The centre of Coventry lies about sixteen miles from the centre of Birmingham to the south west. It was a thriving city in mediaeval times and its history is well researched. The story of the ride of Lady Godiva centres on Coventry. It has always been a relatively prosperous city as the records of the many craft guilds show and in modern times developed important industries relating to the manufacture of cycles and cars. During World War II the centre was virtually destroyed in the first concentrated air raid and damage all over the city was immense, the cathedral being the saddest casualty. Fortunately few records were lost in the 'blitz', the exception being the cathedral registers. A fire in Birmingham Library in the nineteenth century did, however, destroy some important archives which had been lodged there. Districts which were within Coventry's parishes included Coundon, Keresley, Cheylesmore, Radford, Willenhall, Caludon, Whitley, Pinley in Coventry.

DIOCESE: Lichfield. HUNDRED: Knightlow. UNION: Coventry

(Keresley was later in the Foleshill Union)

ADJOINING PARISHES: Corley, Exhall (Near Coventry), Foleshill, Wyken, Stoke, Binley, Wolston-Cum-Brandon, Ryton-on-Dunsmore, Baginton, Stivichall, Stoneleigh, Allesley.

Parish Registers: All Saints Christenings: 1869-1967 Marriages: 1869-1969.
Christchurch Christenings: 1875-1976 Marriages: 1892-1967.
Holy Trinity Christenings: 1561-1950 Marriages: 1561-1971 Burials: 1561-1908 Banns 1778-1793 1851-1884.
St.Anne Christenings: 1930-1960 Marriages: 1930-1964.
Stoke Aldermoor Marriages: 1966-1977 (see St.Anne for earlier registers)
St.Barbara (Earlsdon) Christenings: 1914-1949 Marriages: 1917-1956.
St.Barnabas Christenings: 1947-1972 Marriages: 1939-1962.
St.George Christenings: 1929-1979 Marriages: 1935-1979 Banns 1984-1989.
St.John the Baptist Christenings: 1734-1908 (damaged by flooding) Marriages: 1734-1900 Burials: 1734-1893 Banns 1754-1825.
St. Margaret (Argyle St) Christenings: 1909-1940 Marriages: 1913-1941.
St.Mark Christenings: 1869-1971 Marriages: 1869-1971.
St.Mary Magdalen Christenings: 1918-1973 Marriages: 1920-1968.
St.Michael (cathedral) Christenings: 1662-1934 Marriages: 1662-1927 Burials: 1662-1940. (earlier fragments only);
St.Peter Christenings: 1841-1968 Marriages: 1842-1974 Burials: 1841-1931.
St.Thomas Christenings: 1849-1973 Marriages: 1849-1974. Coundon Christenings: 1847-1963 Marriages: 1848-1976 Burials: 1847-1901.
Keresley Christenings: 1847-1963 Marriages: 1848-1976 Burials: 1847-1901.

Bishop's Transcripts : All Saints Begin c1869 WOR
Holy Trinity 1662-1848 LIC Begin c1858 WOR
St. John 1752-1841 LIC Begin c1858 WOR
St.Michael: 1640-1847 (gaps) LIC
St. Peter Begin c1858 WOR
St.Thomas Begin c 1858 WOR
Keresley and Coundon Begin c1848 WOR

IGI: Holy Trinity Christenings: 1561-1885 Marriages: 1561-1895
St.John Christenings: 1734-1876 Marriages: 1734-1878
St.Michael Christenings: 1662-1875 Marriages: 1756-1876
Longford Chapel Gen. Bap. Z 1785-1837
White Friars Gen. Bap. Z 1826-1837
Vicar Lane Chapel Independent Christenings: 1755-1837
West Orchard Chapel Independent Christenings: 1775-1837
Warwick Lane Wesleyan Christenings: 1820-1837
Keresley Christenings: 1847-1885 Marriages: 1848-1895. Widely available; BMSGH(PS)

