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"ABBOTSHAM (ST. HELEN), a parish, in the union of BIDEFORD, hundred of SHEBBEAR, Great Torrington and N divisions of DEVON, 2 miles (W ) from Bideford; containing, with the hamlets of Shepperton and Littleham, 414 inhabitants. This parish, which is situated on the shore of Barnstaple Bay, is distinguished for a memorable victory over the Danes, who besieged the fortress, caled Kenwith or Kenwic Castle, towards the close of the ninth century, on which occasion their main western army was routed, and 1200 of them, including their leader, slain, and their consecrated standard captured." [From Lewis' Topographical Dictionary of England (1844)]

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


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


Snetzler, M.F. North Devon Surname Index to the Census. Microfiche: M.F. Snetzler, Barcott, Buckland Brewer, Bideford, Devon EX39 5LN. [Covers 1841, 1861, 1871 and 1881 census records for this parish]

Church History

[Guide to] St. Helen's, Abbotsham, (1941) 4 pp. [North Devon Athenaeum: DP900/ABB]

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1653 are held in the Devon Record Office - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon Record Office.

Transcripts of the Parish Registers going back to 1653, and of the Bishops' Transcripts going back to 1598, are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon & Cornwall Record Society's Collection.

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): Baptisms 1813-1840, Marriages 1754-1837, Burials 1813-1837 - for details see their book list.

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

Entered into the IGI (as of Jan 1993): Parish Church Christenings 1598-1636 & 1653-1875 (partial), Marriages 1597-1875. (These entries are based in part on Bishops' transcripts.)
Granville, Roger & Mugford, W.E. (eds.) Abbotsham 1597-1602 and 1607-1636. Abstracts of the Existing Transcripts of the Lost Parish-Registers of Devon, 1596-1644, and short notes on the extant pre-reformation registers of all the parishes in the county, from particulars furnished by the several incumbents thereof. Vol. 1 A-Bra. Exeter: W. Pollard (1908) [Full text].
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.]


Transcription of complete entry 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 Ethelda Peshko, who invites queries and lookup requests. (Resources: PRs on Fiche.)

Burdick, Peter. Notes on the Devonshire Burdicks: [from Abbotsham, North Devon in the 18thc.]. (1994) [Devon FHS Library p929.2/BUR]


General historical and descriptive information, area map from 1765, details about administrative boundaries, etc., about Abbotsham from the Devon Library's Local Studies Service.

Davy, Mike, (Ed.). Social history of the village of Abbotsham 1860-1978, [Abbotsham?], [C. Babb] (1994). [Vol. of cuttings from the Bideford Gazette] [Westcountry Studies Library: sxB/ABB 5/1860/SOC]
Hoskins, W G. Devon Parish Notes. Abbotsham. Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries 26,4 (1954) pp. 1-2.
Lomas, H.A. History of Abbotsham. Bideford. Gazette Office (1956) 64p.
Williams, H. Fulford. Notes on the Parish of Abbotsham, Devon. Typescript (1955) [2], 6 leaves. [Westcountry Studies Library]

Land and Property

Shebbeare, Claude E. Abbotsham Court in Bygone Days, Devon & Cornwall notes & Queries, vol. 11, no. 8, (1921) pp.289-295, plates: ill. & port. [Index]

Names, Personal

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

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Last updated: 12 Jul 2015 - Brian Randell

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