Place:Souldrop, Bedfordshire, England

Alt namesSouldropsource: Bedfordshire Record Office
TypeParish (ancient), Civil parish
Coordinates52.243°N 0.558°W
Located inBedfordshire, England
See alsoWilley Hundred, Bedfordshire, Englandhundred in which it was located
Bedford Rural, Bedfordshire, Englandrural district of which it was part 1894-1934
Knotting and Souldrop, Bedfordshire, Englandcivil parish into which it was absorbed in 1934
source: Family History Library Catalog

Souldrop was originally an ancient parish in the Willey Hundred of Bedfordshire, England. It was an ancient parish without any subsidiary chapelries or townships.

It was made a civil parish in 1866 and in 1894 it became part of the Bedford Rural District. In 1934 it was merged with the neighbouring parish of Knotting, forming the parish of Knotting and Souldrop. Since 1974 the merged parish has been in the non-metropolitan Borough of Bedford.

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

"SOULDROP, a parish, with a village, in the [registration] district and county of Bedford; 2 miles NW by N of Sharnbrook [railway] station. Post town: Sharnbrook, under Bedford. Acres: 1,290. Real property: £1,055. Population: 276. Houses: 52. The manor belongs to the Duke of Bedford. The living is a rectory, annexed to Knotting. The church, excepting the tower and part of the spire, was recently rebuilt."

Research Tips

  • The website British History Online provides three chapters of the Victoria County History Series on Bedfordshire. The first covers the religious houses of the county; the second and third provides articles on the parishes of the county. The parishes are arranged within their "hundreds".
  • GENUKI main page for Bedfordshire which provides information on various topics covering the whole of the county, and also a link to a list of parishes. Under each parish there is a list of the settlements within it and brief description of each. This is a list of pre-1834 ancient or ecclesiastical parishes but there are suggestions as to how to find parishes set up since then. GENUKI provides references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area. There is no guarantee that the website has been kept up to date and therefore the reader should check additional sources if possible.
  • Bedfordshire family history societies are listed in GENUKI.
  • The FamilyTree Wiki has a series of pages similar to those provided by GENUKI which may have been prepared at a later date and from more recent data. The wiki has a link to English Jurisdictions 1851. There is a list of all the parishes in existence at that date with maps indicating their boundaries. The website is very useful for finding the ecclesiastical individual parishes within large cities and towns.
  • A Vision of Britain through Time, Bedfordshire, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions. Descriptions provided are usually based on a gazetteer of 1870-72 which often provides brief notes on the economic basis of the settlement and significant occurences through its history.
  • These two maps indicate the boundaries between parishes, etc., but for a more detailed view of a specific area try a map from this selection. The oldest series are very clear at the third magnification offered. Comparing the map details with the GENUKI details for the same area is well worthwhile.