- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Wraysbury is a village and civil parish on the east (left) bank of the River Thames, about midway between Windsor and Staines, and 18 miles (29 km) west by south-west of London. Until 1974 it was in the county of Buckinghamshire. It was administered by Berkshire County Council between 1974 and 1998, and now by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead; however the Wraysbury Reservoir is in the Spelthorne district of Surrey.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Wraysbury.
(The Wikipedia article makes reference to Ankerwyke Abbey.)
Wraysbury was part of the Stoke Hundred in Buckinghamshire and the Eton Poor Law Union.
- An outline map of the current civil parishes of Buckinghamshire (post 1974 and omitting Milton Keynes unitary authority) is provided by the Boundaries Commission.
- Another map which gives no source, appears to have been drawn to show the county in the late 19th century and labels the parishes directly. However, the map does not show towns and villages (unless they are parishes using the same name) and some parishes have been found to be missing from this map.
- A map provided by the Open University (a British university based in Milton Keynes) gives the locations of the old civil parishes and the new communities that make up Milton Keynes. It can be expanded to read the labels.
- GENUKI's collection of maps for Berkshire. For basic reference are the two online maps Berkshire Parishes and Berkshire Poor Law Union areas. These locate the individual parishes and indicate the urban and rural districts to which each belonged. There are many other maps listed, some covering specific parts of the county.
- Wikipedia's outline map of the unitary authorities, shown on many of their Berkshire pages, shows how the new divisions of government relate to the former districts. It has to be remembered that the county was reshaped in 1974 with the urban and rural districts of Abingdon and Faringdon and part of Wantage going to Oxfordshire, and the Borough of Slough (with Eton) coming in from Buckinghamshire. Every attempt is being made to indicate here in WeRelate the civil parishes, towns and villages for which these transfers occurred. Currently there are maps to be found on place pages that deal with civil parishes that transferred from Buckinghamshire into Berkshire. It is planned to provide maps within WeRelate for places that transferred from Berkshire to Oxfordshire.
- The extensive collection provided by Genmaps is provided free of charge online.
Birth, marriage and death certificates can now be ordered online from Buckinghamshire County Council. The full postal address is Buckinghamshire Register Office, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1YU.
The Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies (County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1UU) holds
- Church of England and Nonconformist churches including registers of baptism, marriage and burial.
- Around 35,000 wills proved by the Archdeaconry of Buckingham.
- County and District Councils (lists of councillors, minutes of meetings, etc).
- Quarter and Petty Session courts.
- Landed estates of families including the Aubrey-Fletchers, Hampdens, Carringtons and Fremantles.
- Historic maps including OS, tithe and inclosure maps
- A wide range of local history books, some for loan.
- Pamphlets and articles of local history interest.
- Local newspapers
- Computers for access to family history resources like Ancestry and FreeBMD.
- Published material is listed in the Library Catalogue.
- Catalogues to some of our manuscript material is available through Access to Archives, part of The National Archives (TNA). Their database contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales and dating from the eighth century to the present day.
In Buckinghamshire, as with other counties in England and Wales, the location of offices where Births, Marriages and Deaths were registered has altered with other changes in local government. A list of the location of Registration Offices since civil registration began in 1837 has been prepared by GENUKI (Genealogy: United Kingdom and Ireland). The table also gives details of when each Registration Office was in existence. In the case of Buckinghamshire, the same registration offices were used for the censuses since 1851.
Nineteenth Century Local Administration
English Jurisdictions is a webpage provided by FamilySearch which analyses every ecclesiastical parish in England at the year 1851. It provides, with the aid of outline maps, the date at which parish records and bishops transcripts begin, non-conformist denominations with a chapel within the parish, the names of the jurisdictions in charge: county, civil registration district, probate court, diocese, rural deanery, poor law union, hundred, church province; and links to FamilySearch historical records, FamilySearch Catalog and the FamilySearch Wiki. Two limitations: only England, and at the year 1851.
During the 19th century two bodies, the Poor Law Union and the Sanitary District, had responsibility for governmental functions at a level immediately above that covered by the civil parish. In 1894 these were replace by Rural and Urban Districts. These were elected bodies, responsible for setting local property assessments and taxes as well as for carrying out their specified duties. Thses districts continued in operation until 1974. Urban districts for larger municipalities were called "Municipal Boroughs" and had additional powers and obligations.
Poor Law Unions, established nationally in 1834, combined parishes together for the purpose of providing relief for the needy who had no family support. This led to the building of '"union poorhouses" or "workhouses" funded by all the parishes in the union. The geographical boundaries established for the individual Poor Law Unions were employed again when Registration Districts were formed three years later. In 1875 Sanitary Districts were formed to provide services such as clean water supply, sewage systems, street cleaning, and the clearance of slum housing. These also tended to follow the same geographical boundaries, although there were local alterations caused by changes in population distribution.
Online Historical References-Buckinghamshire
- GENUKI for Buckinghamshire provides a lot of material on the county history from a variety of aspects. The maps of the hundreds are reproduced from 19th century publications and show the topology as well as the locations of the various parishes. There is also a schematic map covering the whole county. GENUKI does not contain much information about the 20th century and beyond.
- Local History Online provides a list of local historical organizations. Each of these societies and organizations has its own website.
- The FamilySearch Wiki on Buckinghamshire explains the jurisdictions relating to civil affairs, parishes and probate (wills and testaments) for each parish in the county and also outlines when these jurisdictions were in existence. The data does not cover the post-1974 period.
Online Historical References-Berkshire
- Berkshire Record Office. The Berkshire Record Office [BRO] was established in 1948 to locate and preserve records relating to the county of Berkshire and its people, and anyone who is interested in the county's past. As well as original documents, catalogues and indexes, there is a library at the Record Office.
- Berkshire Family History Society Research Centre. "The Berks FHS Centre can help you - wherever your ancestors came from. There is a Research Centre Library open to all."
- West Berkshire Museum, Newbury, housed in a building with an interesting past, but is currently closed for redevelopment. No information on their collections.
- The GENUKI provision for Berkshire has been updated more recently than that for some of the other counties. A member of the Berkshire Family History Society is credited with this revision.
- The FamilySearch Wiki on Berkshire explains the jurisdictions relating to civil affairs, parishes and probate (wills and testaments) for each parish in the county and also outlines when these jurisdictions were in existence. Alterations required to cover the post-1974 period have not been carried out for every parish concerned.
- The Berkshire section of The Victoria History of the Counties of England, in four volumes, is online and provides an extensive history of the county, parish by parish, up to the end of the 19th century. Parishes are arranged in their original "hundreds", a fairly archaic scheme of dividing counties into reasonably sized sections.
- Local History Online is a compilation of websites from Berkshire local history clubs, societies and associations.