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St Dionis Backchurch, London Genealogy

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St Dionis Backchurch

London St Dionis Backchurch ancestry, family history, and genealogy research page. Guide to parish registers, transcripts, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

St Dionis Backchurch, London
Type Ancient Parish
Civil Jurisdictions
Hundred London, Within the Walls
County London
Poor Law Union City of London
Registration District London City
Records begin
Parish registers: 1538
Bishop's Transcripts: 1799
Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
Rural Deanery None
Diocese London
Province Canterbury
Legal Jurisdictions
Probate Court Court of the Peculiar Jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury in the Deaneries of the Arches, Croydon and Shoreham
Location of Archive
London Record Office

Parish History[edit | edit source]

"St Dionis Backchurch is situated near the southwest corner of Lime Street, behind the houses on the north side of Fenchurch Street. It derives its name from being dedicated to St Dionis, Dionysius, or Denis, as it is called in various languages, an Athenian Areopagite, or judge, who was converted to Christianity, and became Bishop of Athens... The addition "Back Church" was given to this church from its situation, and to distinguish it from the church of St. Gabriel, which stood in front of the street.

"The ancient church was destroyed in the great fire in 1666, and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren in 1674, who added the tower and steeple in 1684. The ediface is principally of stone, but part of the walls are of brick, which have been subsequently stuccoed. It is of the Ionic order, of a masculine bold style; within a nave 66 feet long, and 34 high, separated from two capacious aisles, by Ionic columns. The entire width of the nave and aisles is 34 feet within the walls. The oldest authentic mention of this church and parish is in 1288...

"it is one of the 13 peculiar in the city, belonging to the Archbishop of Canterbury.  The patronage was formerly in the prior and canons of the church; but at the dissolution of the priory, it was conferred by Henry VIII upon the demon chapter of Canterbury, who have remained patrons of the houses [till the 19th century].  It is a rectory, in the province of Canterbury..."[1]

St Dionis Backchurch belonged to Langbourn Ward.

1848 description:

St. Dionis Backchurch is a parish of the city of London Within the Walls. The patron is the Dean and Chapter of Canterbury. It is a parish within the poor-law union of the City of London.[2]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Church records[edit | edit source]

St Dionis Backchurch parish registers of christenings, marriages and burials are available online for the following years:

FS = FamilySearch - free
FREG = FreeREG - free[3]
ARCHIVE = Internet Archive - free
FMP = Greater London Marriage and Burial Indexes (FindMyPast) - ($)[4][5]
FMP Bur = Boyd's London Burials (FindMyPast) - ($)[6]
ANC 1 = London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (Ancestry) - ($)[7]
ANC 2 = London, England, Church of England Records (Ancestry) - ($)[8][9][10]
ANC Marr = London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921 (Ancestry) - ($)
ANC Clan = London, England, Clandestine Marriage and Baptism Registers, 1667-1754 (Ancestry) - ($)
TGEN = London Parish Records (TheGenealogist) - ($)[11]
BOYD = England, Boyd's Marriage Indexes, 1538-1850 (FindMyPast) - free
IGI = International Genealogical Index (FamilySearch) - free[12]
FS Catalog PRs = FamilySearch Catalog Parish registers - free (some restrictions may apply)
FS Catalog BTs = FamilySearch Catalog Bishop's transcripts - free
St Dionis Backchurch Online Parish Records
Indexes Images Indexes Images Indexes Images
FS 1538-1975
FREG 1538-1754


ANC 1 1538-1812 1538-1812 1538-1812 1538-1812 1538-1812 1538-1812
ANC 2 1813-1877 1813-1877 1754-1888 1754-1888 1813-1848 1813-1848
ANC Marr


ANC Clan 1667-1754

TGEN 1538-1754



IGI 1538-1754, 1754-1874

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.

Cemetery[edit | edit source]

Transcripts of early St Dionis Backchurch, London Genealogy tombs found in the interior of the church were published in Catalogue of the most Memorable Persons who had visible Tombs, plated Gravestones ... in the City of London (through) A.D. 1700, which is available online.[13]

Find A Grave has started a page on St Dionis Backchurch's monumental inscriptions.

Census records[edit | edit source]

1564 Subsidy[edit | edit source]

  • St Dionis Backchurch and St Peter Cornhill, Lime Street Ward, London (The National Archives, Ref: E179/145/221); copy: FHL Film 2228700.
  • St Dionis Backchurch, Langbourn Ward, London (The National Archives, Ref: E179/145/223); copy: FHL Film 2228700.

1547 Subsidy[edit | edit source]

  • St Dionis Backchurch, Langbourn Ward, London (The National Archives, Ref: E179/145/143); copy: FHL Film 2228700.

1577 Subsidy[edit | edit source]

1582 Subsidy[edit | edit source]

St Mary at Hill.png

1621 Subsidy[edit | edit source]

  • St Dionis Backchurch, Langbourn Ward, London (The National Archives, Ref: E179/147/490); copy: FHL Film 2228702.

1638 Inhabitants List[edit | edit source]

1666 Hearth Tax[edit | edit source]

1692-1932 Land Taxes[edit source]

1695 Inhabitants Lists[edit source]

Probate records[edit | edit source]

Records of wills, administrations, inventories, indexes, etc. were filed by the court with jurisdiction over this parish.

Court of the Deanery of the Arches of London, Croydon, and Shoreham probate records are available online at FamilySearch for free.

Before 1858, St Dionis Backchurch, London Genealogy fell under the jurisdiction of the Court of the Deanery of the Arches of London, Croydon, Shoreham. From 1858 to the present, refer to the Principal Probate Registry.

Go to London Probate Records to find the names of the courts having secondary jurisdiction. Scroll down in the article to the section Court Jurisdictions by Parish.

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.

Records of the Poor[edit | edit source]

During the seventeenth century, officials gave some foundlings discovered in St Dionis Backchurch Parish the unique surname Backchurch.[14]

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]

(The London Family History Centre Catalogue is a terrific resource for identifying FamilySearch's London collections).
Wikipedia has more about this subject: St Dionis Backchurch

References[edit | edit source]

  1. James Elmes, A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Environs (London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot, 1831). Adapted. Digitised by Google Books.
  2. Lewis, Samuel A., A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848) Adapted. Date accessed. 19 November 2013.
  3. County and Place Records, FreeReg, accessed 22 April 2019.
  4. Greater London marriage index parish list,, accessed 22 April 2019.
  5. Greater London Burial Index Parish Lists,, accessed 22 April 2019.
  6. Boyd’s London Burials parish list,, accessed 22 April 2019.
  7. London, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812, Ancestry, accessed 22 April 2019.
  8. London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1917, Ancestry, accessed 22 April 2019.
  9. London, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932, Ancestry, accessed 22 April 2019.
  10. London, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-2003, Ancestry, accessed 22 April 2019.
  11. Searching Parish Records online (London) - The Following Parishes are Available at TheGenealogist,, accessed 22 April 2019.
  12. FamilySearch: a Guide to the British batches (City of London),, accessed 22 April 2019.
  13. Payne Fisher and G. Blacker Morgan, Catalogue of the Tombs in the Churches of the City of London, A.D. 1666 (1668; reprint, London: Hasell, Watson, Viney, Ld., 1885). Digitised by Internet Archive.
  14. Nathan W. Murphy, 'London Foundlings in Colonial America: Overseas Leads to Dead Ends: John Abchurch, William Abchurch, Isaac Jewry, and Henry Woolchurch of Virginia and Maryland,' The American Genealogist, Vol. 83, No. 2 (Jul./Oct. 2008):131-140.