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This page will be the centre for a considerable volume of information of value to the researcher with interests in Biggleswade. .

SECTIONS

ARTICLES AND TRANSCRIPTIONS

Parish Records

Education - Development of Facilities

Census Records

Cricket - Marcus King 1919-2000 and his autobiography

Trade and Resident Directories

Media Notes

Businesses

Wills

Places

Poll Book

Roads

1915 Electors and Jurors List

Buildings

Biggleswade Drum and Town Band

People

School Registers

Establishments

Index of audio recordings of Biggleswade Townsfolk

Events

The Gifle Tribe - Donald Hill, 1988

Family History

 

Maps

 


Parish Records
Biggleswade is extremely fortunate in that its Anglican baptism, marriage and burial records from1637 to 1812 have all been transcribed as part of the Bedfordshire project undertaken by Dr FG Emmison as Clerk of Records for Bedfordshire, assistant to the County Archivist.  He spent many years from 1930 until mid 40's cycling around Bedfordshire parishes, listing their records and, wherever possible, making a transcript of their registers to 1812.  Dr. Emmison then collated this transcript with the surviving bishop's transcripts, indexed the whole and produced a duplicated edition of dozens of the resulting typescripts.

The Biggleswade transcriptions may be seen in Volume 30 held by the Bedfordshire Record Office (Bedfordshire and Luton Records and Archives Service - BLARS) or at Biggleswade and Bedford Central public libraries.   There are some missing years recorded in the indexes where both registers and bishop's transcripts were not located or are known to have been destroyed; these will be detailed here in due course.  Microfiche of the transcription is also available from the Bedfordshire Family History Society.

The Mormons International Genealogical Index (IGI) contains the baptism and marriage index for Biggleswade and this may be searched on-line at the Family Search web site.  Alternatively you can search the IGI for all, or specific names, through a site that details IGI Batch Numbers.  For reference the Biggleswade Batch Numbers are:

Anglican
Baptisms and Births: 1637 to 1812 - P003611; 1813-1875 - C003612
Marriages: 1604 to 1812 - M003611; 1813 to 1882 - M003612
Baptist
Baptisms and Births: 1762 to 1837 - C090781
Wesleyan
Marriages: 1837 to 1888 - M148971
Wesleyan Biggleswade Circuit
Baptisms and Births
: 1799-1837 - C065871; 1838 to 1885 - J065872 and K065872

It is important to note that the IGI does not contain all of the detail that is to be found on the films of the original registers or indeed that which is to be found in Dr Emmison's transcript which is a complete record of the registers..

The Mormons have also filmed not only the pre-1812 material but also many of the later records.  These may be seen in BLARS and certainly in Biggleswade Library as well as the LDS Family History Centres, Family Record Centre and Society of Genealogists Library.

As can be seen above some nonconformist registers and church books have also been transcribed and further details of material available will be provided here later.

Allegations and Bonds for Marriage Licences

All the surviving bonds and allegations to 1812 were published in the Bedfordshire Parish Register series volume 14 covering 1747 to 1790 and volume 15 covering 1791 to 1812. These are full abstracts of all the detail in the original. Original bonds and allegations continue to 1822, and allegations alone to 1885. There is an indexed typescript at the Bedfordshire Record Office of these records 1813-1885.

A few Biggleswade peculiar bonds and allegations survive for the epriod 1714-1800, which are not included in the printed volumes. Bedfordshire record office has a card index to unprinted allegations.

2nd Edition of the National Burial Index  - Biggleswade
N
umber of entries is  7320 from 1604-1855

Records held in Biggleswade Library (on microlfilm or microfiche unless otherwise stated)
Anglican Registers: Baptisms 1813-1930,   Banns 1823-1930,   Marriages 1813-1928,   Burials 1813-1942
Methodist Baptisms 1838-1975 (old paper computer printout)
Index of Churchyard and Cemetery burials 1813-1942  (paper copy)
It is also worth noting that they have the Biggleswade Chronicle from October 1891

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Census
Census records for Biggleswade are available from a variety of sources.  In addition to the Family Record Centre in London, BLARS and the Bedford public library hold full county records in microfiche form; Biggleswade public library also the 1881 CDs and the 1891 census on fiche  The following are indexes or transcriptions identified for Biggleswade:

Year

 

Population

Census Record Notes

1801

 

1734

No known record of inhabitants information.

