Gerrards Cross is a village in Buckinghamshire, England. It is in the south of the county, near the border with Greater London, south of Chalfont St Peter. Gerrards Cross is also a civil parish within South Bucks district, which was known as the Beaconsfield district from 1974 to 1980. This had been formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of part of Eton Rural District (including Gerrards Cross) with Beaconsfield Urban District.
The village name is fairly new, when compared with other villages that surround it. Gerrards Cross did not exist in any formal sense until 1859 when it was formed by taking pieces out of the five parishes of Chalfont St Peter, Fulmer, Iver, Langley Marish and Upton to form a new ecclesiastical parish. It is named after the Gerrard family who in the early 17th century owned a manor here. At that time it was a hamlet in the parish of Chalfont St Peter. It is the site of an Iron Age hillfort. Originally named Jarrett's Cross before the times of the Gerrard family, after a highwayman , some areas retain the original name, such as Jarrett's Hill leading up to WEC International off the A40 west of the town.
The line on the map showing the separation of Gerrards Cross from Chalfont St. Peter is only arbitrary. Maps showing the transfer of lands have not been available to the writer.
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