orme, Nicholas. Education in the West of England 1066-1548. University of Exeter Press (1976) 254 pp. [ISBN: 978085989707].

Bovett, Robert. Historical Notes on Devon Schools (1889). [SoG Library, DE/G 103]

Porter, Jeffrey, (Ed.). Education and Labour in the South West, Exeter Papers in Economic History, No. 10 (1975). [ISBN 0859890759] [Devon FHS Library p942.3]

Roach, Barbara. Who'd be a Teacher?, Devon Family Historian, vol. 171, (2019) pp.10-11.

Sellman, R.R.S. Devon village schools in the nineteenth century. David & Charles: Newton Abbot (1967) pp. 171. pl. XII.

Devon And Exeter Boys' Industrial School - 1873-1888, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D008). [Foreword]

The Education Service in Devon: a report & a plan, Devon County Education Committee (1945). [SoG Library Devon Tracts Box]

Education in Devon: a review of the past 20 years, (n.d.). [SoG Library DE/G104]

Schools Inquiry Commission: Vol XIV - South-Western Division. Her Majesty's Stationery Office (1868) 568pp. [The Devon section has detailed reviews of 23 boys schools and 2 girls schools, and tabulated data for many more.]


Social Life & Customs

Elworthy, Frederick Thomas. “Crying the Neck”, A Devonshire Custom. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. XXIII, 1891, pp. 353-370. [Index]

Gray, Todd. Christmas in Devon, Mint Press (2000) 132 pp. [ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1903356036]

Gray, Todd. Victorian Stories of Exeter, Mint Press (2001) 96 pp. [ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1903356180] ["Three whimsical Victorian tales of Christmas set in Exeter Devon as light amusement for the festive seasons of 1881, 1890 and 1897"]

Gray, Todd. Victorian Stories of Romance – Christmas in Devon, Mint Press (2001) 96 pp. [ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1903356173] ["These five whimsical love stories were first published in Devon as light amusement for the festive seasons of 1869, 1893, 1895, 1897 and 1898"]



Devon - Societies - links and information.



  • Devon - Taxation - links and information.

Voting Registers

According to Gibson and Rogers: Poll Books 1696-1872 (FFHS, 1989), voting registers for the county of Devon are held by the Devon Record Office for the years 1712 (also published in Trans. Devon. Assoc. : 106 (1974)), 1790, 1816, 1818, 1820, 1826 and 1830.

Thomas, R.G. An Unknown Devon County Poll-Book. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 106 (1974) pp. 231-258.