Dursley, Gloucestershire Family History Guide

Dursley is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Gloucestershire.

Parish church:

Parish registers begin: 1639

Nonconformists include: Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent/Congregational, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Dursley

  • North Nibley
  • Stinchcombe
  • Cam
  • Uley

Historical Descriptions

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1851

Dursley, a market-town and parish, in the upper division of the hund. of Berkeley, union of Dursley, county of Gloucester; 108 miles west by north of London, and 15 miles south-west by south of Gloucester. Acres 1,360. Houses 635. A.P. £5,565. Pop., in 1801, 2,379; in 1831, 3,226. The town stands at the foot of a hill, near the source of a small stream, called the Cam. Living, a rectory in the archd. and dio. of Gloucester and Bristol, formerly annexed to the archd. of Gloucester; rated at £10 14s 4½d. Patron, the bishop of the diocese. Here are an Independent church, formed in 1764; a Wesleyan Methodist, in 1801; and also 2 daily and 4. Sunday schools, one of the former of which is National, and is supported by endowment. Only 1 in 20 of the population of Dursley has been educated. Charities, upwards of £70 per annum. Poor rates, in 1837. £1,186. There are many poor in Dursley, and their houses are wretched and destitute. A workhouse has been erected here for the union of Dursley, by the poor-law commissioners, capable of accommodating 280 persons. The Dursley poor-law union comprehends 11 parishes, embracing an area of 36 square miles; with a population returned, in 1831, at 19,518. The average annual expenditure on the poor of this district, during the three years preceding the formation of the union, was £10,931. Expenditure, in 1838, £7,250. in 1839, £7,631 1s. Dursley was one of the boroughs included in the return made by the sheriff of Gloucestershire in the reign of Edward I., but it does not appear that it ever sent members to parliament. If it ever did, it has long since lost the privilege. It is the principal place of election for the members for the western division of the county. The local authorities are a bailiff and 12 aldermen. At a court-leet, in October, the homage jury annually present the names of three inhabitants of the town, of whom the lord of the manor selects one to be bailiff; who, on his office expiring, becomes an alderman, if the number of 12 be incomplete. Nether bailiff nor aldermen have municipal functions or municipal property of any kind. Four woollen mills here, in 1838, employed 115 hands. In the district of Dursley, however, there were, in 1839, 11 cloth mills in use. This is one of the principal woollen districts in the county. In the town itself there were formerly about 150 hand-loom weavers, and it was a very brisk manufacturing town; but, in 1839, there were only about 20: the clothing trade had greatly declined: two or three mills were then vacant, and almost in ruins. Near the centre of the town is a market-house built in 1738. The market was chartered by Edward IV., in 1471. It is held on Thursday, and there are fairs for the sale cattle and pedlery on 6th May, and 4th December. There is here a stratum of tophus or puff stone, so soft as to be worked with facility; but, on exposure to the air, it becomes uncommonly hard and durable. The walls of Berkeley castle were built of the stone, which, though upwards of 700 years old, are in good repair.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1851.


Marriages at Dursley 1639-1812

Marriages at Dursley 1639-1812 - UK Genealogy Archives


Marriages at Dursley 1810 to 1812
Marriages at Dursley 1805 to 1809
Marriages at Dursley 1801 to 1804


Dursley Gell and Bradshaw Gloucestershire Directory 1820
Dursley (inc. Uley) Universal British Directory 1791


  • County: Gloucestershire
  • Civil Registration District: Dursley
  • Probate Court: Court of the Bishop of Gloucester (Episcopal Consistory)
  • Diocese: Pre 1836 - Gloucester, Post 1835 - Gloucester and Bristol
  • Rural Deanery: Dursley
  • Poor Law Union: Dursley
  • Hundred: Berkeley (Gloucestershire)
  • Province: Canterbury