Defford, Worcestershire Family History Guide

Defford, Worcestershire
Defford, Worcestershire

Defford is a chapelry of Pershore St Andrew with Pershore Holy Cross Ecclesiastical Parish in Worcestershire.

Other places in the parish include: Walborough.

Parish church: St. James

Parish registers begin: 1540

Nonconformists include: Baptist

Parishes adjacent to Defford

Historical Descriptions

Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales Circa 1870

Defford, a chapelry in St. Andrew-Pershore parish, Worcester; on the river Avon, and the Birmingham and Gloucester railway, 3 miles SW of Pershore. It has a station on the railway, and a post-office under Pershore. Acres, 1,760. Real property, £2,343. Pop., 463. Houses, 102. The living is a p. curacy, annexed to the vicarage of Pershore, in the diocese of Worcester. The church is good; and there is a dissenting chapel.

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

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

DEFFORD, a chapelry, in the parish of St. Andrew, Pershore, union, and Upper division of the hundred, of Pershore, Pershore and E. divisions of the county of Worcester, 3 miles (S. W.) from Pershore; containing 422 inhabitants. The chapelry comprises 1677 acres, of which 428 are open common, and the remainder arable and pasture in nearly equal portions. The road from Pershore to Upton passes through; and the river Avon here pursues a winding course eastward. A station on the Bristol and Birmingham railway is situated near the village, from which the line is continued across the common into the parish of Besford. The living is a perpetual curacy, valued in the king's books at £2. 13. 4., and annexed to the living of St. Andrew's: the tithes were commuted for land in 1774. The chapel, dedicated to St. James, has a tower, and contains 140 sittings.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848

Worcestershire Delineated C. and J. Greenwood 1822

Defford – a hamlet and chapelry in the parish of St. Andrew, Pershore, in the hundred of Pershore, upper division, 3 miles S.W. from Pershore, and 106 from London; containing 71 inhabited houses. Population, 1801, 284 – 1811, 334 – 1821, 374.

Source: Worcestershire Delineated: Being a Topographical Description of Each Parish, Chapelry, Hamlet, &c. In the County; with the distances and bearings from their respective market towns, &c. By C. and J. Greenwood. Printed by T. Bensley, Crane Court, Fleet Street, London, 1822.

Parish Records

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

Church Records

Bishop's transcripts for Defford, 1611-1880

Parish chest and poor law records for Defford, 1705-1929

Parish register transcripts, 1540-1736

Parish register transcripts, 1540-1812

Parish registers for Defford, 1540-1965

Church Records - Indexes

Parish printout of Defford parish, Worcestershire, England (1540-1812)


Census returns for Defford, 1841-1891

Poorhouses, poor law, etc.

Parish chest and poor law records for Defford, 1705-1929


Defford with Besford Littleburys Directory 1905

Distances – 10 miles S.E. of Worcester (8 ½ by rail), 3 S.W. of Pershore, and 5 N.E. of Upton-on-Severn.
Population – In 1901, 566. Acreage, 1682.
Postal Information – Post and Telegraph Office, Edwin Roberts, Sub-Postmaster. Letters arrive from Worcester about 6.15 a.m. and 3.40 p.m.; despatched thereto at 10. 15 a.m. and 6.30 and 7.20 p.m. Telegrams may be sent from this office, and money order and savings bank business transacted. Post town, Worcester. Wall Letter-box, near Railway Station, cleared at 8 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. on weekdays, and at 6.30 p.m. only on Sundays. Wall Letter-box at Besford is cleared at 7.15 a.m. and 6.55 p.m.
Parish Church (St. James’) – Rev. George Swinden, M.A., Vicar of Defford-cum-Besford; Messrs. Edwin Roberts and Simon Onions, Churchwardens; Charles Chambers, Sexton.
Elementary School for Defford and Besford) – Robert Kersley, Master.
Defford and District Working Men’s Institute – The Earl of Coventry, President; John Brooks, Hon. Secretary.
Midland Railway Station – Anthony Swift, Station Master.
Midland Railway Goods Department – M. Spiers & Sons, Carting Agents for the Midland Railway from Defford Station to Pershore.


