Preserving your Past for the Future






Parish Records


The Balkwill family began work on drawing up a list of all the graves in the churchyard, and in 2000 members of the PPG helped to complete the list of grave stones.  It was updated in 2012 and these records can be viewed online:

Links to:

Parish Churchyard Map

List of Gravestones 

Records for Burials for the years 1670 - 1840

These records for 1670 - 1840  are available for download from the Old Parish Records transcribed by our Online Parish Clerk Chris Burgoyne.

The records below have been kindly contributed by other transcribers.

Links to:

Records for Burials for the years 1841 - 1900

Records for Burials for the years 1901 - 1985

Records for Burials for the years 1986 - 2011

There are many burials in the churchyard that for various reasons are unmarked. The parish church of St Andrew's was originally built in the 13th century, and of course there will have been a graveyard here from that time as well. However, apart from a very few references in historical or archive documents the earliest record of burials in the parish register date from 1678. Many of the markers for these early graves will not have stood the passage of time, if indeed they were marked at all. Most gravestones will only last a certain amount of time before they deteriorate or even fall apart; the earliest surviving gravestone we have is for Elizabeth Fox who died in 1706, and even that is only a small part of the stone. There were also gravestones which were damaged or completely destroyed when the church was bombed, and some stones were removed altogether at this time for the repairs. 

Our list of the gravestones here includes a number of illegible stones which have already started to deteriorate. Great care was taken in trying to decipher the writing on them, but in some cases it was impossible to read them fully; however in a few cases the decipherable information has been included in our list of gravestones, and may help researchers to identify the grave.

There are some black folders on a table by the door in the church for the use of visitors.  There are printed copies of the full list of gravestones in the churchyard and an accompanying map which will help to find the existing graves. The group has recently added another folder of all the burials here from 1841 until 2011, and will add the earlier years as well in the near future. Although we are able to provide most of the names of those who were buried here unfortunately the records of these early plot numbers have not survived, so we cannot give any firmer information to find many of these individual earlier graves.

Link to Records for Baptisms and Marriages

Chris Burgoyne has also transcribed these other old parish records for St Andrew's;

Baptism records are for the years 1613-1619 and 1670-1840

Marriage records are for the years 1660-1840

For those who don't have easy access to a computer the Group holds some booklets issued by the Devon Family History Society:- Aveton Gifford Baptisms, 1813-1839; Aveton Gifford Marriages, 1754-1812 and 1813-1837; Aveton Gifford Burials, 1813-1837.



In Saxon times one tenth of all produce of farms was required to support the priests who were being established in each parish throughout the country. These tenths were known as tithes. In addition, land known as glebe was allocated for the priest to manage himself. Over centuries it became more practical to collect the tithes in money rather than in produce, and in 1832 the Tithe Commutation Act was passed which tried to establish a system for collection based on the current price of grain.

The 1842 tithe map for the parish of Aveton Gifford was drawn up by a surveyor from Bigbury, Philip Trant. It shows all holdings in the parish, with buildings and numbered fields, orchards, woodland, and waste ground, and was accompanied by an apportionment. This was an index of all properties with their landowners and their occupants. There were originally three copies made, but only the apportionment survives of the parish copy. The other two are held by the Record Office in Exeter, and the Public Record Office, now part of the National Archives, at Kew.

 The original map was large ( on a scale of roughly 28 inches to the mile) and therefore somewhat unwieldy. The Parish Project Group has produced a copy of the tithe map in the form of an atlas to make it more easily accessible, and  has drawn up two separate indexes for the apportionment to make that easier to use; "Landowners and Occupiers", and "Properties". The atlas can be viewed here on the Tithe Atlas page, and the Master List of the apportionment with accompanying indexes can be viewed on the 1842 Tithe Map page.



The group holds a set of 1891 and 1901 census records for the parish of Aveton Gifford.



For some years Ken Doughty was the clerk for Aveton Gifford, and he held the original minute books from parish council meetings. These were subsequently deposited with the Public Record Office in Exeter (now the Devon Heritage Centre), but before this he made a summary of the first 100 years of parish council minutes from January 1895 to 1995. We have reproduced these here in PDF form 100 Years of Parish Council Minutes (click to download and view)



The group holds an archive of over 1800 photographs and pictures donated over the years; digital copies have recently been made of all of them. The photographer James Ruth lived in the village and took many of the photos in our archive. These are being catalogued at the time of writing (April 2013) and many of them can be viewed on our Photo Gallery pages on this website. Copies can be obtained by contacting us - contact AGPPG  -  and further pictures may be included in the archive which is just too large to show in full. For enquiries about any other images please also contact the group as above..



