- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia
Bexley was an urban district and then a municipal borough within the County of Kent. In 1965 it joined with other neighbouring urban districts to become the London Borough of Bexley within Greater London.
It is located 13 miles (21 km) east-southeast of Charing Cross (the centre of London for measurement purposes). It was an ancient parish in the county of Kent. As part of the suburban growth of London in the 20th century, Bexley increased in population, becoming a municipal borough in 1935 and has formed part of Greater London since 1965.
The London Borough of Bexley also absorbed the neighbouring Erith Municipal Borough, Crayford Urban District Council and most of Chislehurst and Sidcup Urban District Council.
A nineteenth century description
A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Bexley from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:
- "BEXLEY, a village, a parish, and a [registration] subdistrict, in the [registration] district of Dartford, Kent. The village stands on the Cray river, and on the Lee and Dartford railway, 3 miles W of Dartford; has a [railway] station with telegraph, a post office under London SE, and a fair on 13 Sept.; and gave the title of Baron to the Vansittarts. The parish includes Bexley-Heath and three hamlets. Acres: 5,025. Real property: £25,284. Population: 4,944. Houses: 1,002. The property is much subdivided. The manor belonged, in the Saxon times, to the see of Canterbury; was alienated, by Cranmer, to Henry VIII.; granted, by James I., to Sir John Spielman; sold by Spielman to Camden the antiquary; and bequeathed by Camden to University college, Oxford, for maintaining a professorship of history. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Canterbury. Value: £592. Patron: Viscount Sydney. The church is chiefly early English, with later windows. The vicarage of Bexley-Heath and the [perpetual] curacy of Lamorbey are separate benefices. There are a national school, an infant school, alms-houses with £100 a year, and other charities £104.
- "The [registration] subdistrict comprises four parishes. Acres: 12,969. Population: 13,026."
Bexleyheath is covered separately. Lamorbey is redirected here.
Kent Research Tips
This list has been taken from GENUKI where more places and websites for researching are listed.
Archives and Libraries
Civil Registration and Census
- Steve Archer has produced a very useful round-up of the available census records for Kent - and where/from whom they are available.
- Registration Districts in Kent for the period 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.
Family History Societies
Most of the county is divided between the Kent FHS and the North West Kent FHS.
Kent Probate Records Numerous links provided by Maureen Rawson
Greater London Research Tips
- See wiki.familysearch.org under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
- The London Metropolitan Archives (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB) holds records relating to the whole of Greater London. Ancestry (subscription necessary) has produced transcriptions and provides images of lists of baptisms, marriages, and burials in churches across Greater London. These lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century.
- GENUKI has a long list of websites and archive holders in addition to London Metropolitan Archives above. (The list from GENUKI is not maintained so well that there is never a dead link in it. However, it is often worth googling the title given on the page just in case the contributor has reorganized their website.)
- GENUKI also has a list of the Archives and Local Studies Libraries for each of the boroughs of Greater London.
- The London Encyclopaedia by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert. An e-book available online through Google, originally published by Pan Macmillan. There is a search box in the left-hand pane.
- London Lives. A very useful free website for anyone researching their London ancestors between the years 1690-1800. This is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.
- London Ancestor, a website belonging to one of the London family history societies, has a list of transcriptions of directories from the 18th century, listing in one case "all the squares, streets, lanes, courts, yards, alleys, &C. in and about Five Miles of the Metropolis..." In other parts of the same website are maps of various parts of 19th century London and Middlesex.
- The proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, 1674-1913. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. This website is free to use.
- Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, are lists of the registration districts used for civil registration (births, marriages and deaths, as well as the censuses). There are linked supporting lists of the parishes which made up each registration district, the dates of formation and abolition of the districts, the General Register Office numbers, and the local archive-holding place. This work has been carried out by Brett Langston under the agency of GENUKI (Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland) and UKBMD - Births, Marriages, Deaths & Censuses on the Internet.