REGISTER COPIES: All Saints Christenings: 1869-1903 Marriages: 1869-1912 COV
Christ Church Christenings: 1875-1908 Marriages: 1892-1922 COV
Holy Trinity (Part 1) M Burials: 1561-1653 (Part 2) Christenings: 1561-1653 & (Part 3) Christenings: 1653-1745 (Part 4) Banns 1653-1661 Marriages: 1653-1745 Burials: 1653-1674 (Part 5) 1754-1837 (Part 6) Burials: 1675-1745 BMSGH (Pbn) BIR , SoG Christenings: 1561-1904 M Burials: 1561-1848 SoG Christenings: 1561-1904 M Burials: 1561-1908 Banns 1653-1909 COV
St.John CM Burials: 1752-1797 BIR Christenings: 1734-1908 Marriages: 1734-1900 Burials: 1734-1893 Banns 1754-1825 COV
St.Mark Christenings: 1869-1904 Marriages: 1869-1905 COV
St.Michael CM Burials: 1640-1726 WAR
CMB 1640-1742 SoG Christenings: 1662-1892 Marriages: 1662-1891 Burials: 1662-1966 COV
St.Michael (Part 4) B.T's Mar.1742-1837 (Part 3)CMB 1640-& 1662-1691 (Part 2) Christenings: 1691-1716 Marriages: 1692-1716 Burials: 1691-1715 (Part 1) Christenings: 1716-1726 Marriages: 1716-1742 Burials: 1715-1726 BMSGH (Pbn) BIR , SoG
St.Peter Christenings: 1841-1907 Marriages: 1842-1903 Burials: 1841-1931 COV
St.Thomas Christenings: 1898-1913 SoG Christenings: 1849-1898 Marriages: 1849-1901 COV
Keresley Christenings: 1847-1875 Marriages: 1848-1932 Burials: 1847-1901 COV
Radford Burials: 1743-1841 SoG

NONCONFORMIST: Records held at COV may vary in dates from those shown here. Some are on restricted access, contact the Archivist for details.
Roman Catholic: see Source Material and C, M & R Vol.2;
St. Osburg Christenings: 1767-1807 Marriages: 1770-1807 Burials: 1795-1806 M Christenings: 1767-1802 WAR
Quaker see Source Material. Z 1839-1876 Burials: 1837-1861 WAR
Burials: 1837-1861 WOR
Baptist: Cow Lane (formerly Jordan Well) Z 1761-1836 PRO , WAR , COV Burials: 1832 (1 only) WAR
Baptist: Longford Chapel Z 1769-1837 Burials: 1801-1837 PRO , COV
Baptist: Whitefriars Lane Z 1811-1837 WAR , Z 1826-1837 PRO , COV
Baptist: Queens Road Z 1756-1836 COV
Congregational: Vicar Lane Z 1757-1837 WAR , Z 1806-1837 PRO , COV
Congregational: West Orchard Z 1776-1837 WAR , Z 1761-1836 PRO , COV Burials: 1799-1837 PRO , WAR , COV
Coventry Primitive Methodist Circuit Z 1844-1883 COV
Coventry Wesleyan Methodist Circuit Z 1838-1911 COV
Coventry Paradise Primitive Methodist Circuit Z 1905-1960 COV
Methodist: Warwick Lane Z c1808-1837 WAR , Z 1820-1837 PRO , COV , Z 1893-1971 Marriages: 1899-1966 COV
Methodist: Gosford Street, Z 1807-1828 PRO , COV
Methodist: Bell Green Z 1849-1966; also Coventry Wesleyan Methodist Circuit COV Methodist: Broad Street (previously Brick Kiln Lane) Z 1848-1939 Marriages: 1927-1953 COV
Methodist: Colleycroft and Little Bayton Z 1844-1883, 1905-1960 COV
Methodist: Lockhurst Lane Z 1862-1974 Marriages: 1899-1972 see also Coventry Wesleyan Methodist Circuit COV Methodist: Stoney Stanton Road Marriages: 1911-1980 COV
Methodist Woodside Avenue Baptismal Register 1848-1939 COV
Presbyterian/Unitarian, Smithford Street Z 1777-1819, 1821-1837 PRO , WAR , COV
United Reformed: Vine Street Marriages: 1947-1953 COV
United Reformed: Warwick Road Congregational Z 1938-1964 COV
United Reformed: Well Street Marriages: 1899-1940 COV
United Reformed: West Orchard Marriages: 1931-1940, 1948-1992 Reg. of Graves. c1800-c1918 COV
Church Histories: St.Michael's Baptist Church, Coventry, Jubilee 1858-1908, .E.Soddy, 1908.
Centenary celebrations of West Orchard Chapel, Coventry, E.H.Delf, 1879.
Two Hundred Years of Methodism in Coventry, A.E.Peck.

