St Dionis Backchurch, London Genealogy

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England Gotoarrow.png London Gotoarrow.png London Parishes Gotoarrow.png St Dionis Backchurch

Parish History

"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]


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

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

Contributor: Include here information for parish registers, Bishop’s Transcripts, nonconformist 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

Contributor: Include an overview if there is any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed. Add a link to online sites for indexes and/or images. Also add a link to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.

Probate records

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

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

Maps and Gazetteers

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

Web sites


  1. James Elmes, M.R. I. A., Architect, A Topographical Dictionary of London and its Envirions (London: Whittaker, Treacher and Arnot, 1831). Adapted. Digital version: Google Books.