Putney, Surrey Genealogy

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Putney, Surrey family history and genealogy research page. Guide to parish registers (baptisms, christenings, marriages, and burials), civil registration (births, marriages, and deaths), census records, history, wills, cemetery, online transcriptions and indexes, an interactive map and website resources.

Parish History

'PUTNEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Wandsworth and Clapham, W. division of the hundred of Brixton, E. division of Surrey, 4 miles (S. W.) from London; containing, with the hamlet of Roehampton, 4684 inhabitants. In Domesday Book this place is styled Putelei, and it was subsequently called Puttenheath, or Pottenheath, since contracted into its present name. The village is situated on the southern bank of the Thames, opposite to Fulham, with which it is connected by a wooden bridge; it is lighted with gas, partly paved, and well supplied with water. Queen Elizabeth was a frequent visiter here at the house of a Mr. Lacy, who also had the honour to entertain James I. a short time before his coronation. During the civil war in the reign of Charles I., a bridge of boats was constructed across the Thames, and forts were erected on each side of the river, by order of the Earl of Essex, on the retreat of the royalists to Kingston, after the battle of Brentford; and in 1647, the head-quarters of the army under Cromwell were fixed at Putney, while the king was a prisoner at Hampton Court. An ancient ferry over the Thames at this place is mentioned in Domesday book, as yielding to the lord of the manor of Wimbledon a toll of twenty shillings per annum: in 1729, the bridge was erected, in pursuance of an act of parliament, at an expense of £16,000, subscribed by 30 shareholders, who purchased the ferry for £8000. The Richmond railway has a station here. On Putney Heath, to the south of the village, is an obelisk erected by the corporation of London, with an inscription commemorating the experiments made in 1776, by David Hartley, to prove the efficacy of a method of building houses fire-proof, for the trial of which he had in 1774 obtained a grant from parliament of £2500. The College of Civil-Engineers at Putney was founded in 1840, for the purpose of affording sound instruction in the theory and practice of civilengineering and architecture, and in all those branches of science and learning which are adapted to the present advanced state of society, and constitute an education that fits the student for any pursuit or profession. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £362; patrons and appropriators, the Dean and Chapter of Worcester. The church, founded as a chapel of ease to Wimbledon, was rebuilt about the reign of Henry VII., and in 1836 was again rebuilt, and the old tower restored, at an expense of £7000, defrayed by subscription, a rate, and a grant of £400 from the Incorporated Society. It is in the later English style, with the small chantry chapel (originally erected by Nicholas West, Bishop of Ely) removed from the east end of the south aisle, and rebuilt at the east end of the north side, the old style being preserved. At Roehampton is a separate incumbency. There is a place of worship for Independents. In 1684, Thomas Martyn bequeathed lands for the foundation and support of a charity school for twenty boys, sons of watermen; and by a decree of the court of chancery in 1715, the property was vested in trustees: the income is about £270. An almshouse for twelve men and women, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was erected by Sir Abraham Dawes, who by will in 1639 endowed it with a rent-charge of £40, which subsequent benefactions have increased to £127 per annum. The proprietors of the bridge distribute £31 per annum to watermen, and watermen's widows and children; and the parish receives benefit from Henry Smith's and other charities. Putney was the birthplace of Bishop West, already mentioned; of Thomas Cromwell, made Earl of Essex by Henry VIII.; and of Edward Gibbon, the celebrated author of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, who was born in 1737. John Toland, a noted free-thinking writer, died at Putney, in 1722, and was interred in the churchyard; and Robert Wood, under secretary of state, who published The Ruins of Palmyra, and other curious archæological works, was interred in the new burialground, in 1771. William Pitt, Earl of Chatham, died at a house on Putney Heath.'[1]


Civil Registration

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

Online Putney Parish Register Images and Indexes
1620-1812 Ancestry baptisms, marriages, and burials[2]
1813-1906 Ancestry[3] 1774-1921 Ancestry[4] 1813-1900 Ancestry[5]
Indexes 1620-1686
FamilySearch[6] 1602-1775 FindMyPast[7]
1620-1870 FamilySearch[8]
    1800-1837 Ancestry[9]    

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, non conformist and other types of church records, such as parish chest records. Add the contact information for the office holding the original records. Add links to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection

Census records

{{British Census|474658}

FamilySearch Centres offer free access to images of the England and Wales Census through FHC Portal: Computers here have access to the Family History Centre Portal page which gives free access to premium family history software and websites that generally charge for subscriptions.

[1] to locate local Family History Centres in UK

[2] to locate outside UK. Many archives and local history collections in public libraries in England and Wales offer online census searches and also hold microfilm or fiche census returns.

The 1851 census of England and Wales attempted to identify religious places of worship in addition to the household survey census returns.

Prior to the 1911 census the household schedule was destroyed and only the enumerator's schedule survives.

The 1911 census of England and Wales was taken on the night of Sunday 2 April 1911 and in addition to households and institutions such as prisons and workhouses, canal boats merchant ships and naval vessels it attempted to include homeless persons. The schedule was completed by an individual and for the first time both this record and the enumerator's schedule were preserved. Two forms of boycott of the census by women are possible due to frustration at government failure to grant women the universal right to vote in parliamentary and local elections. The schedule either records a protest by failure to complete the form in respect of the women in the household or women are absent due to organisation of groups of women staying away from home for the whole night. Research estimates that several thousand women are not found by census search. [3]

Poor Law Unions

Wandsworth and Clapham Poor Law Union,Surrey

Probate records

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

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Web sites


  1. Samuel A. Lewis, A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 621-623. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=51226 Date accessed: 26 January 2011.
  2. London, England, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1538-1812, courtesy: Ancestry ($). Described as St Mary, Putney in Wandsworth Borough. Marriages from 1754 to 1812 are not included in this database. Partially indexed.
  3. London, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906, courtesy: Ancestry ($). Described as Putney St Mary in Wandsworth Borough. Partially indexed.
  4. London, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1921, courtesy: Ancestry ($). Described as Putney St Mary in Wandsworth Borough. Partially indexed.
  5. London, England, Deaths and Burials, 1813-1980, courtesy: Ancestry ($). Described as Putney St Mary in Wandsworth Borough. Partially indexed.
  6. Batches P017491, C017492, see: Hugh Wallis, "IGI Batch Numbers for London including Middlesex (N-Z), England," IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 17 March 2012.
  7. 'Boyd's Marriage Index - Parish details by county,' Origins.net (WayBack Machine), accessed 27 March 2012.
  8. Batch M017491, see: Hugh Wallis, "IGI Batch Numbers for London including Middlesex (N-Z), England," IGI Batch Numbers, accessed 17 March 2012.
  9. Pallot's Marriage and Birth Indexes, Guide to Parishes (n.p.: n.p., n.d.). FHL British Book 942 V25pm