- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia
Elstow is a village and civil parish in the English county of Bedfordshire, England.
John Bunyan (1628-1688), author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim's Progress, was born here – at Bunyan's End, which lay approximately halfway between the hamlet of Harrowden and Elstow's High Street.
Elstow is now, effectively, a suburb of Bedford with the old village now almost surrounded by 20th-century housing. But the original village – now a conservation area – remains intact, with some 13th–17th century buildings and a village green.
For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Elstow. Includes a long description of Elstow Abbey and Moot Hall, a Tudor timber-framed building was built in the 15th century, possibly by the Abbey's carpenter William Arnold, to provide both a courtroom and a market house for the parish.
Elstow was originally an ancient parish in the Redbornstoke Hundred of Bedfordshire, England. It was an ancient parish with no subsidiary chapelries or townships.
It was made a civil parish in 1866 and in 1894 it became part of the Bedford Rural District. Since 1974 it has been in the non-metropolitan Borough of Bedford.
- The website British History Online provides three chapters of the Victoria County History Series on Bedfordshire. The first covers the religious houses of the county; the second and third provides articles on the parishes of the county. The parishes are arranged within their "hundreds".
- GENUKI main page for Bedfordshire which provides information on various topics covering the whole of the county, and also a link to a list of parishes. Under each parish there is a list of the settlements within it and brief description of each. This is a list of pre-1834 ancient or ecclesiastical parishes but there are suggestions as to how to find parishes set up since then. GENUKI provides references to other organizations who hold genealogical information for the local area. There is no guarantee that the website has been kept up to date and therefore the reader should check additional sources if possible.
- Bedfordshire family history societies are listed in GENUKI.
- The FamilyTree Wiki has a series of pages similar to those provided by GENUKI which may have been prepared at a later date and from more recent data. The wiki has a link to English Jurisdictions 1851. There is a list of all the parishes in existence at that date with maps indicating their boundaries. The website is very useful for finding the ecclesiastical individual parishes within large cities and towns.
- A Vision of Britain through Time, Bedfordshire, section "Units and Statistics" leads to analyses of population and organization of the county from about 1800 through 1974. There are pages available for all civil parishes, municipal boroughs and other administrative divisions. Descriptions provided are usually based on a gazetteer of 1870-72 which often provides brief notes on the economic basis of the settlement and significant occurences through its history.
- These two maps indicate the boundaries between parishes, etc., but for a more detailed view of a specific area try a map from this selection. The oldest series are very clear at the third magnification offered. Comparing the map details with the GENUKI details for the same area is well worthwhile.