London Church Records
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FamilySearch Historical Record Collections has indexed 90% of London christenings and marriages. Findmypast has central and inner London church records. Ancestry.com has many outer London church record collections.
Historically, there were 109 parishes in London. Over the centuries, many of the parishes consolidated.
All Hallows Barking · All Hallows Bread Street · All Hallows Honey Lane · All Hallows Lombard Street · All Hallows London Wall · All Hallows Staining · All Hallows the Great · All Hallows the Less · Barnard's Inn · Christ Church Newgate Street · Furnival's Inn · Holy Trinity the Less · Holy Trinity Minories · Lambe's Chapel · St Alban Wood Street · St Alphage London Wall · St Andrew by the Wardrobe · St Andrew Holborn · St Andrew Hubbard · St Andrew Undershaft · St Ann Blackfriars · St Ann and St Agnes · St Antholin · St Augustine · St Bartholomew by the Exchange · St Bartholomew the Great · St Bartholomew the Less · St Benet Fink · St Benet Gracechurch · St Benet Paul's Wharf · St Benet Sherehog · St Botolph Billingsgate · St Botolph Aldersgate · St Botolph without Aldgate · St Botolph without Bishopsgate · St Bride Fleet Street · St Christopher le Stocks · St Clement Eastcheap · St Dionis Backchurch · St Dunstan in the East · St Dunstan in the West · St Edmund the King · St Ethelburga · St Faith · St Gabriel Fenchurch · St George · St Giles without Cripplegate · St Gregory by St Paul · St Helen Bishopsgate · St James Duke's Place · St James Garlickhithe · St John the Baptist upon Wallbrook · St John the Evangelist · St John Zachary · St Katherine by Tower Precinct · St Katherine Coleman · St Katherine Cree · St Lawrence Jewry · St Lawrence Pountney · St Leonard Eastcheap · St Leonard Foster Lane · St Magnus the Martyr · St Margaret New Fish Street · St Margaret Lothbury · St Margaret Moses · St Margaret Pattens · St Martin Ludgate · St Martin Orgar · St Martin Outwich · St Martin Pomeroy · St Martin Vintry · St Mary Abchurch · St Mary Aldermanbury · St Mary Aldermary · St Mary at Hill · St Mary Axe · St Mary Bothaw · St Mary Colechurch · St Mary le Bow · St Mary Magdalene Milk Street · St Mary Magdalene Old Fish Street · St Mary Mounthaw · St Mary Somerset · St Mary Staining · St Mary Woolchurch Haw · St Mary Woolnoth · St Matthew Friday Street · St Michael Bassishaw · St Michael Cornhill · St Michael Crooked Lane · St Michael le Querne · St Michael Paternoster Royal · St Michael Queenhithe · St Michael Wood Street · St Mildred Bread Street · St Mildred Poultry · St Nicholas Acons · St Nicholas Cole Abbey · St Nicholas Olave · St Olave Hart Street · St Olave Old Jewry · St Olave Silver Street · St Pancras Soper Lane · St Paul's Cathedral · St Peter Cheap · St Peter Cornhill · St Peter le Poer · St Peter Paul's Wharf · St Sepulchre · St Stephen Coleman Street · St Stephen Walbrook · St Swithun London Stone · St Thomas the Apostle · St Vedast Foster Lane · Staple Inn · Thavie's Inn · The Temple · Westminster Abbey
Most of the City of London's parishes, Inns of court, and liberty precincts are held at the Guildhall Library. FamilySearch has indexed more than 90% of the christenings and marriages. Ancestry.com has digitised London's parish registers with the exception of All Hallows Barking. Transcripts of many of the City of London parishes have been published and are now out of copyright (published before 1923). Consequently, many parish register transcripts have been digitised and are available for free at Google Books and Internet Archive. To determine if your ancestor's parish has been digitised or indexed, refer to individual parish pages.
Clandestine places to marry in London (1674-1753):
- Fleet Prison
- St James's Duke's Place
- St Botolph Aldgate
- Holy Trinity Minories
- Mayfair Chapel, Curzon St
- Grosvennor Chapel, South Audley St
- Trinity Chapel, Conduit St
Large indexes to London church records include:
- International Genealogical Index at FamilySearch - free. Baptisms, marriages. Coverage A-M, N-Z.
- London Parish Records from 1538 at Ancestry (£). Images of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, burials.
- Boyd's Marriage Index (£) - excellent coverage of pre-1754 London marriages; includes 135,000+ names from London Diocese marriage licences, chapel marriages, Huguenot marriages, Jewish marriages
- Pallot's Marriage Index (£) - includes most London parishes from 1780 to 1837 Coverage
- Crisp's London Marriage Licences
- Webb's London Marriages (£) - includes 50,000 City of London marriages from 1538 to 1837
- Catholic Baptism Index (£) - indexes primarily adult baptisms from London and Essex
- Catholic Marriage Index (£) - indexes marriages from 60 London/Essex parishes 1664 to 1940
- Boyd's London Burial Index (£) - index to adult male burials 1600s to 1800s
- City of London Burials (£) - principally nineteenth-century burials
- Pallot's Baptism Index (£) Coverage
- National Burial Index (3rd ed.) (CD) -- the 2nd ed. is available on Find My Past (£)
Few bishop's transcripts survive for City of London parishes before 1800. The exceptions being large numbers of returns that survive for the years 1629-1630 and 1639-1640.
London & Middlesex Registers & Records at findmypast is a collection of six historical publications that contain more than 3,000 pages of aldermen, freeman, and criminal records (also parish registers from Chapel of Holy Trinity and St Nicholas Acons).
