Find your ancestors in Surrey, Southwark Congregational Registers

What can these records tell me?

Each search result provides a transcription of the original document and a digital image of that document. The exact information contained within any one entry may depend both upon the date and place, the type of event being registered, and the customs of the denomination registering the event. However, you should be able to find out a combination of the following:

  • Name
  • Date
  • Place
  • Age

Discover more about these records

These records are among the first releases from Findmypast’s partnership with Southwark Archives, the archive serving the London Borough of Southwark. This area of London south of the Thames was part of the historical and ceremonial county of Surrey, but its importance to the social and cultural functioning of the City has always been recognised. As it was situated outside the jurisdiction of the City of London, it also enjoyed a reputation for counter-cultural tendencies, such as when, in Shakespeare’s day, playhouses sprang up alongside the many inns, bowling alleys, gambling dens and other venues we are too polite to mention.

The Archives hold an appropriately diverse collection of records. Our first publications relate to registers created by the Non-Conformist, or Dissenting, denominations of Southwark. These mainly cover the C19th and early C20th and are drawn from Baptist, Congregational (Independent) and Methodist chapels across different parts of the borough.

As well as baptism, marriage and burial records, there is also a selection of other registers recording the life of a community. Some of these are simply registers of the members of a congregation, collated for various purposes according to need – both outreach and pastoral care, but quite possibly also the payment of dues. Other original documents are Sunday School admission registers, recording the details of children of chapel-goers (and potentially chapel-goers themselves, if new to the congregation or converts, and unfamiliar with catechism). There are also Band of Hope registers, including pledge books which narrate the story of the temperance movement at the local level.