Place:Plympton St. Mary, Devon, England

NamePlympton St. Mary
Alt namesPlintonasource: Domesday Book (1985) p 85
Plintonesource: Domesday Book (1985) p 85
Plympton St Mary
Plympton-St. Marysource: the hyphen brigade
Plympton Saint Mary
Sparkwell
TypeParish, Suburb
Coordinates50.3883°N 4.0594°W
Located inDevon, England
See alsoPlympton Hundred, Devon, Englandhundred of which the parish was a part
Plympton St. Mary Rural, Devon, Englandrural district in which the parish was located 1894-1974
Plymouth, Devon, Englandborough into which it was absorbed in 1967
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog


NOTE: Plympton (the original name for this page) is a merger of several individual civil parishes surrounding Plymouth that occurred in 1967. Plympton St. Mary and Plympton St. Maurice (also known as Plympton Earls) and Plymstock were separate civil parishes before that date. Each of them has a separate page in this database. This is the page for Plympton St. Mary.

Plympton St. Mary was the largest of these parishes by area. It was used as a base for civil registration and census registration from 1837. In 1967 it was amalgamated into Plymouth. Before 1974 the parish was in the Plympton St. Mary Rural District. Throughout the 19th century it was a rural sanitary district.

It had no village of its own name, but includes the villages of Ridgway, Underwood, and Colebrook, and the hamlets of Hemerdon, Sparkwell, Venton, and part of Lee Mill Bridge. Sparkwell was considered to be a civil parish during the 19th century, but no dates are given in A Vision of Britain through Time.

GENUKI provides a quote from White's Devonshire Directory of 1850 describing the parish at that time.

Registration Districts

and then amalgamated into Plymouth.

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.
  • Users studying the Plymouth area are recommended to check the GENUKI page for Plymouth which is lengthy but recently updated (summer 2015). Two entries under the heading "Genealogy" are:
  • Donald Curkeet's Plymouth Devonshire and Surrounding Parishes for Family Genealogy website provides church and churhyard photographs, and information, in some cases including parish register name indexes, for a number of Plymouth area parishes. He provided a very useful sketchmap.
  • Plymouth is one of the growing number of places for which the Devon Heritage website provides census or parish register transcriptions, articles, and/or illustrations, etc. (For Plymouth they supply lists on specific events or groups of people at varying dates.)
  • GENUKI has online transcriptions of a number of the censuses for Plympton St. Mary between 1841 and 1911.