Ballard George, bailiff
Ballinger C. E., clerk to the parish council
Bowcott John, mkt. gardener, Church villa
Brooks John, Fair view
Butler Jacob, carpenter, Cold comfort
Checketts Major F., Besford
Clark Miss Jessie, dressmaker, &c.
Coney Frederick, Church farm, Besford
Davis John Andrew, coal dealer
Elliott T., farm bailiff, Chestnut cottage
Ewins Alice M. M., furnished apartments, Spring Bank, Defford. Superior furnished apartments, pleasantly situated. Highest references. Good fishing.
Hayward Mrs. Julia, baker, Woodmancote
Hayward William, farmer, Borders farm
Hemus George, farmer, Bourne farm
Holder Mrs.
Hollier Edward, Crown Inn
Jordon Alfred Ormond, Besford court
Kersley Robert, schoolmaster, School house
Lloyd Miss, Chestnut cottage
Onions Simon, J.P., The Old Manor house, Bourne bank
Read Mrs. Susannah, farmer, Defford farm
Revill Mark, farmer
Roberts Burrage, grocer
Roberts Edwin, grocer and baker, Post office
Roper Jos. Hughes, blacksmith & carpenter
Spiers M. & Sons., hay, straw, and coal merchants, carting agents for the Midland Railway, and furniture removers, Railway station (see advt.)
Summers Mrs., beer retailer, The Oak, Woodmancote
Swift Anthony, station master, Railway sta.
Swinden Rev. George. M.A., (vicar of Defford-cum-Besford), The Vicarage
Taylor Mrs. Elizabeth, cider retlr. & farmer
Taylor George, New Inn
Taylor James, The Villa, Woodmancote
Taylor John, mkt. grdnr., Woodmancote fm.
Taylor Mrs. W.
Wadley John, farmer, Millpond
Ward Harry, market gardener
White Mrs. E. A., furnished apartments, Avon Cottage, Defford. Pleasant situation. Excellent accommodation for visitors. Good fishing. Moderate terms.
Willis George, Hayward of the common
Willis John, Railway Inn
Woodward Herbt., frmr., Dudley Charity fm.

Source: Littlebury’s Directory of Worcester & District. Tenth Edition. Printed and Published by Littlebury & Company, The Worcester Press, Worcester. 1905.

Defford Worcestershire Littleburys Directory 1879

Defford is a village, formerly a chapelry to Pershore, but now united with Besford as one vicarage (see Besford); it has a station on the Birmingham and Bristol branch of the Midland railway, and is situate 10 miles S.E. of Worcester, 3 S.W. of Pershore, and 5 N.E. of Upton-on-Severn; is in the eastern division of the county, and hundred of Upper Pershore; in the union, petty sessional division, polling and county court district of Pershore; annual rateable value, £3,241; acreage, 1,213; population in 1861, 463; in 1871, 464, with 103 inhabited houses and 109 families or separate occupiers. The parish is bounded on the south side by the river Avon; hence the ancient name Depeford (deep ford in the river). The principal landowners are the Earl of Coventry (the lord of the manor), Sir John G. S. Sebright, Bart, Henry Porter, Esq., the Executors of the late Rev. William Ellis Wall, George Whitaker-Wilson, Esq., and Joseph Checketts, Esq. The soil produces good wheat, beans, turnips, &c. Defford is in the diocese and archdeaconry of Worcester and rural deanery of Pershore; the united vicarage of Defford-cum-Besford is valued at £170, with residence; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Westminster; vicar, the Rev. George Swinden, M.A., Brasenose College, Oxford, who was instituted in 1865. The church (St. James’s) consists of chancel, nave, and western capped-tower, with south porch; mainly 14th and 15th century work, with some Early English. A new chancel was built in 1865. The earliest register is dated 1687. The national school for Defford and Besford was erected in 1872 by subscription and Government grant. It is a neat building of brick with stone dressings, and has residence for the mistress attached. There is a charity amounting to £65 yearly. The Dissenters have a small chapel in the parish. Woodmancote is a hamlet one mile S.W.
POSTAL REGULATIONS. – Miss Kezia Hundy, Sub-Postmistress. Letters arrive by messenger from Pershore at 7 a.m.; despatched thereto at 5.30 p.m. Postal telegrams may be sent to Defford railway station. Pershore is the nearest money-order office and post town.
St. James’s Church. – Rev. George Swinden, M.A., Vicar; Messrs. John Read and George Day, Churchwardens; William Mayo, Parish Clerk.
National School (boys and girls). – Miss Julia Brooke, Mistress.
Assistant Overseer. – Mr. William Alfred Salsbury, Pershore.
Railway Station (Midland). – Thomas S. Rainbow, Station Master.
Carrier to Pershore and Upton. – Michael Spiers (carting agent to the Midland railway company), from Defford station to Pershore daily; also to Upton at 2 p.m. daily.
Carrier to Worcester. – Thomas Long, on Saturdays at 7 a.m.; returning from the Coventry Arms Inn, Friar street, Worcester, at 4 p.m. the same day.


