For anyone interested in their canal and river boat ancestors

Censuses and Parish Register Extracts

The censuses here are those which I have found when researching my own family tree, and if anyone has any additional material to share, please pass it on and I will add it to the site.

On occasion, there are census entries which list boats moored at a particular place at the time the census was taken.


General notes on parish register extracts

One very simple comment here.

Nobody's perfect.  Whilst every effort has been made to make these extracts as accurate as possible, there is no substitute for looking at the Parish Registers themselves for certainty.  Again, this is just a start, and will be added to as more records become available.

Prior to 1813, occupation was not generally recorded on baptism records, so any Baptism data here will take that into account.


John Roberts Waterways Index

Snail mail only

Send a 9 x 4 inch SAE to :-

John Roberts, 52 St Andrews Road, Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands B75 6UH

No fee, but donations are welcome.



The new Freereg site is www.freereg.org.uk/search_queries/new

Free to search, and full of useful data, and improving all the time, as new data is added.  Links to Freecen and FreeBMD.


OPC Project

Online Parish Clerks' Project.  Coverage across the country is variable, but it is worth checking to see if the area you want is covered.  I have found the Lancashire records particularly useful.


St Leonards, Bilston
St Leonard's

Baptisms at St Leonard's in Bilston from 1813 to 1837.


St Leonards, Bilston (91kb)


St Benedict Biscop, Wombourne
Wombourne Church

Wombourne baptisms from 1813 to 1830.

Much help here from the folk at the Staffordshire rootsweb mailing list with some of the place names, including the information that Heath Forge was a hammer mill which stood at the confluence of the Wem and Smestow brooks.  Also a link to a pre 1850 map of Wombourn.

I'm told that in the longer term, pre 1850 maps for many of the Staffordshire parishes will be made available.


Baptisms St Benedict Biscop, Wombourne (65kb)



The parish registers for Smethwick have just been put on line at http://tinyurl.com/smethwickpr.  There are a number of boat families recorded there, including the Turtons, the Whitehouses and the Walkers.  Well worth checking for anyone with boat folk from that area.

3.4.2018  Please note that this site is temporarily offline due to the difficulties Rootsweb have been experiencing.  Will monitor this, and advise when normal service is resumed (if ever).


wolverhampton child

Parish register extracts for boat families in Wolverhampton (the Norman Holt index)  are available to download  on the London Canal Museum website. (see Links page for details).  Alternatively, information from the parish registers is available from website wolverhamptonhistory.org.uk, though this database is not boatman specific like the Holt one.



Listing of baptisms at Brentford to those who worked on the waterways, extracted from the Brentford Parish Registers by Peter Stuart.


Also photos of Brentford Locks, and other interesting material for anyone whose family lived and worked in the area.



Parish registers for a number of the Medway parishes.  These are digitised copies of the original registers,but have no formal search engine, so it is a case of trawling through the relevant documents to find the material rather than being led directly to it.  Includes records from Chatham, Gravesend and Rochester.

The website is cityark.medway.gov.uk/  Choose "Parish registers online" for a list of available parishes.


River Severn Parishes

The William Good index.  Extracts from the parish registers of a number of parishes in the area around Tewkesbury. 

William Good index