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 by Queen Elizabeth I in an attempt to stop the rivalry between them.

Parish of Weymouth: This is the area around Hope Square, Trinity Street and Trinity Road and the now named High West Street, the latter three streets having once all been part of 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, and all the streets of the Park District. It includes all the streets within 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



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

Weymouth & Portland History on Facebook

Weymouth & South Dorset Ancestry on Facebook



Back to Weymouth Home Page

Interactive Map of Weymouth & Dorset


All text and photographs on this page are my own and I therefore hold the copyright. Please respect this and if you wish to copy any of them or use them elsewhere, please ask permission first.