Michael Gandy has concluded that even though most Londoners baptized their children Anglican in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, many were actually irreligious and simply performed this rite to qualify their children for poor relief. Historians have also concluded that a great deal of underregistration of baptisms, marriages, and burials occurred in early modern London parishes. Church of England burial registers help alleviate lack of registration of deaths by the civil government in London prior to 1866.
- Marrying London by Mrs. Belloc-Lowndes: 'Penny Weddings'
Original City of London parish registers are held at the Guildhall Library. The registers have been digitized by Ancestry.com and microfilmed by FamilySearch.
Family History Library
The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has just over 90 percent of the City of London's original parish registers on microfilm. These can circulated to any one of its 4500 family history centers worldwide.
Christening and marriage data has just about been completely transcribed and indexed and made available for most of the above 90 percent of the City of London's parish register holdings at the FHL and is available online in England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 and England Marriages, 1538-1973 databases (formerly the IGI) at FamilySearch.org. The following parishes are not currently included:
- All Hallows Barking
- All Hallows Lombard Street
- St Alphage
- St Bartholomew the Less
- St Benet Gracechurch
- St Dunstan in the West
- St Katherine Coleman
- St Leonard Foster Lane
- St Michael le Querne
- St Michael Crooked Lane
- St Nicholas Olave
- St Olave Silver Street
- St Paul's Cathedral
- The Temple
- Most of the Inns, liberties
Society of Genealogists
The Society of Genealogists Library in London has collected microfilm copies or transcripts of most of London's parish registers. Their unique collections are described by Cliff Webb, see Online Research Guides.
To learn more about Nonconformist churches in England, visit: England Nonconformist Church Records.
- 1520-1610 - Allegations for Marriage Licences Issued by the Bishop of London, 1520 to 1610 at Internet Archive - free.
- 1521-1869 - London Marriage Licences at Internet Archive - free.
- 1597-1921 - London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921 at Ancestry (£).
- 1611-1828 - Allegations for Marriage Licences Issued by the Bishop of London, 1611 to 1828 at Internet Archive - free.
- 1597-1648 - A Calendar of the Marriage Licence Allegations in the Registry of the Bishop of London. London, 1937. FHL Book 942 B4b v. 62 1979.
- 1660-1700 - A Calendar of the Marriage Licence Allegations in the Registry of the Bishop of London. London, 1940. FHL Book 942 B4b v. 66.
- Marriage license allegations in the Register of the Bishop of London, Diocese of London, 1597-1900. FHL Film 563011 (1st of 279 films).
Parish Chest Records
Many parish chest records, such as churchwardens' accounts, vestry minutes, and rate assessments survive for the City of London. Most are held at the Guildhall Library, as identified in their online Anglican Churches, Chapels and Parishes guide. FamilySearch has microfilmed many of these records.
The Guildhall Library has also produced detailed guides to City of London parish chest records:
- Churchwardens' Accounts of Parishes within the City of London, 2nd ed., 1969
- Vestry Minutes of Parishes within the City of London, 2nd ed., 1964
- London Rate Assessments and Inhabitants' Lists, 2nd ed., 1968
Maps and Gazetteers
England Jurisdictions 1851 maps are based on multiple sources produced about 1851. Parish boundaries, contiguous parishes, civil registration districts and more are in this Web site. Go here to access.
Click here to read a contemporary description of the parishes within the environs of the City of London from James Elmes, Topographical Dictionary of London (published in 1831). Each parish is listed under the name of the patron saint to which it was dedicated, i.e. St Mary Abchurch, will be listed under the "M" section under "Mary", or, St Lawrence Jewry will be listed under the "L" section under "Lawrence", and St Andrew Holborn, under the "A" section under "Andrew".
Click here to read a description of the City of London from John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (published in 1870-72).
Photographs of many of London's churches may be viewed online at the Friends of the City Churches website. (See Indexes of Churches.)
'Burial and Commemoration in Medieval London, c. 1140-1540' by Christian Oliver Steel (Ph.D. Thesis, Univ. of London, 2013).
Online Research Guides
- London & Middlesex Baptism Registers & their Online Availability by Cliff Webb
- London & Middlesex Marriage Registers - Pre-1837 & their Online Availability by Cliff Webb
- London & Middlesex Burial Register Indexes & their Online Availability by Cliff Webb
- London & Middlesex Nonconformist Registers digitised by Ancestry.com by Cliff Webb
- Anglican Churches, Chapels and Parishes. Records of Anglican Parishes, Guildhall Library Manuscripts Section
- Non-Anglican Register Transcripts, London Metropolitan Archives Information Leaflet No. 18
- Banks, Charles Edward. 'London Subsidies 1596 to 1641 and Rent Rolls 1638' FHL Film 1550095 item 20.
- Tony Benton, Irregular Marriages in London Before 1754. London: Society of Genealogists, 2000. FHL Book 942.1/L1 K2bt.
- Else Churchill, "Stuck in London: resources at the SOG and elsewhere." Presentation, Society of Genealogists, 2011. Slides available online.
- Cliff Webb, My Ancestors were Londoners: A Guide to London Sources for Family Historians (London: Society of Genealogists, 2009), 23.
- E.A. Wrigley and R.S. Schofield, The Population History of England, 1541-1871: A Reconstruction (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1981).
- Cliff Webb, 'About Greater London Burials 1545-1909,' British Origins, accessed 4 April 2013.
- Cliff Webb, My Ancestors were Londoners: A Guide to London Sources for Family Historians (London: Society of Genealogists, 2009), 54 f31.