Books on the History of Bere Regis & its Families

Scroll down to see details of books that cover our Village...


The definitive book on the history of Bere Regis was written in 1978 by Fred Pitfield - you can order it by sending a cheque for £20 made payable to John Pitfield at POBox 342, Wareham, Dorset, BH20 7HR or email him for more info


A Guide Book for Bere Regis was written by John Pitfield in 2011. Its 170 pages have a wealth of Photographs and information about the history of the Village. The Book is £20 and can be bought at the Post Office, or ordered for an extra £5 P&P. You can contact John by email for more info.


Bere Regis Names was written by John Pitfield in 2014. It contains collected family information of about 1,000 surnames recorded in all the Bere Regis parish records. Histories on some names stretch from 1370 to 1939. The Book is £20 and can be bought at the Post Office, or ordered for an extra £5 P&P. You can contact John by email for more info, read about all the Surnames ending in H by clicking here, or read on below for an introduction to the book from the Author...

"The ready accessibility of the Bere Regis parish registers of 1585 to 1786 after initial publication in 2007 has made the early tracking of many family histories much easier. The many examples of phonetic-spelling does make those records confusing in some instances, so this book separates all the surnames and puts those records in chronological order with the indexing of BAP, MAR and BUR representing baptism, marriage and burial to show the closeness of some of those events. In addition to those register entries I have added other information from other parish records to help those researching their family names so that the researcher can see what else their family ancestors were doing in the earliest centuries of written records.

The Book contains the collected family information of about one thousand surnames recorded in all the parish records that I could find for Bere Regis. What is NOT in this book are the parish registers after 1786 as these have not been transcribed in full by anyone to my knowledge.... yet. That treat is left to the individual researcher, especially as the more recent histories could be regarded as "private".

The earliest written records for Bere Regis are probably of about 1370 as far as individual people's names are concerned. This means that for some family names there might be over 500 years of information presented here, as I have run some names right up to 1939. Several surnames, especially of land-owners, go back much further.

In the course of this extensive study, I have to admit to having found some names that are undoubtedly wonderful. I suppose that they are my favourites: Rodigine Elrudge, Mellyer Hellyer, Joseph Joseph, Page Savage, Gabriel Shitler, Penticost Skutt, Theophilus Snell, Siberia Snook, Julius Squibb, Thomas Thomas, Hercules Trewe, Plucknett Tutty and Shadrach Whittle. Who would not be proud to have any one of those as an ancestor!

The list of sources is shown below but the core of this information is the parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials joined together chronologically for each surname. Phonetic spelling is not just a thing of the past; recently a letter landed on my doormat where the line Bere Regis was spelled "Bear Regions"! Good luck with finding your own name, and don't forget you can also trace your maternal ancestors too!"

John Pitfield
May 2014

Sources used for this Book -

Bere Regis Vicars List (c.1370 onward)
Henry VIII Muster Roll (1542)
Bere Regis Parish Registers (Baptisms/Marriages/Burials) (1585-1786)
Names of Churchwardens (1607-1740)
Churchwardens Accounts (1607-1740)
Payments for Vermin Heads (1612-1736)
Church Rates Lists (1614-1738)
Oath of Allegiance to the Church of England (1641-42)
Hearth Tax Return (1662-64)
Churchyard Rosta (17th to 19th century)
Tenure List of Drax properties (1773-77)
Trade Directories - Bere Regis sections (1830-1939)
Occupier List & Map (1844)
Dorset Surname Origins (Proceedings of DNHAS Vol.19 (1897))


A great Photographic history of Bere Regis was written by John Pitfield & Rodney Legg. You can look at it and order it by clicking here


Local Villager John England has written a book on the Wells, Pumps & Boreholes of Bere Regis. Over 250 Wells are recorded with over 100 Photographs to illustrate. The book is only £10 and can be bought direct from John via email here or calling him on 01929 471 469. It also available at the village Post Office - a big thank you to Gillian & Kevin Coetzee.


Christopher Dalton wrote a book all about Church Bells in Dorset called, "The Bells and Belfries of Dorset". It covers the Bells & Belfry of St. John the Baptist Church here in the Village. You can look at it and order it by clicking here


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