Place:Newton St. Petrock, Devon, England

NameNewton St. Petrock
Alt namesNewetonesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 84
Newton St Petrocksource: Domesday Book (1985) p 84
Newton-St. Petrocksource: Family History Library Catalog
Nietonasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 84
Newton Saint Petrock
Coordinates50.883°N 4.25°W
Located inDevon, England
See alsoShebbear Hundred, Devon, Englandhundred in which the parish is located
Bideford Rural, Devon, Englandrural district in which the parish was located 1894-1974
Torridge District, Devon, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Newton St Petrock is an ecclesiastical and civil parish in the Torridge District of Devon, England, occupying approximately 1,500 acres (6.1 km2). From 1894 until 1974 Newton St. Petrock was in the Bideford Rural District and since 1974 local administration is dealt with by the Torridge District.

The parish’s famous landmark is an ancient oak. Its profile is, appropriately, that of an acorn whose western border follows the River Torridge. It is contiguous with the parishes of Abbots Bickington, Bulkworthy, Shebbear and Milton Damerel.

King Athelstan, in the 10th century, granted the lands of "Niwantun" to the priests of St Petroc's minster at Bodmin. The boundaries of St Petroc’s Niwantun remain exactly the same today except for some expansion to the ecclesiastical and civil parish on its north side to include part of what was called Cleave in the Middle Ages and what was once part of the parish of Frithelstock in the 19th century. The population of this rural parish has remained remarkably stable over the last two centuries. In 1801, the population was 201 and this had fallen to 163 by 2001. In the late 17th century Newton St. Petrock was the home of England’s first female physician, Prudence Abbott Potter. A 19th-century rector, John Lemprière, wrote a Classical Dictionary used for generations in schools throughout the English-speaking world.

A Baptist church was opened at Newton St. Petrock on 19 January 1830 on the property of Mr Frank Thorne, the local blacksmith, who might be considered the first pastor although the cause began twelve years earlier when the Rev. John Gould retired from Croyde and settled in the parish.

The Land Tax Assessment for 1832 has the following Occupiers and their Properties:

  • John King: Lane, Dingle Park, and Francesmeadow ;
  • Richard Beare: East Hole, and North Hawkwill;
  • William Blight: Ven;
  • John Ball: Jeans Westhole, Bridgements Westhole, Rogerments Westhole, and Barness;
  • William Cobbledick: Newton Mill Tenement;
  • William White: Newton Mills;
  • John Cobbledick: Holwill;
  • John Osborn: South Hawkwill;
  • William Sanders: Higher Slew, Lower Slew; Chapple, and Ford;
  • Richard Quance: Higher Coham, and Lower Coham;
  • John Brent: Down; Samuel Fishleigh: Bridge;
  • John Thorne: Higher Westhole;
  • Thomas Rees: Stone Park;
  • John Western: Suddon; and
  • Edmund Palmer: Bridge Ham.

Like most North Devon parishes many of Newton St. Petrock's sons and daughters emigrated to Canada and elsewhere in the second half of the 19th century.

Registration Districts

Research Tips

  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Devonshire Northand Devonshire South illustrate the parish boundaries of Devon when rural districts were still in existence. The maps publication year is 1931. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. These maps are now downloadable for personal use.
  • GENUKI has a new map feature on its individual Devon parish pages. Each parish page includes an outline map of parishes in the region of the one under inspection. By clicking on this map the user is taken to a blow-up of Historic Parishes of England and Wales: an Electronic Map of Boundaries before 1850 with a Gazetteer and Metadata [computer file] provided by R. J. P. Kain and R. R. Oliver of the History Data Service of Colchester, Essex (distributed by UK Data Archive).
  • Devon County Council's Record Offices and Local Studies Libraries are being reorganized and amalgamated to form the Devon Heritage Services, comprising the Devon Heritage Centre (Exeter) and the North Devon Record Office (Barnstaple). These developments, which are described in Historical Records: A New Future for Devon's Heritage, do not affect the other major Devon archive, the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office, or the Local Studies Library, which are located in Plymouth and come under the Plymouth City Council. (Devon FHS report that Plymouth Record Office has just aquired new premises.) There is a guide entitled Which heritage centre or record office should I visit? which is provided to explain the organization further.
  • Devon Family History Society Mailing address: PO Box 9, Exeter, EX2 6YP, United Kingdom. Specialized contacts for membership, publications, queries, etc. The society has branches in various parts of the county. It is the largest Family History Society in the United Kingdom.
  • Devon has a Online Parish Clerk (OPC) Project. Only about half of the parishes have a volunteer contributing local data. For more information, consult the website, especially the list at the bottom of the homepage.
  • GENUKI makes a great many suggestions as to other websites with worthwhile information about Devon as well as leading to a collection of 19th century descriptions of each of the ecclesiastical parishes. Devon is one of the counties on the GENUKI website that has recently (summer 2015) been updated. The maps described above are just one of the innovations.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki provides a similar information service to GENUKI which may be more up-to-date. An index of parishes leads to notes and references for each parish.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time has
  1. organization charts of the hierarchies of parishes within hundreds, registration districts and rural and urban districts of the 20th century
  2. excerpts from a gazetteer of circa 1870 outlining individual towns and parishes
  3. reviews of population through the time period 1800-1960
  • More local sources can often be found by referring to "What Links Here" in the column on the left.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Newton St Petrock. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.