LONDON FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH

St Martin in the Fields, Westminster - parish registers from 1525
St Martin in the Fields, Westminster - parish registers from 1525

LONDON ARCHIVES

 

An experienced London genealogist, I undertake family history and related research at all major and some local London archives:

 

  • London Metropolitan Archives
  • Guildhall Library
  • The National Archives
  • Westminster Archives 
  • Westminster Reference Library (performing arts, stage and theatre)
  • British Library (India Office)
  • Camden Archives
  • Southwark Local Studies Library
  • Islington Archives
  • Society of Friends' Library (Quakers)
  • Principal Probate Registry at Royal Courts of Justice (wills 1858-2012)


To enquire about London and Middlesex family history research at any of the above locations, please contact me for a free initial assessment:

 

 

 

PARISH RECORDS - PARISHES WHICH USED TO BE IN MIDDLESEX, SURREY, KENT & ESSEX

Bear in mind that many areas now part of London used to fall within the counties of Middlesex, Surrey, Kent and Essex.

 

MIDDLESEX FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH

 

Metropolitan parishes which used to be in Middlesex include Bethnal Green, Bloomsbury, Clerkenwell, Chelsea, Fulham, Hackney, Haggerston, Hammersmith, Holborn, Homerton, Isle of Dogs, Islington, Kensington, Marylebone, Old Ford, Paddington, Pancras, Pentonville, Piccadilly, Poplar, Ratcliff, Shadwell, Shoreditch, Somers Town, Stepney, Strand, Stoke Newington, Wapping, Westminster, Whitechapel.

 

METROPOLITAN SURREY FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH

 

Metropolitan parishes which used to be in Surrey include Battersea, Bermondsey, Brixton, Camberwell, Clapham, Horsleydown, Kennington, Lambeth, Merton, Newington, Peckham, Rotherhithe, Southwark, Streatham, Tooting, Walworth, Wandsworth.

 

METROPOLITAN KENT FAMILY HISTORY RESEARCH

 

Metropolitan parishes which used to be in Kent include Charlton, Deptford, Eltham, Greenwich, Lee, Lewisham, Plumstead, Sydenham, Woolwich.

 

I can access the following sources for:

LONDON, MIDDLESEX, METROPOLITAN SURREY AND METROPOLITAN KENT:

(if your interest is the current County of Surrey, please see "Surrey" )

 

London parish registers (baptisms, marriages, burials), London Bishops' Transcripts (BTs), London marriage licence records, banns books (including parishes formerly in Surrey and Kent), where deposited at London Metropolitan Archives and Westminster Archives (many are now on-line; if you can't find entries you're seeking, check the covering dates for that parish in the database you're using).

 

London monumental inscriptions (MIs - gravestone inscriptions);

 

Middlesex parish registers (baptisms, marriages, burials), Middlesex Bishops' Transcripts (BTs);

 

Middlesex monumental inscriptions (MIs - gravestone inscriptions).

 

If you require a search of Church of England parish registers or parish magazines still retained at a London church or parish office, please contact me with details of the parish and the event(s) of interest. Surviving parish magazines may be held at local record offices or retained at the parish office or church.  

 

I can search GRO birth, marriage and death indexes including:

 

recent death indexes up to 2016 covering the whole of England and Wales;

 

GRO overseas indexes to births baptisms, marriages and deaths overseas - please enquire : 

I can access indexes to army regimental birth registers; army returns of births, marriages and deaths; embassy and consular registers, overseas births, marriages and deaths; births, marriages and deaths at sea;

 

will indexes from 1858 to 2013 covering the entire country.  

 

On-line, telephone and postal ordering of birth, marriage and death certificates is available direct from the GRO.

 

Alternatively I can order GRO certificates for you.

 

London family history resources:

 

London, metropolitan Surrey and Middlesex Nonconfirmist registers, including Independent Congregationalist, Methodist, Quakers (also some Baptist records).  Some Nonconformist registers have been indexed online.  Note that the most important Nonconformist burial ground in London was Bunhill Fields, for which extensive collections of records survive, including monumental inscriptions as well as registers of burial (some in family vaults).  Can't find your London Nonconformist family?  I may be able to help: please contact me for a free initial assessment.  

 

There were a particularly large number of Nonconformist chapels in Southwark.

 

Are you struggling to find a London marriage c. 1740-50?  It's estimated that over 40% of London marriages at this time were "Fleet" marriages, performed at locations including Fleet Prison, King's Bench Prison, The Mint and Mayfair Chapel, where couples could turn up and marry without a licence or the publication of banns.  Although these are now referred to as clandestine marriages, at the time marrying at Fleet Prison was one of several options for London couples and to marry at the Fleet wasn't abnormal.  The marriage was legal in civil law.  Fleet Prison was a hive of activity, receiving thousands of visitors a day; it was situated in a busy area with catering and entertainment nearby.  Try a search of the free on-line index to Fleet marriages .  If you find a likely match, you can view the full entry by purchasing credits.

