Friday, May 24, 2013

Staplehurst Parish register

The Staplehurst Parish register has provided me with some of my best information for the Kingsnorth family.  I've been fortunate that this particular register has been transcribed and made available for free online.

I can see from the parish records that the Kingsnorth family were a dissenting 'Anabaptist' family from about 1645. The entries from 1645 onwards tend to list them as 'born', which distinguishes them from those on the register who were christened in the church. In many of the burial records there is a note saying that they were 'interred' and were 'dissenters'.

From 1665 onwards there is only one more Kingsnorth births registered and that is a 'baseborn' daughter of Elisabeth Kingsnorth in 1748. We know they were still in the parish, however, as there are burials and marriages for Kingsnorths in this period. At this point it seems that they were still dissenters and there is a new minister in Staplehurst who is not prepared to register 'births' of non-Anglican families. I am hoping that I will find some records of births in the Staplehurst Baptist records later this year for that time.

The records of Kingsnorth marriages in All Saints Staplehurst continue until 1786 (John and Sarah Kingsnorth). According to Breed in 'My Ancestors were Baptists', it was law between 1753 and 1837 that marriages had to be registered in the Anglican Church, so that explains why I can still find the marriage records at this point.

The Kingsnorth burials also seem to stop on the Staplehurst register soon after, in 1799. I suspect that a new member of clergy put a stop to dissenting burials at this point too, but that's just a hunch at this stage. At the same time, dissenter's were beginning to have their own burial grounds so maybe there was no need to bury in the local parish church any more.

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