Place:Colnbrook, Buckinghamshire, England

Coordinates51.483°N 0.533°W
Located inBuckinghamshire, England     ( - 1974)
Also located inBerkshire, England     (1974 - )
See alsoHorton, Buckinghamshire, Englandparish in which Colnbrook was part located around 1870
Langley Marish, Buckinghamshire, Englandparish in which Colnbrook was part located around 1870
Iver, Buckinghamshire, Englandparish in which Colnbrook was located 1934-1974
Eton Rural, Buckinghamshire, Englandrural district in which it was located 1894-1974
Slough Borough, Berkshire, Englandunitary authority covering the area since 1974
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Colnbrook from John Marius Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72:

"COLNBROOK, a small town and a chapelry on the mutual border of Middlesex and Bucks. The town stands on the river Colne, 2 miles S of Langley [railway] station, and 4¼ N by W of Staines; and has a post office‡ under Slough. It dates from very early times; was incorporated in 1543; had long a weekly market; and still has fairs on 5 April and 16 Oct. A railway through it, from the Great Western at West Drayton to the Southwestern at Staines, was authorised in 1866. The chapelry is in the parishes of Stanwell [in Middlesex], Horton [in Buckinghamshire], and Langley-Marsh [in Buckinghamshire]. Population: 1,196. Houses: 245. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Oxford. Value, £183: Patron: the Bishop of [Oxford]. The church was built in 1869. There are a Baptist chapel, public rooms, and two public schools."
Image:Buckinghamshire South.png Image:Bucks-Berks Transfer 1974.png
the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Colnbrook is a village now located in the unitary authority of Slough in Berkshire, England where it is part of the civil parish of Colnbrook with Poyle. Until 1974 it was situated in the historic county of Buckinghamshire. It straddles the Colne Brook and Wraysbury River which rejoin on its southwest border (two "distributaries" of the Colne). The village is centred southeast of the town of Slough, east of Windsor and west of central London.

The junction of the M4 motorway and the M25 are to the east of the village. Further east is London Heathrow Airport. Today the parish is suburban with significant industrial units, logistical premises and open land. At the 2011 census the whole civil parish had a population of 6,157 living in 2,533 homes.

end of Wikipedia contribution

It is hard to believe that these two descriptions cover the same place over a time difference of 140 years.

Research Tips

The following references cover the time that Colnbrook was in Buckinghamshire.


  • 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.

Registration Offices

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

  • 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.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Colnbrook. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with WeRelate, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
[[Category:Eton Rural, Buckinghamshire, England