In order to preserve stories of past events or memories of a disappearing way of life and a bygone age the group has collected some written and spoken recordings from several members of the community. The Project Group has included some of these in the various publications. This work is still ongoing, and there are plans to undertake several more projects of this sort. 


 Online Records


Our Online Parish Clerk is Chris Burgoyne whose family came from the village. He has transcribed various records of the parish; his page gives further information, links and photos.

He has also scanned the Reverend C C Shaw's book "A History of the Parish of Aveton Giffard" which can be read directly online, and has given us permission to include this link from here. The Revd. Cuthbert Shaw was Rector of St Andrew's, and wrote his book which was privately published in 1966. Chris has also drawn up a very useful comprehensive index to the book which can be viewed separately.



Most of the parish registers from 1538 to 1915 from the various County Record Offices have now been amalgamated and digitised, and were released online on 30th May 2014 through the genealogical website FIND MY PAST (membership or pay to view). 48 parishes are still being added, and will be online on completion. However this makes the most comprehensive collection of online parish records for families to trace ancestors in Devon. 



Although the name is confusingly similar to the Devon County Council records service below, this website is completely separate. Selecting Aveton Gifford on the left hand menu on the Home page will give you access to several online records of the parish. (The article on this particular site about the AG WW1 war memorial has been recently updated by our own Project Group, and will be published on our own website here in time for Remembrance Day. Ed.)




This registered charity organisation was formed in 1976, and is now one of the largest Family History Societies in the UK. 

For information contact: Devon Family History Society, PO Box 9, Exeter EX2 6PY.

email;           website;



This is a "user friendly" website providing a wealth of genealogical and historical information for the South Hams. It covers an area between the Erme and Dart up to the edge of Dartmoor, so researchers looking for genealogical information for Aveton Gifford and surrounding parishes may find this site helpful. Our4Bears offers a lookup service for researchers to access material, some that hasn't been available elsewhere.

For further information visit the website ;



The Aveton Gifford Genuki page gives a lot of information about the parish for anyone interested in the history of the parish and genealogical research.

website ;


Museums and Record Offices



108 Fore Street, Kingsbridge, Devon, TQ7 1AW

The museum is open for much of the year, and visitors are always most welcome. However if you wish to see particular records or to search for specific information it may be advisable to phone first. It is also possible to make appointments to visit the museum for research when it is closed to the public during the winter months.

Tel;  01548 853235        email;



Shilstone, Modbury, Devon PL21  0TW

A purpose-built archive in the grounds of the Shilstone estate near Modbury.The DRA was launched in 2006 by the Fenwick Charitable Trust to provide a facility for the building and landscape heritage of Devon. It holds many records about the parish and the surrounding area, and holds lectures and exhibitions on a regular basis. For further information, visit the website at -

Tel;  01548  830832         email;  



The new Devon Heritage Centre was officially launched in October 2012. It now contains the archive collections of the Devon Record Office, the local studies materials and the Devon and Cornwall Record Society collection from the Westcountry Studies Library reading room. More collections are to be added, and all can be viewed by appointment.  The new Devon Heritage Centre occupies the old Devon Record Office building.

Devon Heritage Services, Great Moor House, Sowton, Exeter, EX2  7NL

Tel;  01392 384253       Fax;  01392 384256       email;      

website;      (NOT to be confused with the Devon Heritage website found above which is completely separate)   



This is a record of the sites and monuments in the parish, and is held by the Devon County Council Archaeology Office at County Hall

The records are being updated, and are partially available online; 

They can also be accessed by making an appointment to visit, or for simple enquiries by phone, fax, email or post to -

Historic Environment Service,  Devon County Council, Lucombe House, County Hall, Topsham Road, Exeter EX2 4QD

Tel; 01392 382246      Fax; 01392 383011        email;    




Parish records for most of the county of Devon are now available to search on one site. Most of the Church of England parish registers from 1538 until 1915 from the Devon Heritage Centre and the North Devon Record Office are now online on the FIND MY PAST website (membership or pay to view only) This collection was released on 30th May 2014. A remaining 48 parishes are still being digitised and will be added on completion.