Parish Records

The Parish Records for St Mary’s Church in Cerne Abbas are held in the Dorset History Centre and are available there for inspection. They include churchwardens’ accounts which survive from 1628, overseers’ accounts from 1632, and the Parish Registers from 1653.

The Parish Registers are important for genealogical purposes as they record baptisms, banns of marriage, marriages and burials in the Parish before the introduction of Civil Registration in 1837.The baptisms, marriages and burials for Cerne Abbas (and many other records of importance to family historians) have been indexed on the Dorset Online Parish Clerks website. This website is dedicated to family history research in the West Country and includes many other parishes in Dorset.

The Overseers’ Rates Assessments are a useful source for family history as they list the names and properties of those living in the parish at a given time. Graham Clark, one of the Society’s correspondents in New Zealand, has transcribed the Cerne Abbas Rates Books for 1826 and 1840 while researching his family name, and the Society is grateful for his permission to publish them.  

A selection of Rates Assessments from 1826 to 1858 are published here.