MONUMENTAL INSCRIPTIONS: Memorials of the Parish Church of St.Michael Coventry, J.Astley 1884 SoG , WAR
Cathedral churchyard 1955 WAR
Cow Lane Baptist Chapel 1803-1863 PRO , WAR
Quaker Burial Ground, Hill St., 1828-1888 PRO .
Holy Trinity Churchyard, Coventry,

Monumental Inscriptions in immediate confines WAR

Holy Trinity St.John the Baptist Stivichale, St.James Stoke St.Michael West Orchard Chapel, Hill St. Westwood Heath, St.John the Baptist Coventry Independent Churches: (includes:Baptist Cow Lane, Baptist Salem Lady Lane, U/R Foleshill Road, U/R Warwick Lane, Methodist Woodside Avenue, Methodist Central Hall, Warwick Lane, West Orchard Chapel, Hill Street) BMSGH.m/fiche , WAR , SoG , BIR
Keresley Church and Churchyard SoG


CENSUS RETURNS: All (inc.Whitley) WAR COV (Street Index)
1522/3 Householders named with household numbers COV CamGp
1594, 1595, 1613 (St.Michael) Easter Books COV
1851 (Holy Trinity and St.Michael) 1861 Pinley.
1881 Coundon and Keresley BIR
1851 vX(Coundon) (RR) , SoG
1881 BCP , BMSGH(PS)

Burial Holy Trinity 1813-1837
St.John 1813-1837
St.Michael 1691-1726 & 1813-1837
St.Osburg (RC) 1813-1837
Coventry Cemetery Purchased Graves. Dec. 1847-Dec.1900.
Marriage Holy Trinity 1561-1837
:St.John 1754-1798 & 1813-1837:
St.Michael 1640, 1662-1796, 1827-1837
Poor Law App.1690-1860
Pre-1841 census Holy Trinity
Probate 1500's-1857:Name, date and Ref.No.(to will)

MANORIAL RECORDS: Cheylesmore 1367-1474 BIR
Cheylesmore, 1485-1555 STR
Coventry 1423-1587 STR
Caludon 1445-1572 STR
The Pittancer's Rental 1410/1411, The Register of The Cathedral Priory of St.Mary, Coventry (University of Birmingham Extramural Studies 1973). This is a translation of a record in the PRO of the extensive properties owned by the Priory and the names of those who held them 'in fee' or 'by charter' or 'by indenture'.

