Downend Local History Society


 Contacts and further information

The Society does not carry out research for individuals. However our books are a useful source of information and we are very happy to give advice on other sources of information. Some starting points are given below:

  • Bristol Central Library (Reference Library)...................Tel 0117 9037202
    • College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TL, England
    • Microfiche of indexes to births deaths and marriages, from 1837. Having obtained the reference number to the event you are interested in, the certificate can then be ordered from the General Register Office (see below)
    • Some parish records and a variety of local history books, Ordnance Survey maps etc.
    • Past copies of local newspapers

Before it became the separate parishes of Downend, Mangotsfield and Staple Hill, the whole area was the parish of Mangotsfield. Records for all parishes may be found in either of the two records offices given below.

  • Bristol Record Office..................................................Tel 0117 9224224
    • A large repository of parish records, deeds and wills as well as historical trade directories. Mangotsfield parish originally included Upper Soundwell, Staple Hill, Downend, Moorend, Bury Hill and Mangotsfield village with the parish church of St James at its centre. Christ Church, Downend, built in 1831 as a chapel of ease to St James, became the parish church for the new Downend parish created in 1874. Soundwell was part of this parish until it became a parish in its own right in 1904 with the building of St Stephens. All three parishes are part of the Diocese of Bristol and their Diocesan records ( parish registers, wills, probate inventories, Tithe Map, etc) are deposited in the Bristol Record Office.
    • Try the following web sites and (obtained through  Altavista)


  • Gloucestershire Record Office.......................................Tel 01452 425295
    • This contains the civil records of the above three parishes.
    • Full michrofiche of the indexes of all births, marriages and deaths between 1837 and 1996
    • A searchable database of all wills proved at Gloucester 1541 - 1858. This is also on-line
  • General Register Office (Certificate Services Branch)....Tel 0870 2437788
    • Certificates of births, deaths and marriages can be ordered by telephone using a credit card for payment. First a relevant reference number must be obtained from one of the sources above.
    • For further information look at the website
  • Family Records Centre ......1 Myddelton Street, London,EC1R 1UW
    • For details of the vast amount of information here, we would advise that you first visit their extensive
    • Details of searching, guides to genealology as well as opening times are all available for downloading.
  • Society of Genealogy
    • For anybody just starting to search their family history, this society has a large number of explanatory leaflets, such as 'Starting Genealogy' No 9, 'Family Records and their Layout' No 3, 'The relevance of surnames in genealogy' No 7 etc. These can be read and downloaded from their website.
    • The website is
  • Our publications

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