1811

 

1895

No known record of inhabitants information.

1821

 

2778

No known record of inhabitants information.

1831

 

3226

No known record of inhabitants information.

1841

 

3807

No known index or transcription other than through payment sites.

1851

 

4460

A full transcription has been completed by myself, Mike Strange.
This is not being made available to the public; there is a look-up facility for members or those who purchase one of our publications (one surname per purchase)
An index of names is available in booklet form from the
Bedfordshire Family History Society.  
I found errors and some questions in the index, they can be found 
here.

1861

 

4631

No known index or transcription other than from payment sites.

1871

 

5183

No known index or transcription other than from payment sites.

1881

 

4947

As well as being available on CD from the Church of the Latter Day Saints this can also be searched at their website.  It is also available with images from payment sites.

1891

 

4943

I coordinated transcription of this census for the whole of Bedfordshire under the auspices of the FreeCEN project, the breakdown of the Pieces may be seen on my own website and the records can be searched without charge at the FreeCEN site.

1901

 

5120

A fully searchable transcription is available from the National Archives.

1911

 

5375

This is fully available through the Find My Past web site.

Trade and Resident Directories  
A PDF document readers is needed, Adobe® Acrobat®  can be obtained here
Merchants Miscellany 1785 - Biggleswade
Kelly's 1898 - Biggleswade
Spong's Directory and Almanac for Biggleswade 1914 - Contains details of over 1300 heads of household.

In addition we hold the following for Biggleswade:

1791 British Universal Directory
1839 Pigot
1850 Slater's
1854 Post Office
1862
1869 Post Office Directory
1876
1877 Post Office Directory
1879 Spong & Son's
         "Companion to the Household Almanack" 
         This only names public bodies.1885 Kelly's
1890 Kelly's
1894 Kelly's
1898 Kelly's

1903 Kelly's
1906 Kelly's
1910 Kelly's
1911 Spong & Son
1913 Spong & Son

We also have access to:
1897 Spong's
1899 Spong's
1914 Kelly's
1916 Spong & Son
1925 Kelly's
1935 Kelly's
1940

For Potton we have 1850 Slater's and 1854.

Businesses
Maythorn & Son - Coachbuilders

Places
There are a number of places in Biggleswade that have interesting backgrounds; here is a start:

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Buildings
Follow this link to a list of property names and their locations and onward links to images of plaques, important architectural features and notable advertising detail. Included are names of houses, cottages and terraces, ecclesiastical and public buildings and business properties.

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Roads
As with all towns some of its road names were derived from the names of people from the locality or in the public limelight; Biggleswade is no exception and here are some summaries from Ken Page.  More detailed information will follow on specific streets and here is a starter.
Biggleswade in 1910
Market Square and High Street - see our book "Heritage Trail" on the Puplications page.
Shortmead Street
East side - West side
Stratton Street
The Race

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People
General Names Index
Biggleswade Apprentices

Dan Albone
Lt Vance Harney, USAAF
Charles Penrose and Fanny Blows
Mary Tealby

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Events
Shambles Fire

Maps
In addition to the maps available at BLARS the History Society does have many historical maps of Biggleswade available and these will be detailed in due course.  Also the Biggleswade Public Library has quite a good selection: 1882 1:500,   1901 1:2500,   1901/1902 6 inch,   1926 1:2500,   1937/50 6 inch,   
1960 6 inch,   1969 1:2500,   2001 1:10,000.  The 1882 map really is quite excellent.

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