There are two theories about the source of the word Deanery:

  1. The name "Dean" derives from the Middle English word "dene", which itself derives from the Latin "decanus", meaning a monk who is set over ten other monks.
    ["Waverly Dictionary," London, 1933]
  2. The name "Dean" derives from the Greek word "daikonai", which means "a servant at a table." It was used by the Apostles to refer to themselves.
    Brian GRIFFITH, ["Correcting Jesus," Exterminating Angel Press, 2009]

In more modern times, a Dean was assigned to a Deanery of anywhere from six to sixty parishes as the administrative overhead and support for the Anglican churches in each parish. The position held, the district and the house of a Dean are all called a Deanery. The office of a Dean is a Dean Hip ("hip" apparently from the Greek for "commander" or "leader").

In 19th century Lincolnshire, there were 23 Deaneries covering some 600 parishes, giving an average of 26 parishes per Deanery. The Anglican Church, however, had some cathedrals and abbeys outside the Deanery structure. Also, a Deanery didn't have to end at a county boundary, although in Lincolnshire they genearly did. Deanery boundaries were fluid as parishes flourished or declined.

Non-conformist churches (i.e. non-Anglican) did not belong to these Deaneries and had their own structures. There are three Roman Catholic parishes in the city of Lincoln, and five in their Deanery. These are St. Hugh of Lincoln in the city centre, Our Lady of Lincoln on the Ermine Estate (northern suburbs) and Saints Peter and Paul in Boultham (southern suburbs). The other two parishes are Holy Rood at Market Rasen and Our Lady & St. Peter at Woodhall Spa. In Lincoln there is a Convent of the Sisters of Providence and a residential University Avalon Chaplaincy Centre. Outside of the City of Lincoln there are Catholic Chapels at Bardney, Osgerby, Spilsby, Caistor and Hainton.

Click here to see the Lincolnshire Anglican Church, then on Parishes to see the present structure.

The list of Deaneries below is alphabetical. For a map of 19th century Deanery boundaries, consult "The Registration Districts and Deaneries of Lincolnshire in the Nineteenth Century," published by the Lincolnshire Family History Society and available from the Federation of Family History Societies Bookstore, which allows purchase by Credit Card. The links below will take you to a list of parishes for each Deanery and a list of Deanery indexes available from the Lincolnshire FHS.