This is an archived copy - GENUKI/Devon is now here.   

GENUKI Home page up Devon ContentsContents & Search Nearby Places Nearby Places


Map of the area
Select map to view parish
boundaries in detail.
"BRIXHAM, a flourishing market town, sea-port, and extensive fishing station, is delightfully situated on the southern projecting point of Torbay, and is in two parts, called Upper and Lower Brixham; the former of which extends in a long straggling street, more than 1½ mile south of Lower Brixham, or Brixham Quay, and most of it, (with the parish church,) is in a picturesque valley, opening to the Quay, and bounded on the east by the lofty sea cliffs, and Berryhead, - the most eastern part of the bay. . . . The Parish Church (Virgin Mary,) at Upper Brixham, is a large and ancient structure, in the perpendicular style, with a lofty embattled tower, containing six bells and a clock . . . . The vicarage, valued in K.B. at £25. 15s., and in 1831 at £494, with the curacy of Churston-Ferrers annexed to it, is in the patronage of the Lord Chancellor, and incumbency of the Rev. Robt. Holdsworth, M.A., who has held the living since 1809. . . ." [From White's Devonshire Directory (1850)]

The ancient parish for the seaport town of Brixham, in Haytor Hundred, the Archdeaconry of Totnes and the Diocese of Exeter. The parish of All Saints was divided off from it in 1828. Brixham St Peter is a modern parish (1909).

Archives and Libraries

Brixham Heritage Museum web-site.


Pike, J.R. Brixham, Torbay: A bibliographical guide. (1973) [Devon & Exeter Inst., Exeter University Library, Plymouth Central Library, Torquay Central Library]


Hawkins, Anne. Nathaniel Thomas France and the Nore Mutiny, Devon Family Historian, vol. 155, (2015) pp.29-32.
Skinner, B.G. Henry Francis Lyte, Brixham's Poet and Priest, Exeter, (1974) x + 164 pp.


Whitmore, J.B. Devonshire Monumental Inscriptions, MS at Society of Genealogists (1951). [Extracts]
[Monumental Inscriptions (church)], Gent. Mag., vol. II, (1830) pp.114-115.

Church History

Brixham - from J. Stabb. Some Old Devon Churches (London: 1908-16).

Church Records

Parish Registers going back to 1556 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 1556 are held in a special collection in the Westcountry Studies Library - for details see Parish Registers in the Devon & Cornwall Record Society's Collection.

Transcriptions of the Parish registers by Judith Smith and Marie Simkus, provided by the Brixham Heritage Museum:

Baptisms 1575-1631
Baptisms 1587-1646
Baptisms 1651-1698
Baptisms 1698-1739
Baptisms 1739-1765
Marriage Banns 1653-1662
Marriages 1556-1631
Marriages 1631-1646
Marriages 1653-1669
Marriages 1699-1742
Burials 1560-1631
Burials 1631-1647
Burials 1654-1697
Burials 1698-1738
Burials in Wool 1692-1730

The Devon FHS publishes indexes covering (as of June 2004): 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 1653-1705, 1693-1786, 1787-1837, Marriages 1556-1837, (entries based in part on Bishops' Transcripts); Wesleyan Chapel Christenings 1811-1837.
Harris, S.G. Churston Ferrers and Brixham records of briefs, 1722 - 1827, and 1706 - 1766. Trans. Devon. Assoc. 26, (1894) pp.230-236. [Church briefs] [Index]
Deanery of Ipplepen: Photographs of the churches and extracts from White's Devonshire Directory 1850. CD - Devon FHS (2012). [An index of baptisms, marriages and burials in the parishes of: Abbotskerswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1756-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Berry Pomeroy Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Brixham All Saints Baptisms (1826-1839), Marriages (1826-1837), Burials (1831-1832); Brixham St Mary Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Broadhempston Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1681-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Churston Ferrers Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1835), Burials (1800-1837); Cockington Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1780-1834); Coffinswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1857); Denbury Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1800-1837); Ipplepen Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1843), Burials (1813-1837); Kingskerswell Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Kingswear Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1755-1837), Burials (1780-1837); Littlehempston Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1731-1837), Burials (1813-1840); Marldon Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Paignton Baptisms (1813-1841), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Paignton Independent Burials (1826-1836); Staverton Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Stoke Gabriel Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Torbryan Baptisms (1813-1839), Marriages (1754-1838), Burials (1813-1854); Tormohun Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Torquay St Marychurch Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1837), Burials (1813-1837); Wolborough Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1754-1839), Burials (1813-1837); Woodland Baptisms (1813-1840), Marriages (1755-1835), Burials (1813-1838).]

