You are here: Desborough Study

Desborough Study
A study of its people through the ages


The Desborough Study started when I followed up a connection in my wider family tree and became fascinated by the numbers of people recorded there who shared the Coe, Marlow and Panter surnames. I was curious to see whether each group of families traced back to common ancestors and where the families came from. I'm still a long way off finding the answers, but the process continues to be fascinating.

The study is intended to cover every individual who was present, at some time, in Desborough. For all those who were born in Desborough I am trying to follow up all their ancestors and descendents (up to roughly the end of the nineteenth century). For people who lived in Desborough but were not born there I am generally restricting the data to themselves, their parents and spouse(s), though if more than one member of a family lived in Desborough I try to include all of their siblings so that relationships are clearer.

Desborough in the Nineteenth Century

Description:- a page of general notes drawn from a number of nineteenth century directories, including location (with a map), population figures, employment, church and chapel, schools, and traders.

Census transcriptions

I've completed transcriptions of the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 and 1901 censuses. The 1911 census has been partially transcribed. You may come across an occasional tran­scription from the 1939 census, linked to an individual, but I have not progressed beyond that.

The majority of individuals in the transcribed censuses have links that allow you to pull up a page showing the full details of the households containing that person in all the available transcriptions. The display is being enhanced with information from other sources to show dates of birth, baptism, marriage, death, burial; maiden names of wives; location at the time of censuses when not living in Desborough.

Names and descendant trees

The Surnames index enables you to extract descendant trees for all the individuals I've picked up so far who were associated with Desborough.

The Wives and Widows index helps you locate a woman where you don't know her maiden name.

I have now added a Forenames index. I originally made this just for my own use as it helped me locate potential individuals when trying to indentify wives. I've made it live and added a note of the earliest (known) use of the name in Desborough.


For each of the fully transcribed censuses you can see a list of surnames of all the heads of households. The lists are presented in two columns: one sorted by name, the other sorted by number of households. Click on a surname to see an extract of all the households in that censuses headed by that surname.

Christian Names

A full list of all the Christian names present in the parish, showing the relative popularity of different names.


Silk weaving and lace making were very important to Desborough in the middle of the nineteenth century, though they almost died out between 1861 and 1871. Check out the following links to see full lists of occupations from the censuses, showing how many people were involved in them, and how this changed over the decades.

The Desborough Farmers page came out of looking at early directories for Northamptonshire. It follows farmers listed in the directories through all the censuses, giving a different view on the families involved.

Health Matters

This is a catch-all area for odds and ends to do with health, welfare and medical matters. It currently includes a list of disabilities as recorded in census and other records, hospital/asylum patients, prisoners, workhouse inmates, and a list of the twins found so far.


IGI batch numbers