View Full Version : Register of Vicars?

08-09-2005, 4:22 PM
Hello Everyone,

I wondered how to find information on the careers of vicars.
Surely there must be some kind of register somewhere. The only ones I have discovered so far have been current ones but I am interested in the 18C and 19C ones.
Also, I have a couple of Methodist Lay Preachers in my family tree and wondered if there was some record of them.

I would be very grateful if anyone could point me in the right direction.

Thanking you in anticipation,


08-09-2005, 5:25 PM
The main source for vicars (Church of England clergy) is Crockford's Clerical Directory, which has been published every couple of years since 1858. Very few, if any, libraries will have a full run, though. Before 1858 there are a variety of sources, including:

Index Ecclesiasticus - compiled by John Foster, listing clerical appointments 1800-1840

Fasti Ecclesiae Anglicanae - volumes for each diocese listing appointments to senior positions from earliest times to mid-19th century

The Clergy Database website at http://www.theclergydatabase.org.uk/

Since at that time most clergy were graduates of Oxford or Cambridge, it's worth looking at the volumes of Alumni for each of these. Some of the Oxford ones are available from Archive CD Books.

Methodist lay preachers are another matter. The main collection of Methodist archives is at John Rylands University Library in Manchester http://www.rylibweb.man.ac.uk/data1/dg/text/method.html As far as I know there's little or nothing on lay preachers there, but if anyone can point to a source, I'd be interested to know too.

Good luck,
Arthur Kennedy

mary elms
08-09-2005, 5:35 PM
Hello Kate,

I can't help you with the Anglican lists but as far as I know there are no lists of Methodist Local Preachers as such. There's a list of ministers that goes back to the 18th century though it only contains ministers from the various Methodist traditions that eventually (via a number of different unions) came together in 1932. These list are available on line -


or I can look them up when I go to visit my parents on the 20th September.

Local preachers weren't generally listed centrally but on a circuit by circuit basis. In fact that's only just changing. The theory was that when you moved home you took a copy of the preaching Plan from the previous circuit with you with your name on as a preacher and showed it to the new Circuit as proof that you were an accredited preacher. There is a collection of Circuit Plans at the Methodist Archive in Manchester -


If you're trying to find someone who was active in church leadership (lay and ordained) in the 1930s they may very well be in 'Who's Who in Methodism 1933' Again I can look any names up in my parents' copy.


mary elms
08-09-2005, 5:45 PM
I forgot to say that the Methodist Archive has an online guide to tracing your Family History which you might find useful -



Diane Grant-Salmon
08-09-2005, 6:59 PM
Many thanks Arthur and Mary ...... from your links, I've just found out the year my Stephen FORREST died, plus when he became a Wesleyan Minister. |woohoo|

Forest, Stephen W 1863 1923

mary elms
08-09-2005, 7:07 PM

With those dates it's just possible that the book may actually contain a list of his appointments as well as where he trained. I can't remember at what date that starts. If you would like me to I'll have a look while I'm in Devon and see if there are any more details.


Diane Grant-Salmon
08-09-2005, 7:55 PM
That would be wonderful Mary, if you don't mind. I've just had a look at my file and I've got some of his 'whereabouts' as listed below.

Dwelling: 22 Springfield Terrace, Leeds, Yorkshire
Stephen FORREST (39) Head Single Wesleyan Minister b. Tipton, Staffs.

He married Sarah in the Sept. Qtr. of 1885 in Reg. District of Wrexham, at the time of this marriage, Stephen's Parents were living in Stansty, Denbigh ..... so maybe Stephen was working somewhere in that area too?

Dwelling: 10 Tenterton Street, Bury, Lancashire
Stephen FORREST (49) Head Marr Wesleyan Minister b. Tipton, Staffs.

On the 20th December 1892, Stephen was living in Shipley, Yorkshire (as per Probate of his Father's Will, which was granted to him on that date.)

Dwelling: 17 Shear Brow, Blackburn, Lancashire
Stephen FORREST (59) Head Marr Wesleyan Minister b. Tipton, Staffs.
Sarah Jane FORREST (45) Wife Marr b. Wrexham

Colin Moretti
08-09-2005, 11:38 PM
If you have any Catholic priests in the family you could try
English and Welsh Priests, 1801 - 1914, by Fitzgerald-Lombard, ISBN 0-9502759-8-0.
This is an alphabetical listing, it includes dates of birth, ordination and death and usually other information too.

and, if you have some idea of the parish
Historical Notes on English Catholic Missions by Bernard W Kelly, 1907, reprinted by Michael Gandy 1995, ISBN 0-9520535-7-8
Each Mission or Parish has a brief description plus its priests listed in chronological order, with dates.


mary elms
24-09-2005, 8:34 PM
Diane - Have posted details on other thread.

26-09-2005, 2:10 AM
Hello Everyone especially Arthur Kennedy,
I had forgotten I'd put a post on this forum so thankyou Arthur for reminding me. I am now keeping a list of the posts I put up! Sorry!!!
Thankyou everyone for all your suggestions. I should be able to find the people I'm looking for.{especially the vicar with 34 children!}
I think your suggestions have been helpful to other members too so thanks once again,

11-04-2013, 4:06 PM
Just reading about the career records and wondered if there are any records of Wesleyans. I have couple of Smiths who were ordained in the late 1700's and early 1800's.All I can offer is they were in Bath and London.


12-04-2013, 5:38 PM
The Story of Methodism in Bath Ed Bruce Crofts (1990) gives a fairly comprehensive, but not exhaustive, list of Ministers who served in the Bath Circuit from 1746. For the Wesleyans I can find no trace of a Smith around the dates in question.
There are a number of authorities referred to, including Halls Alphabetical Arrangement, Hills Arrangements and Garlick's Register as well as Minutes of Conference and Bath City Directories.
Hope this helps.