Description and Travel

Virtual Tour of Brixham - from Halien.
Barber, Chips. Brixham. Pinhoe, Exeter: Obelisk Publications. [ISBN 0946651604].
Evans, John, AM. (1799). An excursion into the West of England during the month of July 1799. In Four Letters to a Friend, Letter II, The Monthly Visitor and Entertaining Pocket Companion, Vol. 8, London: H D Symonds, pp. 140-157. [Index]
Gosling, Ted and Marshall, Lyn. Brixham (The Archive Photographs Series), Chalford Publishing Company (1996) 128 pp. [ISBN 0 7524 0144 0]
Poulton-Smith, Anthony. The English Riviera: Paignton, Brixham & Torquay Through Time. Amberley Publishing (2012) 96pp. [ISBN-10: 1445609479]
Brixham. Devon Life vol. 10 no. 88 (1973) pp.28-29; ill.


Transcript of entry for Brixham in White's Devonshire Directory of 1850.

Scanned images of the text of the entry for Brixham in Morris and Co's Commercial Directory and Gazetteer of Devon (1870), provided by Val Henderson.

Torbay Household and Business Directory. Torquay: Torquay Times (1910-11).


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


This parish is one of the growing number of places for which the Devon Heritage website provides census or parish register transcriptions, articles, and/or illustrations, etc.

Hopkins, Glenda. The life and times of Captain Edward Snell, master mariner of Brixham, Devon 1825-1882. Brentwood: the author, 1955. [Raymond: Includes pedigree, 19-20th c.]
Hopkins, Glenda. The life and times of Captain Edwin Snell, master mariner of Brixham 1825-1882: a short family history. Hutton Mount: The Author. (1995) ii, 6, lviip: ill, ports. [Includes pedigree, 19-20th c.] [Westcountry Studies Library - px929.2/SNE]
A history of the Varwells of Brixham, Family History 7, 1973, pp. 9-13.
Upton: extracts from parish registers, Miscellanea Genealogica et Heraldica 2nd series 3, 1890, pp. 197-202 & 221-26. [Raymond: From registers of Brixham, Newton Ferrers, et al; also monumental inscriptions from Brixham.]


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

Barber, Chips. Brixham of yesteryear. Pinhoe: Obelisk (1995) 32 pp. ISBN: 1899073140 (pbk).
Barber, Chips. Brixham of Yesteryear Part II. Pinhoe, Exeter: Obelisk Publications. [ISBN 1899073256].
Barber, Chips. Brixham of Yesteryear Part III. Pinhoe, Exeter: Obelisk Publications. [ISBN 1899073264].
Barber, Chips. Brixham of Yesteryear Part IV. Pinhoe, Exeter: Obelisk Publications. [ISBN 1899073930].
Born, Ann. The Torbay Towns. Chichester: Phillimore (1989) [ISBN 0850336945] xiii, 160p: ill, maps.
Ellis, Arthur C. Brixham: its history and people. Brixham Museum & Hist. Society (1992) 5 vols.
Frost, K.A. When the railway ran to Brixham. Devon Life vol. 4 no. 31, (1968) pp.28-29; ill.
Gregory, Charles. Brixham in Devonia: illustrated guide, with historical and descriptive sketch and handbook to Torbay and the neighboourhood. Totnes: Totnes Times (1896) 166p: ill,maps. [Index]
Horsley, John E. A short history of Brixham. Devon Books (1988) [32] pp. ISBN: 0861148274 (pbk).
Little, Samantha. Keep Smiling Through!: The Brixham Home Front 1939-1945, 2011. Brixham Heritage Museum (2011) 82 pp. [ISBN-10: 0954545966]
Murchison, Charles. On the Ossiferous Cave of Brixham near Torquay, pp. 486-497. In Palaeontological Memoires and Notes of the Late Hugh Falconer, AM, MD. Volume II, XVIII, London: Robert Hardwicke (1868), illus. 679 pp. [Index]
Pearce, Frank.The Book of Torbay. Halsgrove Press, Tiverton (1999). ISBN 1841140295.
Pearce, Frank. The Book of Brixham - Portrait of a Harbour Town, Tiverton: Halsgrove Community History Series (2000) 160 pp., over 200 photographs. [ISBN: 1-84114093-7] [Index]
Pike, John. The landing of William of Orange at Brixham in 1688: fact and fiction. Devon Historian 36, (1988) pp.3-9.
Pike, John R. Brixham. Torbay Borough Council (1993) [2], 71,[8]p, plates: ill.
Russell, Percy. Some historical notes on the Brixham fisheries. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 83, (1951) pp.278-297, plate; ill, map.
Saxton, W.A. Brixham History, 2nd. ed. Brixham Civic Fund (1962) 29p: ill,map. [Westcountry Studies Library - B/BRI 7/0001/SAX]
Varwell, P. Notes on the Ancient Parish of Brixham, Devon, and on some of its Ancient People. Trans. Devon. Assoc., vol. 18 (1886), maps, pp. 197-214. [Index]
Windeatt, T.W. The landing of the Prince of Orange at Brixham, 1688. Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 12 (1880), pp. 204-225. [Index]
A Brixham album. Exeter: Obelisk (1994) 48 pp.: chiefly ill ; ports: 15 x 21 cm. ISBN: 0946651906 (pbk).

