Weymouth-Dorset.co.uk Local History - History of Weymouth

Weymouth & Melcombe Regis Family History

Researching one's ancestors in the Weymouth area can be confusing, as the town and area around it are all lumped together as being Weymouth. Situated on opposite sides of the harbour, the two towns of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis were officially joined as a borough in 1571.

Parish of Weymouth: This is the area around Hope Square, Trinity Street and Trinity Road and the now named High West Street, the latter two streets both having once been the High Street. This goes up to Boot Hill (Rodwell Road).

Parish Registers: the church at Wyke Regis, about a mile away along the Wyke Road was the Mother Church to Weymouth until 1836 when Holy Trinity church was built next to the Town Bridge. Entries for Weymouth people are in the registers for Wyke Regis until that time.


Parish of Melcombe Regis: This is the area where the town centre is and the seafront/beach up as far as about the old pier/bandstand near St. John's Church, on the right hand side of the harbour. It includes all the streets of the town, St. Thomas Street and St. Mary Street, which were and still are the main trading streets.

Parish Registers: Radipole was originally the Mother Church to St. Mary's Melcombe Regis (whose chapel was originally known as Christchurch) and all early entries are recorded in the Radipole register. Their roles were reversed with the building of a new church at Melcombe Regis in 1605, which was later rebuilt in 1817. Confusingly, for some time, both churches were named St. Mary's, but Radipole was renamed St. Ann's in 1927 when it once more became a parish in its own right.  

Useful resources online:

Links on this site for genealogy and family history:

Genealogy from the records of the Borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis including "Marriages", Apprentices and other genealogical data.

Index of Street Names and changes of, in the old Borough of Weymouth and Melcombe Regis

1823-4 Directory of Melcombe Regis

1844 Directory of Melcombe Regis

The Abigail and John Endicott sailed from Weymouth in 1628, includes passenger list

Emigration - ships leaving Weymouth, includes some passenger lists

General Dorset Family History


You may find the Weymouth & Dorset Local and Family History Forums on this site useful in requesting help in tracing ancestors in Dorset, or perhaps you can help someone else. Who knows, you might find a relative! You will need to sign up as a member in order to post with any queries or information you may have. The forums also contain many useful links for both local and family history.

A recently published, revised, hardback edition of a book entitled "The Crabchurch Conspiracy" will also be of interest to family historians as it gives the names of ordinary Dorset men who signed up to be soldiers during the Civil War of the 1640's. This book, beautifully written by local author Mark Vine and illustrated by the talented Semi Vine is available through this website (please use the link above). The original paperback edition is still available via the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society or at the Dorset County Museum.


External Links:

Weymouth & Melcombe Regis Online Parish Clerk

Weymouth and Portland Borough Council Database of Burials covering the parishes of Weymouth, Melcombe Regis and Wyke Regis from 1856-1996



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