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Spitalfields, Middlesex Genealogy

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Guide to Spitalfields, Middlesex ancestry, family history, and genealogy: Parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Spitalfields, Middlesex
Type Ecclesiastical Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred Ossulstone (Tower Division)
County Middlesex
Poor Law Union Whitechapel
Registration District Whitechapel
Records begin
Parish registers: 1729
Bishop's Transcripts: 1800
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery Not created until 1858
Diocese London
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (London Division)
Location of Archive
Middlesex Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

'SPITALFIELDS Christchurch, a parish, in the union of Whitechapel, Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, County of Middlesex. The parish was originally a hamlet in Stepney, from which it was separated by act of parliament in 1729. The church was built in 1729. Sir George Wheler's chapel, in Chapel Street, was built [in 1693] by that gentleman for the accommodation of his tenants, previously to the erection of the parochial church.  It [was] a proprietary episcopal chapel [bought and paid for privately], now in the patronage of the Rev. Richard Tillard. In Spital-square is a church dedicated to St. Mary.

'There are places of worship for Independents, Wesleyans, and Calvinistic Methodists.'[1] In addition, there were chapels for French Huguenots within the parish, although their respective worshipers had by the mid-19th Century mostly diminished having assimilated into the ranks of England's predominant religion. Due to their heavy weaving propensity and influence, however, in the local cloth and weaving industry was felt for centuries.

'Christ Church Spitalfields, the church of, is situated on the south side of Church Street, Spitalfields, directly facing the eastern end of Union Street, Bishopsgate Without. The district called Spitalfields derives its name from having been built upon the fields and grounds belonging to St Mary's Spital, and was formerly a hamlet in the parish of Stepney; but from the great increase of inhabitants, arising from the settlement of the persecuted French Protestants, after the revocation of the edict of Nantz[ sic], by Louis XIV, within its precincts, it was made, in the year 1723, a distinct parish under its present name.

'This church is one of the fifty new churches ordered to be built by act of parliament, in the reign of Queen Anne. It was began in 1723, by Nicholas Hawksmore, the favourite pupil of Sir Christopher Wren, and was finished in 1729. It is a substantial edifice, built of stone, with a lofty spire over a Doric portico... The interior is 111 feet in length, eighty-seven in breadth, and thirty-four in height.

'The church is made a rectory, but is not to be held in commendam; it is in the dioceses of London, in the county of Middlesex, but exempt from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon...'[2]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the government, from July 1837 to the present day. The civil registration article tells more about these records. There are several Internet sites with name lists or indexes. A popular site is FreeBMD.

Church records[edit | edit source]

Spitalfields parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:
FS PRs = England, Middlesex, Westminster, Parish Registers, 1538-1912 (FamilySearch) - free
FS = FamilySearch - free
FMP = Middlesex Baptisms (FindMyPast) - ($)
FMP London = Greater London Marriage and Burial Indexes (FindMyPast) - ($)
ANC 1 = London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Ancestry) - ($)
ANC 2 = London, England, Church of England Records (Ancestry) - ($)
ANC Marr = London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921 (Ancestry) - ($)
BOYD = England, Boyd's Marriage Indexes, 1538-1850 (FindMyPast) - free
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[3]
FS Catalog PRs = FamilySearch Catalog Parish registers - free
FS Catalog BTs = FamilySearch Catalog Bishop's transcripts - free
Spitalfields Online Parish Records'
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS PRs 1538-1912
FS 1538-1975
FMP 1543-1876

FMP London

ANC 1 1538-1812
ANC 2 1813-1917
ANC Marr





FS Catalog PRs

FS Catalog BTs

To find the names of the neighboring parishes, use England Jurisdictions 1851 Map. In this site, search for the name of the parish, click on the location "pin", click Options and click List contiguous parishes.

Records are also available at the London Metropolitan Archives.

Census records[edit | edit source]

1640 Protestation Return[edit | edit source]
  • Stepney (including Limehouse, Poplar, Blackwall, Old Ford, Stratford Bow, Spitalfields, Bethnal Green, Mile-End, St. Leonard Bromley, and Ratcliffe) (House of Lords), Copy: FHL Film 1550096 item 25.

Census records from 1841 to 1911 are available online. For access, see England Census Records and Indexes Online. Census records from 1841 to 1891 are also available on film through a Family History Center or at the Family History Library.

Probate records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish. Go to Middlesex Probate Records to find the name of the court having primary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

Poor Law Unions[edit | edit source]

Contributor: Add information about the pertinent poor law unions in the area.

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Maps are a visual look at the locations in England. Gazetteers contain brief summaries about a place.

Websites[edit | edit source]

Spitalfields on GENUKI >

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Samuel Lewis, ed. A Topographical Dictionary of England 159-164. (London: S. Lewis and Co., 1848), Online here, (accessed: 03 May 2010). Adapted.
  2. James Elmes, A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs (London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot, 1831). Adapted. Digitised by Google Books.