Brixham Devon Family History Guide

Brixham is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Devon.

Other places in the parish include: Lower Brixham, Woodhuish, Woodhush, Brixham All Saints, and Boohay.

Alternative names: Higher Brixham, Upper Brixham

Parish church: Virgin Mary

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1556
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1602

Separate registers exist for Brixham All Saints

  • Parish registers: 1826
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1827

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Independent/Congregational, Particular Baptist, Wesleyan Methodist, and Wesleyan Methodist Reform. 

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

BRIXHAM, a town, a parish, and a subdistrict, in Totnes district, Devon. The town stands at the southern point of Torbay, 2½ miles E of a station on the Dartmouth railway called Brixham Road, and 4 NE of Dartmouth. It is a seaport under Dartmouth, a coastguard station, and a seat of petty sessions; and has a head post office,‡ (designated Brixham, South Devon,) a banking office, and three chief inns. It consists of two parts, lower and upper; and extends fully 1½ mile from the quay up a valley. It is irregularly built, but occupies a picturesque site; and, had it been well edificed, would have been one of the most charming places in the county. The parish church, in its upper part, is an edifice of the 14th century, repaired in 1852, at a cost of about £700; and contains several monuments, one of them to Judge Buller. Another church, in the lower town, is a plain but commodious structure, built in 1814, and enlarged in 1830. Independent, Baptist, and Wesleyan chapels are in respectively Botton, Middle, and Fore streets. A free school has £78 a year from endowments; and other charities have £113. A market house and the harbour dues yield about £750 a year. Markets are held on Tuesday and Saturday, and a pleasure fair on Whit-Tuesday. Considerable business is done in ship-building and ropemaking; about 120 sloops of between 30 and 40 tons are employed in trawl-fishing, and nearly 100 boats in hook-fishing; and about 100 schooners and brigs, of aggregately about 18,000 tons, carry on commerce, chiefly coastwise but partly foreign. The exports are chiefly sheep, iron-ore, and malt: and the imports, coal, cider, and fruit coastwise, and cattle from the Channel Islands and France. The appearance of the fish market on every weekday evening is very striking; and a peculiar mode of selling at it is the subject of a famous picture by Collins. The pier was built in 1808; the harbour is a refuge for vessels in stormy weather; and a breakwater was recently formed to increase the security of the anchorage. The Prince of Orange landed here in 1688; and the Duke of Clarence visited the place in 1823. A pillar, commemorative of the Prince of Orange's landing, and enclosing part of the stone on which he first stepped, is on the pier; and a tablet, commemorating the Duke of Clarence's visit, is inserted in the pier wall. A spring on the outskirts of the upper town was long celebrated for ebbing and flowing; but, in consequence of changes on the ground near it, has lost its intermittent property. Pop. of the town, 4,390. Houses, 928.

The parish includes also the hamlets of Boohay and Woodhush. Acres, 5,740; of which 145 are water. Real property, £16,47 5. Pop., 5,984. Houses, 1,245. The property is much subdivided. A fourth of the manor was purchased many years ago by twelve of the fishermen, and the shares of this were afterwards divided. A magnificent view of Torbay is obtained from Furzham. Traces of an ancient camp are at Buryhead. A large bone cave was recently discovered, containing bone and flint objects of a kind involved in recent geological discussions, and noticed in Sir Charles Lyell's new work on the Antiquity of Man. The living is a vicarage, united with the vicarage of Churston-Ferrers, in the diocese of Exeter. Value, £494. Patron, the Crown. Lower Brixton is served by a vicar, with salary of £267, appointed by the Crown. The subdistrict consists of the parishes of Brixton and Churston-Ferrers. Acres, 8,517. Pop., 6,750. Houses, 1,390.

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

Parish Records

FamilySearch - Birth Marriage & Death Census Migration & Naturalization Military Probate & Court


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: Totnes
Probate Court: Court of the Bishop (Consistory) of the Archdeaconry of Totnes
Diocese: Exeter
Rural Deanery: Ipplepen
Poor Law Union: Totnes
Hundred: Haytor
Province: Canterbury