Place:Elmsted, Kent, England

Alt namesElmsted near Ashfordsource: name variation
Elmstead near Ashfordsource: name variation
Bodshamsource: village in parish
Bodsham Greensource: alternate name for above
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates51.163°N 1.025°E
Located inKent, England
See alsoStowting Hundred, Kent, Englandancient county division in which it was located
Elham Rural, Kent, Englandrural district of which it was a part 1894-1974
Shepway District, Kent, Englanddistrict municipality covering the area since 1974
source: Family History Library Catalog

NOTE: A Vision of Britain through Time refers to "Elmsted" in its database of parishes, but Wilson's Gazetteer lists it as "Elmstead" as does the Ordnance Survey map of 1935. Variations in spelling such as this are common. However, there is also an "Elmstead", referred to as an "area", in Bromley in Greater London. Bromley, Greater London, was in Kent until 1965. The writer can find no evidence that the Elmstead in Bromley was a parish or any other organized part of the borough going back beyond 1900. The titles of sources for data in Elmsted (found under the left-hand tab "What Links Here"), for the most part, refer to Elmstead (and the FamilySearch Wiki also uses both spellings in its article). Without careful inspection of the sources themselves it is difficult to assess whether any of them actually refers to the Elmstead in Bromley, but there is a distinct possibility that some might.

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Elmsted from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"ELMSTEAD, a parish in Elham [registration] district, Kent; 4½ miles ESE of Wye [railway] station, and 6½ ENE of Ashford. It has a post office under Ashford, and a fair on 25 July. Acres: 2,692. Real property: £2,692. Population: 492. Houses: 93. The property is divided among a few. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value: £80. Patron: the Archbishop of Canterbury. The church is old but good."

There is no article in Wikipedia on Elmsted, but there is an article on Elmstead in Bromley.

Elmsted was originally an ancient parish in the Stowting Hundred. It was a civil parish in Elham Rural District from 1894 until 1974, and since 1974 has been part of the non-metropolitan Shepway District. It twice lost area to neighbouring parishes but it remained a civil parish until at least 1974. (Source: A Vision of Britain through Time)

Elmsted included the village of Bodsham or Bodsham Green (redirected here).

Research Tips

  • Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. James Whatman Way, Maidstone, Kent ME14 1LQ. This incorporates the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre near Dover.
  • Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.
  • For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps of England and Wales - Revised: Kent illustrates the parish boundaries of Kent when rural districts were still in existence and before Greater London came into being. The map publication year is 1931. An earlier map of 1900 may also be useful. The maps blow up to show all the parishes and many of the small villages and hamlets. Maps in this series are now downloadable for personal use.
  • Census records for Kent are available on FamilySearch, Ancestry and FindMyPast. The first site is free; the other two are pay sites but have access to microfilmed images. Steve Archer produced a very useful round-up of the available sources, but this information may not be up to date.
  • Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
  • England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 The full database from Kent Archives Office, Maidstone, has been available online from FamilySearch since June 2016.
  • Kent had five family history societies (now only four):
  • Volume 2 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1926) is available online through the auspices of British History Online. It includes accounts of the early history of Canterbury and Rochester cathedrals, and of several sites now within the conurbation of London.
  • Volume 3 of the Victoria County History of Kent (published 1932) This includes the text of, and the index to, the Kent Domesday survey. It has been provided by the Kent Archaeological Society.
  • In place of the other volumes of the Victoria County History, British History Online has transcriptions of the numerous volumes of The History and Topographical Survey of the County of Kent by Edward Hasted (originally published 1797)
  • English Jurisdictions 1851, a parish finding aid provided by FamilySearch, is particularly helpful in locating parishes in large ancient towns and cities like Canterbury.
  • Kent Probate Records Numerous links provided by Maureen Rawson
  • GENUKI lists other possible sources, however, it does not serve Kent so well as it does some other counties.