 

I can search London, Surrey, and Middlesex census returns:  1841 census; 1851 census; 1861 census; 1871 census; 1881 census; 1891 census; 1901 census; 1911 census.  Pre-1841 early census records exist for some areas, providing limited information, some with name and/or occupation of head and numbers of males/females in household; some arranged by street.  Please enquire .

 

 

1841-1911 censuses have been digitised and you can search for your family on-line by surname on Find My Past, Ancestry or via the links provided above (pay-per-view or subscription charged). Can't find your family in a census?  I have found numerous transcription errors in the some of the on-line indexed versions.  For a free initial assessment of your difficulty, please  e-mail details of the census of interest and the family you are seeking, with any known locations.  Bear in mind that other sources may provide an address.  For instance, obtaining the birth certificate of a sibling born in or close to a census year may give you a more precise location; a death certificate or will should record the address of the deceased and may give the address of another family member in the same area.  Unfortunately the 1861 census does not survive for certain streets in London.

 

I can search some London burial ground and cemetery registers including Brookwood Cemetery (the London Necropolis), Highgate Cemetery, Hanwell Cemetery, Nunhead Cemetery, Camberwell Old Cemetery, Camberwell New Cemetery, Honor Oak Cemetery and Bunhill Fields (for Nonconformist burials) and others.  Southwark cemetery registers can now be accessed on-line on a pay-per-view or annual subscription basis. Where grave registers exist, it may be possible to trace who else was buried in the same grave.  Please enquire.  Due to concerns regarding public health very few burials took place in inner London churchyards after 1853, so you will need to search for London burials in old London cemeteries already in existence or in the cemeteries set up around and outside London to cope with the problem.  From 1854, many paupers from East London districts were buried at Brookwood Cemetery (near Woking in Surrey) by contract with local boroughs. 

 

Monumental Inscriptions (MIs) (gravestone inscriptions) which can record more than one family member in the same plot.  A private grave may have been used by the same family for over 100 years and the discovery of a monumental inscription could provide information on several generations.  If you have found members of your family being buried in a particular parish, please contact me with name of parish and dates of burial so that I can advise whether transcriptions of monumental inscriptions for the parish are available and the cost of a search.

 

CORONERS' INQUEST RECORDS

London Coroners' inquest records:  City of London inquest records, Westminster inquest records, Middlesex inquest records, Surrey inquest records, Southwark inquest records, metropolitan Kent inquest records

If you have a death certificate indicating an inquest, please e-mail me, with a scanned copy (or full transcription) of the death certificate, so that I can advise whether inquest records for the district are available for a search.  Where inquest records survive for the Coroner's District for the year of interest and the exact date and place of death is known from the death certificate I can undertake a search for a particular the inquest records.  Where Coroners' Records do not survive, a search of local newspapers may produce the only surviving report of an inquest.  There is a greater chance of finding a newspaper report if the cause of death was suicide or the circumstances were suspicious, or otherwise likely to interest the public.  Family members were often called as witnesses and a newspaper report may be far more detailed when only Coroners' registers survive.

 

LONDON LIVERY COMPANY RECORDS

London livery company records; Freemen of the City of London; London apprenticeship records - if you've found a will or other document which reads "Citizen and [a trade] of London", I may be able to find further information: please e-mail with details. If you're researching someone who was trading in his own right in the City of London before 1845, he is almost certain to have belonged to a City of London livery company.  Links to websites of the City of London livery companies Apothecaries; Armourers & Brasiers; Basketmakers; Bowyers; Brewers; Broderers; Brown Bakers; Carmen; Coachmakers & Coach Harness Makers; Combmakers; Cooks; Curriers; Cutlers; Distillers; Dyers; Fan Makers; Farriers; Feltmakers; Fishmongers; Fletchers; Founders; Framework Knitters; Fruiterers; Gardeners; Glass-Sellers; Glaziers; Glovers; Gold & Silver Wire Drawers; Gunmakers; Horners; Innholders; Ironmongers; Longbowstring Makers; Loriners; Playing-Card Makers; Masons; Musicians, Needlemakers; Painter-Stainers; Pattenmakers; Paviors; Pewterers; Pinmakers; Plaisterers; Plumbers; Poulterers; Saddlers; Spectaclemakers; Tallow Chandlers; Tinplate workers; Tobacco Pipe Makers & Tobacco Blenders; Turners; Tylers & Brickmakers; Upholders; Vintners; Waxchandlers; Woolmen.

 

I research Watermen and Lightermen, shipwrights, barge makers, sailmakers, mastmakers, caulkers, ropemakers and others running trading or working on and alongside the Thames.  The Dark Waters website includes interesting snippets relating to the history of the London docks and the Thameside districts of Wapping, Shadwell, Stepney, Ratfliff, Limehouse and Rotherhithe.

For more family history sources for London, Westminster, Middlesex, metropolitan Surrey and parts of metropolitan Kent, please continue here ......