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



Information on the Members' Portal

Journals from other Societies
We continue to add new society journals each month. We now have 38 societies in all with many hundreds of journals and some Newsletters.


Our Societies Journals
We have added our own journals starting with Vol. 20: March 2015 up to current issue. We would remind you that Vol. 1 to 19 are available on CD.

Lending Library listing (pdf)
This is the list of all the books we hold in our lending library which is available at our monthly meetings. That is once we return to Mark Rutherford School for live meetings.

Clapham Church Memorial Inscriptions
Memorial Inscriptions from the graveyard of St Thomas Becket Church, Clapham, Bedford.

Mary Phillips Clophill Archive
Mary Phillips wrote a history of Clophill, Bedfordshire and did a great deal of research into other Bedfordshire villages in the vicinity of Clophill. After her death her son found a huge collection of notes she had made on this subject, wills, baptisms, property sales etc. They are handwritten on scraps of card. Rather than destroy the papers he has donated them to the Society and we are digitising them with the aim of gradually putting them on the BFHS Members' Portal.

Funeral Directors Records
This is an ongoing project and we have digitally copied ledgers from the following Funeral Directors in Bedfordshire.

T & E Neville Ltd of Luton (now Neville Funeral Service) from January 1905 to 1955.

A L & G Abbotts Ltd of Kempston from 30-Jan-1904 to 1980. (April 1924 to January 1937 ledgers lost in office fire).

John Saunders and Son of Luton 1890 to 1925 and working from 1926 to 1941.

Transcribing all these records is slow but we have made good progress and over 8300 names are on the Main Index on our Members Only Portal. All of the ledgers from Nevilles and Abbotts can be viewed by appointment at the Bedfordshire Archives.

St. John’s Pharmacy Book
Fully indexed records kept by St. Johns Pharmacy Bedford. Reproduced by kind permission of Barry Moulang.  

Cherry Family History
A book of some 94 pages by Richard Cherry 2014.

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 looking at these items, then why not join us. To do this click on ‘Society Information/Membership.'


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.


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 where downloads are also available.. 








Page last updated

Brian Payne