Family History

I receive many requests for information about records held at Seal. Almost all records of baptism, marriages and burials, except the most recent (see below) have now been transferred to the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, where they can be consulted by the public. However if you are tracing your family history and think an ancestor may have had a Seal connection I will be happy to help you if I can.  As a part-time priest here, and with no other paid staff and a very full workload,  there are limits on the time I can give to this, though, so I would ask your co-operation and understanding. I am entitled to make a charge for time spent searching records or helping you to search, which goes to church funds, of 21 for each hour or part of an hour.

If you are planning a trip to search for an ancestor, and might want access to records kept here, PLEASE contact me in advance to arrange a convenient time, otherwise you may find that no one is available to help you, and you will have wasted your journey. In particular I would advise against just turning up just before or after a Sunday service - I often have a great deal to do at this point (and possibly other services to conduct) and I will not be able to help you, nor will I be able to let you look at the records in my absence. While I do not wish to seem unhelpful, if it is at all possible for you to consult with records at the record office instead, I would greatly prefer that you did so.

We have a number of transcripts of older records and other historical information available at the back of church, near the font, including some on the church's history and the story of the submarine HMS Seal, with which the church had a long association. You are welcome to browse these whenever the church is open (usually between about 9.30 and 5) but please do not take any of the material away.

We hold the following records at Seal - others are held at the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone. There are also some transcripts and microfiche records of documents at Sevenoaks library. More details of local history archives can be found here.
Church History display
Records held at St Peter and St Paul: (older records are transcripts only)
Registers of Baptisms            1965- present 

Registers of Marriage             1985- present

Registers of Burial                  1924- present

Registers of Confirmation      1913 - present

Registers of Banns                 2000- present


Records of baptisms, marriages and burials at SEAL in spreadsheet form from 1561 to twentieth century are here.
N.B there are no locations of burials in these records.

Records of baptisms, marriages and burials at KEMSING in spreadsheet form are here.
N.B there are no locations of burials in these records.
Many thanks to David Williams and Val Brown who have laboured long to provide this invaluable resource.
Tip: there are a number of different pages in this spreadsheet.
Click on the tabs at the bottom of the page to select Baptism, Marriage, Burial etc.
I suggest you start with the tab titled "introduction"
There is also an index to all the surnames in the record which will help if you are looking for a particular family.


The inscriptions on memorials in the churchyard were recorded by Leland Duncan in 1921  and can be found on the Kent Archaeological Society website, along with a sketch map he made at the time. (Please note that this only records inscriptions on headstones, not the many burials for which there were never headstones put up. To find out about these you would have to consult with the burial registers.)

Newer burials and interments of ashes are listed here - These records do include some information about location of graves, but it isn't always obvious where they are. If you are hoping to locate a grave and think that you might need some help, please contact me well in advance so that we can find a time when I can meet with you to show you the location. It is very unlikely that anyone will be able to help you to locate a grave at short notice.
Graveyard North East of Church     (Mostly 1930s to 1960s)
North West of Church     (Mostly 1960s to 2006)
Interments of Ashes     (Mostly 1980's onward, though some ashes are interred in full sized graves, so you may need to check the other registers.)

1938 - 1964
(edited to remove some details in accordance with the advice of the Information Commissioner for Data Protection.)

Other local churches

Until the 1874 St Peter and St Paul was linked with  St Mary, Kemsing . A record of older  headstones in the graveyard can be found here.  If you are unable to find the information you seek at Seal, it may be that your ancestors were buried, married or baptised at Kemsing. You may also like to try St Margaret's Underriver and St Lawrence, Seal.

C.R. Ashbee, the Arts and Crafts movement and Seal Church.
Charles Robert Ashbee , a significant figure in the Arts and Crafts movementC R AShbee's headstone , was church architect at Seal Church for many years. He lived in Godden Green, and his wife's family, the Forbes, had a long association with the church. Ashbee is buried in Seal churchyard in a family grave with a headstone designed by him, seen here in the snow. There is a memorial tablet to him inside the church, behind the font.

 C R Ashbee's memorial tablet in Seal Church

The Long Shadow. Seal family memories of WW1 can be found here. This collection came out of a project to gather stories of the shadow WW1 had cast on families for Remembrance 1914.

All This Music Making. History of Seal Church music, by Madeleine Eatell

Church trail, with historical information for adults and for children.