Somersham Huntingdonshire Family History Guide

Somersham is an Ancient Parish in the county of Huntingdonshire. Colne and Pidley cum Fenton are chapelries of Somersham.

Alternative names:

Parish church: St. John the Baptist

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1558
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1604

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Particular Baptist, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Table of Contents

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

SOMERSHAM, a village, a parish, and a sub-district, in St. Ives district, Hunts.

The village stands adjacent to the Cambridge and Wisbeach railway, 5 miles NNE of St. Ives; was once a market-town, and also a resort of visitors to a chalybeate spa; consists chiefly of one street about a mile long, crossed by a shorter one; and has a r. station with telegraph, a post-office under St. Ives, Hunts, and a fair on the Friday before 22 Nov.

The parish comprises 4,121 acres. Real property, £8,807. Pop., 1,621. Houses, 355. The property is subdivided. The manor was given, in 991, by Brithnoth the Saxon, to Ely abbey; passed to the bishops of Ely, the queen of Charles I., Col. Wanton, the Hammonds, the Montagues, and the Burtons; and belongs now to J. G. Elgood, Esq. A palace of the bishops stood a short distance S of the church, but has disappeared. Roman coins have been found.

The living is a rectory, united with Colne and Pidley, and annexed to the Cambridge regius professorship of divinity, in the diocese of Ely. Value, £1,770. The church is partly early English. There are two dissenting chapels, an endowed school with £33 a year, and charities, £57.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

SOMERSHAM (St. John the Baptist), a parish, and formerly a market-town, in the union of St. Ives, hundred of Hurstingstone, county of Huntingdon, 8¾ miles (E. N. E.) from Huntingdon, and 64¼ (N.) from London; containing 1517 inhabitants.

This town, formerly called Summersum, is supposed to have derived its name from an adjacent hill which was the site of a summer camp of the Romans. It is situated in a fertile country, abounding with springs of remarkable purity, some of which were considered to possess medicinal qualities. Several of the inhabitants are employed in preparing wicks for rushlights, which are sent to various parts of the kingdom. The market, long since discontinued, was on Friday: fairs are held on June 23rd and November 12th, but they are very inconsiderable.

The parish comprises about 3200 acres. The living is a rectory, with the livings of Colne and Pidley annexed, valued in the king’s books at £40. 4. 7., and annexed to the regius professorship of divinity in the university of Cambridge; net income, £1770. An exchange of tithes for land and corn-rents took place in 1796, and a commutation has been made recently for a rent-charge of £531. 10.; there is a glebe-house, and the glebe comprises 20 acres.

The Baptists have a place of worship. A free school is endowed with the proceeds of £200, the bequest of Thomas Hammond in 1746, and with some land assigned in 1765; the income is £26 a year. There is also a Feoffees’ estate, yielding £55 annually, applied to maintaining a bridge over a stream called Cranbrook, on the road from Somersham to Colne; also a causeway leading from the bridge to the church. The bishops of Ely had formerly a palace here.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Parish Records


England, Huntingdonshire, Somersham – Census ( 1 )
Census returns for Somersham, 1841-1891
Author: Great Britain. Census Office


  • County: Huntingdonshire
  • Civil Registration District: St Ives
  • Probate Court: Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of Lincoln and of the Archdeacon in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon
  • Diocese: Pre-1837 – Lincoln, Post-1836 – Ely
  • Rural Deanery: St Ives
  • Poor Law Union: St Ives
  • Hundred: Hurstingstone
  • Province: Canterbury

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