Calne Wiltshire Family History Guide

Curzon Street at the junction of Market Hill looking south towards The Strand, in Calne, Wiltshire, England, around the turn of the 20th century.
Curzon Street at the junction of Market Hill looking south towards The Strand, in Calne, Wiltshire, England, around the turn of the 20th century.

Calne is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Wiltshire.

Other places in the parish include: Quemerford, Eastmead-street, Calstone, Stock, Stockley, Studley, Blackland, Beversbrook, Whitley, and Whetham.

Parish church: St. Mar

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1537
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1579

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Particular Baptist, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist. 

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

CALNE, a town, a parish, a subdistrict, a district, and a hundred in Wilts. The town stands on the rivulet Marlan, at the end of a branch railway from the Great Western, and of a branch canal from the Wilts and Berks, 5¼ miles E by S of Chippenham. Its environs are a fine mixture of dale and hill; and adjoin, on the SW, the Marquis of Lansdowne's seat of Bowood. It rose originally from the ruins of a Roman station; dates from the Saxon times; and was the scene of the synod, in 977, at which St. Dunstan presided, for settling the disputes respecting the celibacy of the clergy; when all present, except the president, went down by the falling in of the floor. It is a quaint old place, with small stone houses, either weather worn or white washed; and consists of one long chief street, and a few minor ones, all narrow, and paved with pebbles. It had an hospital so early as the time of Henry III.; and has now a post office under Chippenham, two banking offices, three chief inns, a town hall, a parish church, a chapel of ease, five dissenting chapels, a free school, and a workhouse. The church is early English, with traces of Norman; has a pinnacled tower, 93 feet high; and was recently restored. The chapel of the Free Christians was erected in 1868, and is a structure of some elegance. The free school was founded in 1660, by John Bentley; and has an endowed income of £54, with two scholarships at Queen's college, Oxford. The workhouse is at Northfield, and cost about £5,000. A large cloth trade was formerly carried on, but has become nearly extinct. There are now flour-mills, flax-mills, and paper-mills. A weekly market is held on Wednesday; and fairs on 6 May and 29 Sept. The town is a borough by prescription; is governed by a mayor, four aldermen, and twelve councillors; sent two members to parliament, from the time of Richard II. till the act of 1832; and now sends one. Its municipal limits comprise only 800 acres; while its parliamentary limits comprise all Calne parish, and parts of Blackland and Calstone-Wellington parishes. Direct taxes, £3,038. Electors in 1868, 175. Pop. of the m. borough, 2,494; of the p. borough, 5,179. Houses in the m. borough, 501; in the p. borough, 1,105.

The parish comprises, in addition to the m. borough, the tythings of Blackland, Calstone, Eastmead-street, Quemerford, Stock, Stockley, Studley, Whetham, Whitley, and part of Beversbrook. Acres, 8,079. Real property, exclusive of the part of Beversbrook, £25,974. Pop., 5,098. Houses, 1,087. The manor was given by Edward I. to the Cantilupes; and passed to the Zouches. The living is a vicarage, united with the chapelry of Trinity, in the diocese of Salisbury. Value, £769. Patron, the Bishop of Salisbury. The vicarage of Christchurch at Derryhill, is a separate benefice.-The subdistrict and the district are co-extensive; and contain the parishes of Calne, Blackland, Calstone-Wellington, Bremhill, Heddington, Cherhill, Compton-Basset, Hillmarton, Highway, and Yatesbury, and the liberty of Bowood. Acres, 28,610. Poor-rates in 1866, £8,028. Pop. in 1861, 8,885. Houses, 1,929. Marriages in 1866, 72; births, 278, of which 9 were illegitimate; deaths, 142, of which 36 were at ages under 5 years, and 5 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 642; births, 2,651; deaths, 1,788. The places of worship in 1851 were 11 of the Church of England, with 2,186 sittings; 1 of Independents, with 150 s.; 5 of Baptists, with 825 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 160 s.; 5 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 633 s.; 3 of Primitive Methodists, with 418 s.; 1 of Moravians, with 200 s.; and 1 of Brethren, with 100 s. The schools were 14 public day schools, with 1,270 scholars; 12 private day schools, with 251 s.; 13 Sunday schools, with 1,282 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 40 s. The hundred contains eight parishes and a liberty. Acres, 19,083. Pop., 4,297. Houses, 972.

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


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Jones John Wellington, Calne, Wiltshire, tailor, Feb. 28, 1843.

Pinniger Wm.; and Wm. Pinniger, jun.; Calne, Wilts, clothiers, June 12. 1827.

Parish Records

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

FamilySearch Catalog


Census returns for Calne, 1841-1891

Church Records

Bishop's transcripts for Calne, 1579-1880 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Calne (Wiltshire)

Church records, 1808-1917 Author: Castle Street Baptist Church (Calne, Wiltshire)

Church records, 1817-1900 Author: Zion Chapel (Calne, Wiltshire : Baptist)

Church records, 1867-1912 Author: Calne Free Church (Wiltshire)

Parish register transcripts, 1538-1899 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Calne (Wiltshire); Webb, William A.

Parish registers for Calne, 1537-1922 Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Calne (Wiltshire)

Record of members : 1848-1870 Author: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Calne Branch (Wiltshire); Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Chalford Branch (Gloucestershire); Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Warminster Branch (Wiltshire)

Civil Registration

Notices of marriage, 1837-1903 Author: Great Britain. Superintendent Registrar (District of Calne)


Cemetery records, 1867-1981 Author: Calne Non-conformist cemetery

Grave record books, 1867-1929 Author: Calne (Wiltshire)

Land and Property

List of deeds for Calne, Wiltshire


Estate survey in Wiltshire, Berkshire, Gloucester, 18th century Author: Manor of Calstone (Wiltshire)

Manor court rolls in Calne, Wiltshire, 1534-1767 Author: Manor of Calne. Court (Wiltshire)

Manor court rolls in Heale, Calne, Calstone, Bowers and Potterne, Wiltshire, 1594-1632 Author: Manor of Heale. Court (Wiltshire)


A history of the borough and town of Calne and some account of the villages, etc., in its vicinity Author: Marsh, A. E. W.


Land tax assessments in Bowood, Wiltshire, 1780-1831 Author: Great Britain. Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Wiltshire)

Land tax assessments in Calne, Wiltshire 1780-1831 Author: Great Britain. Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Wiltshire)

Land tax assessments in Calstone, Wiltshire 1780-1831 Author: Great Britain. Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace (Wiltshire)

Voting Registers

Burgess roll's, 1835-1886 Author: Calne (Wiltshire : Borough)

Public Records

Guild stewards' book of the borough of Calne, 1561-1688 Author: Mabbs, A. W.


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Wiltshire
Civil Registration District: Calne
Probate Court: Court of the Peculiar of the Treasurer of Salisbury in the Prebendal of Calne
Diocese: Salisbury
Rural Deanery: Pre-1847 - None, Post-1846 - Avebury
Poor Law Union: Calne
Hundred: Calne
Province: Canterbury