Bletchley was first recorded in manorial rolls in the 12th century as "Bicchelai", then later as "Blechelegh" (13th century) and Blecheley (14th–16th centuries).
Once an obscure hamlet on the road from Fenny Stratford to Buckingham, with the arrival of the London and North Western Railway in 1845 and its subsequent junction with the Oxford-Cambridge Varsity Line shortly afterwards, Bletchley grew rapidly to service the junction. Bletchley railway station was for many years an important node on the railway. It is now one of the four stations which serve Milton Keynes.
In the urban growth of the Victorian period brought by the railway, the town merged with nearby Fenny Stratford. Fenny Stratford, along with its neighbouring parish, Simpson, had been constituted an urban district in 1895. Bletchley was added to this urban district in 1898. In 1911 the urban district was renamed Bletchley and contined to serve all three civil parishes.
In the early 1960s, there was a further substantial expansion of the town, with people from London being relocated by the Greater London Council, mainly to a London overspill housing estate to the south of the village of Water Eaton. The population of the urban district increased from 5,500 in 1921 to 17,000 in 1961.
Bletchley was included in the "designated area" when the "New City" of Milton Keynes was founded in 1967. Bletchley thrived in the early years of the growth of Milton Keynes, since it was the main shopping area. Bletchley's boom came to an end when the new Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre was built and commercial Bletchley has declined as a retail destination in recent years.
Bletchley's name is now linked with Bletchley Park, the headquarters of Britain's World War II codebreaking organisation. The buildings have been converted and now house The National Museum of Computing.
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
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