Bedfordshire Family History Society

PO Box 214, Bedford MK41 8WB
Patron: Dr Colin R Chapman MA, CEng, CSci, CChem, FEI, FNucI, FRSC, FRSH, FSG
President: Pamela Birch
Registered Charity Number 281677


For details of our Next Meeting please click here


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Talk 4th February 2022 to be Hybrid

Log-in details may be found in the Members' Portal and on the Future Meetings and Events page.

Death of Geoff Sewell

Geoff Sewell It is with great sadness that I have to report the sudden death of Geoff Sewell. Geoff has been a member of The Society since the mid eighties. Spending most of those years on the committee. From 1996 until 2017 as our Chairman, combining the role with that of Programme Secretary. When he retired from committee he still kept on the job of Programme Secretary. Over the years he has found some wonderful speakers for us. Many of them have become friends of BFHS, enjoying coming to speak to us on a regular basis.
Mary Wooldridge

Bedfordshire Wills Books 1-4 from 1531-1552

Now available for download. View the index of each book for free to see if your ancestor is listed. More information here.

Corona-virus Update 29 Apr 2021 Click Here for more information

Pre-1852 Surnames Index to Bedfordshire Parish Registers

The index has been available in CD format for a number of years but we are now pleased to offer this revised issue of the Index FREE of charge in PDF format by clicking here.

Talks via Zoom now available as a recording in the Members' Portal

We are pleased to invite BFHS members to watch recorded Zoom talks by:
Mary McKee on 21 January 2022
Richard Morgan on 7 January 2022
Janet Few on 3 December 2021
Pamela Birch on June 2021

Handout from Vicki Manners presentation on the 9th April 2021

Accessing Poor Law Records in Bedfordshire

Poor Law records are an invaluable source when it comes to finding your ancestors.  

Prior to 1834, help to the poor was administered by local parishes. In Bedfordshire you can find out if your ancestor received help from their parish by searching the ‘Bedfordshire Parish Poor Law papers 1622-1834 Index’ which is available from Bedfordshire Family History Society (BFHS). The index gives the name of the individual, the Poor Law document issued, and the parish or parishes concerned.

The Poor Law Amendment Act of 1834 took away responsibility from individual parishes and created poor law unions which grouped parishes together. Access to these poor law union records for Bedfordshire are available on-line via Ancestry.

However, Ancestry does not have access to the records contained in the ‘Bedfordshire Parish Poor Law papers 1622-1834 Index.’ The index is only available from BFHS. You can purchase it as book for £7.50 (plus postage), or C.D. for £6.00 (including postage). These are available from BFHS by clicking on ‘Society Information’ then ‘Bookstall’ and ‘Publications’ and then completing the order forms in our Publications List. Alternatively you can order through the Online bookshop Genfair or Parish Chest.  

Update on Members' Portal - Jan 2021

Funeral Directors Records

We continue to work on indexing the Funeral Directors Records for Bedfordshire.

To date we have located the following. AL&G Abbotts of Kempston, Bedford January 1904 to October 1980. T&E Neville Ltd of Luton (now Neville Funeral Services Ltd) January 1905 to December 1955. During lockdown we have not been able to attend the Records Office to carry on work with the T&E Neville Ltd ledgers. However the records have been made available to us from AL&G Abbotts of Kempston and we are currently working to transcribe these.

If you are a member and have not had a look at our members only page then go to the Members' Portal button and fill in the request form. A username and password will be sent to you. You will require your membership number and email address. If you are not a member but think you may enjoy the journals or find the Funeral Directors Records of interest or have a look at the other items then why not join us, To do this click on Society Information/Membership.'

Highlights of Information on Members' Portal (password required)

Members' Meetings videos (when available)
Journals from other Societies
Lending Library listing (pdf)
Clapham Church Memorial Inscriptions
Funeral Directors’ records
Mary Phillips Clophill Archive

GDPR - June 2018


Postal & Online Shops

parist chestFor details of Books, CDs and additional goods concerning the county of Bedfordshire available from BFHS please click on ‘Society Information’ then ‘Bookstall’ and ‘Publications’ To order - use the order forms in our Publications List. Alternatively you can order through the online bookshop Genfair or Parish Chest

Page last updated

Brian Payne