Land and Property

Freeman, Ray. Brownstone: a Devon farm through seven centuries. Dartmouth Hist Research Group (1992) 24p.


Horsley, J.E. The Descent of the Manor of Brixham. (n.d.) [Torquay Central Library]
Johnson, D.R. Brixham Manor and People. Brixham: D.R. Johnson (1989).


Map of the area from OldeMaps (circa 1950).

Merchant Marine

Brixham sailing trawlers and their owners, builders and crew.

Transcription by Julia Mosman of an 1887 newspaper article about the drowning of Captain Harnden.

Ship & Boat Building - an article provided by Torbay Library Services.

Chope, R. Pearse. The Brixham Fishing Fleet Disaster. The Devonian Year Book, London: The Devonian Asociation, pp. 21-22. [Index]
Corin, John. Provident and the story of the Brixham smacks. Reading: Tops'l Books (1980) 66p: ill.
Potts, Chris and Wilson, Derek. Voyaging over Life's sea: A history of the British Seaman's Boy's Home, Brixham [1859-1988], Brixham Heritage Museum (2006) 77 pp. [ISBN 0954545923]
Wright, M. Brixham in the days of sail. Devon Life vol. 3 no. 28, (1967) pp.38-40; ill.
Brixham Trawler Apprentice Register - 1891-1895, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D027). [Foreword]
Brixham Trawler Apprentice Register - 1896-1901, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D028). [Foreword]

Names, Personal

Brixham Heritage Museum, in the Services section of its web-site, provides a large number of surname indexes, from 15th to 19th century sources, including the 1568 muster roll, gravestones, non-conformist burial registers, tithe registers, directories and other documents.

Names from an 1822-23 edition of Pigot's Directory.

Johnson, D.R. Brixham Names. Brixham: Brixham Museum (1989).
Brixham Vaccination Register - 1875, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D047). [Foreword]
Brixham Vaccination Register - 1876, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D048). [Foreword]
Brixham Vaccination Register - 1901, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D154). [Foreword]
Brixham Vaccinator Register - 1899 - 1900, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D162). [Foreword]
Brixham Vaccinator Register - 1901 - 1902, Exeter, Devon Family History Society, (Booklet & PDF D163). [Foreword]

Probate Records

Transcripts of the wills of Nathaniel Thomas France (1835), Susan Bartlett France (1858) and John Vittery (1846), provided by Anne Hawkins.

Transcripts of the will of Christopher Youlden (1703), Robert Wolcomb (1743), John Charles Grant (1811), David Pryce Cumby (1814), Henry Tozer (1851) and Susanna Cumby (1836) provided by Ros Dunning.


Brixham Museum & History Society web-site.

Find help, report problems, and contribute information.

Last updated: 12 Jan 2016 - Brian Randell

Return to top of page
Note: The information provided by GENUKI must not be used for commercial purposes, and all specific restrictions concerning usage, copyright notices, etc., that are to be found on individual information pages within GENUKI must be strictly adhered to. Violation of these rules could gravely harm the cooperation that GENUKI is obtaining from many information providers, and hence threaten its whole future.