Braunton, Devon Family History Guide

Braunton with Saunton and Knowle is an Ancient Parish in the county of Devon.

Other places in the parish include: Saunton and Knowle.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1538

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Plymouth Brethren, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Braunton

Historical Descriptions


The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BRAUNTON, a village, a parish, a subdistrict, and a hundred in Devon. The village stands near the mouth of the river Taw, 5 miles WNW of Barnstaple r. station; is a considerable place, with several streets and many shops; and has a post office‡ under Barnstaple. It was originally called Branockstown; and took that name from St. Branock, a prince of Calabria, who came hither in the year 300 as a missionary. The parish comprises 10,473 acres of land, and 1,510 of water. Real property, £11,236. Pop., 2,168. Houses, 472. The property is much subdivided. There are several manors; and one of them belonged, in Edward the Confessor's time, to the Crown, and was afterwards given to St. Peter's, Exeter. St. Branock's House, at the upper end of the villa, Franklin's Cottage, at a short distance thence, and a number of other places command magnificent views. An extensive tract between the village and the sea, called Braunton Field, is noted for fertility. A tract of drift sand on the coast, called Braunton Burro's. has witnessed many shipwrecks; and possesses two lighthouses 933 feet apart, erected in 1820, with fixed lights 86 and 40 feet high, for directing vessels over Bideford bar. An ancient chapel, called St. Ann's, is embedded in the burrows; and remains of another, ascribed to St. Branock, crown a neighbouring hill. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Exeter. Value. £450. Patron, the Bishop of Exeter. The church is early English, in a jumbled condition; and was proposed to be restored in 1869. There are chapels for Independents and Methodists. A school has £75 from endowment; and other charities £23. Richard Knill, the missionary, was a native. The subdistrict is in the district of Barnstaple, and contains seven parishes. Acres, 31,469. Pop., 6,957. Houses, 1,476. The hundred contains twenty parishes. Acres, 71,452. Pop., 14,786. Houses, 3,108.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Braunton. 4 miles W. Barnstaple. P. 2274

Source: Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850


Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Pippacott, a hamlet in Braunton parish, Devon; 5 miles WNW of Barnstaple.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Parish Records

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England, Devon Bishop's Transcripts, 1558-1887

England, Devon and Cornwall Marriages, 1660-1912

England, Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912

England, Devon, Plymouth Prison Records, 1821-1919

Exeter Marriage Licenses 1523-1631

Exeter Burial Records

Devon Cemetery Photos

South Hams Memorial Inscriptions

Appledore Burials 1844-1970

Devon Calendars of Prisoners

Devon Convicts Transported to Australia 1782-1821

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


Vision of Britain historical maps


  • County: Devon
  • Civil Registration District: Barnstaple
  • Probate Court: Court of the Peculiars of the Dean and Chapter of Exeter
  • Diocese: Exeter
  • Rural Deanery: Pre-1848 - None, Post-1847 - Shirwell
  • Poor Law Union: Barnstaple
  • Hundred: Braunton
  • Province: Canterbury