DEEDS: Collection 1736-1895 deposited by Messrs. H.T.Cooper of Coventry.
Calendar of Deeds relating to church properties pre 1320-1802 (the list has also been classified by streets).
See also Craven Papers (Comberfields) and Gregory of Stivichal collection. STR

OTHER SOURCES: Gilbert family records, 18th century.
Lapworth family papers 1604-1707.
Survey of lands of Arthur Gregory in St.Michael's parish 1787.
Journal of John Havitt, a Coventry magistrate, 1890.
William Wilmot of Coventry, Portrait of a Tory Populist, War.Hist. Vol.3 No.2.
Payne and Bates at Coventry, War.Hist. Vol.3 No.2.
Master and Artisan in Victorian England, The Diary of William Andrews 1835-1914 and The Autobiography of Joseph Gutteridge 1816-1899 (Coventry silk trade), ed. by Valerie E.Chancellor, 1969
Bushills; The story of a Coventry firm of printers and boxmakers 1856-1956, E.Howe, 1956
John Thornton of Coventry, glazier, TBAS Vol.74 1956.
Corporation records and Minute Books of the City Council: complete from 1554 though less detailed for the 18thc than for other periods.Many old deeds.
There is a fine collection of records of most of the Craft Guilds, those of the Carpenters date from the mid 15th century and of the Mercers from 1579. COV
Petty Sessional Division, Court Records 1879-1953, Inclosure Award 1860, (Stivichall Common) 1883, (Coundon and Keresley) 1848. Assizes, Broadsheet listing sentences given to prisoners at the Lent Assizes 1854. History of Ribbon Weaving in Coventry and surrounding districts (Thesis) History of Coventry Free School c1673. WAR
Spon Street Ward assessment for land tax 1801;Butchers Company Minutes 1730-1733; List of Mayors and Sheriffs compiled 1709; Survey of Drapersí Companyís Estate 1803; Record of Enrolments of Honorary Freeman 1701-1725;
Chronological index to records of Coventry 1043-1777, W.H.Bickley 1910. Villiers family, pedigrees, wills etc c1650-1850 (Davison Papers c1890). BIR

Publications of the Dugdale Society:
Register of the Guild of Holy Trinity, St.Mary, St.John the Baptist and St.Katherine of Coventry, Vol.1 (1935) Vol.2 (1944).
The Statute Merchant Roll of Coventry 1392-1416 (1939).
The Ancient Records of Coventry, Mary Dormer Harris, 1924 (Occasional Papers No.1).
The Early History of Coventry, R.H.C.Davis, 1976 (Occasional Papers No.24).

The following pamphlets have been published by the Coventry Branch of the Historical Association:
No.3 Victorian Schools and Scholars: Church of England Schools in Nineteenth Century Coventry.
No.4 Coventry's Town Wall, E.Gooder.
No.5 Coventry Through the Ages, D.J.H.Smith.

Coventry, six hundred years of municipal life. F.Smith, 1945.
The Story of Coventry, M.D.Harris, 1911.
Coventry, its history and antiquities, B.Poole, 1870.
Old Coventry and Lady Godiva, F.B.Burbidge.
The Coventry Ribbon and Watch Trades, see Birmingham and The Midlands Hardware District, ed. S.Timmins, 1866.
The History of Coventry's Textile Industry, ed. Levi Fox, 1944.
Keresley: Past, Present and Future, the village, the people and their friends, A.Harris, 1948.
King Henry VIII School, 1545-1945.
Surveying the Records of a City's Industry (Coventry), Joan Lane, Business Archives No.43 Nov.1977.
Register of Business Records of Coventry and related areas 1977.
History of Coventry Textiles, Alice Lynes, Coventry Textile Society 1952.
Notes on the History of Cheylesmore.
Crime and the Police in the late 19th century; a case study from the Coventry area, B.Weinberger 1976 (MA Thesis).
Independency in Warwickshire, J.Sibree and M.Caston, 1855.

The Weavers' Trade in Coventry and its suburbs, Audrey Murphy TMA Vol.9 No.5 Sep 1990 (references to further reading, lists numerous names in Coventry and Foleshill).
Parish magazines:
St.John's 1880-1951.
St.Thomas 1897-1898 and present century (gaps), Keresley and Coundon Parish Magazine Jan 1890-Nov.1901, The Coventry School Magazine (King Henry VIII School) No.1 March 1885-No.18 Dec.1890 3 vols. WAR

[Last updated: 18th March 2013 ]