Dawson Mr. Thomas, Saunders villa
Gwilliam Mr. Benjamin, Defford villa
Loxley The Misses, Yew-tree cottage
Onions Simon, Esq., Bourne bank
Revill Mr. Mark, Defford house
Swinden Rev. George, M.A., (vicar of Defford-cum-Besford), The Vicarage


Bowkett John Henry, Crown Inn
Brooke Miss, schoolmistress, School ho.
Collins Mrs. Eliza, beer retailer
Collins Joseph, market gardener
Goodall Edmund, farmer, Stone Hall farm; res., New farm, Birlingham
Hemus Mrs. M. A., farmer, Bourne farm
Hemus George, farmer, Bourne farm
Hitchings Geo., shopkpr. and cider retlr.
Hundy Miss K., shopkeeper, Post office
Long Thomas, carrier to Worcester
Mayo William, parish clerk
Phipps William, farmer, Woodmancote
Rainbow T. S., station mas., Railway sta.
Rammell Benjamin, Railway Inn, coal dealer, and fly proprietor
Read John, farmer, Defford farm
Roper John, blacksmith
Spiers Michael, farmer, coal merchant, fly proprietor, and carting agent for the Midland railway company, Woodmancote
Taylor George, farmer, Woodmancote
Taylor Thomas, farmer and cider retailer
Taylor William, beer retlr. (The Old Dog)
Webb John, police constable, Brook cot.
Willis John, beer retailer, Woodmancote
Woodward Mrs. Sarah and Herbert, farmer, Dudley Charity farm

Source: Littlebury, Littlebury’s Directory and Gazetteer of Worcester & District, Third Edition. Printed by Ballantyne, Hanson & Co. 1879.

Defford Billings Directory of Worcestershire 1855

Defford is a small village and Chapelry of St. Andrew’s, Pershore, from which it is distant about 3 miles. The Bristol and Birmingham Railway has a station here. The population in 1851 was 461 inhabitants. The Chapel is a small, antique-looking edifice, with square tower, and three bells. It is dedicated to St. James. Rev. Thomas Whitaker, Curate; Mr. Samuel Undy, Clerk. Service – 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., alternately with Besford.


Bowen Mr. Thomas
Stratton Mr. R. M.
Bright Mary, wheelwright and shopkeeper
Clarke Henry, licensed to let horses
Collins Joseph, beer retailer, shoe maker, and market gardener
Farley Charles, beer retailer, Railway Inn
Genders James, Station Master
Hemus Thomas, farmer, Bourne Farm
Hill Elizabeth, Sub-Postmistress and shopkeeper
Hitchings George, shopkeeper
Hitchings William, butcher and beer retailer
Hunt Thomas, blacksmith
Packwood William, wheelwright
Rammell Benjamin, blacksmith
Read John and James, farmers, Defford Farm
Roper John, blacksmith
Rudge Joseph, shoe maker
Taylor Henry, farmer
Woodward Henry, farmer
Workman Samuel, victualler, Crown
Willis John, farmer

Post Office – Elizabeth Hill, Sub-Postmistress. Delivery, 9 a.m.; despatch, 4 15 p.m.

Source: Billings Directory of Worcestershire 1855


  • County: Worcestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Pershore
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Worcester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Worcester
  • Rural Deanery: Pershore
  • Poor Law Union: Pershore
  • Hundred: Pershore
  • Province: Canterbury