It is a large village with an estimated population in 2011 of more than 8000 and is also a civil parish within Aylesbury Vale district in Buckinghamshire, England. It is about 5 miles (8 km) south-west of Aylesbury and 2 miles (3 km) north-east of Thame.
Haddenham has an industrial area covering what was a small grass-strip airfield which continued to be operational for a number of years following World War 2, and a station on the main line from Birmingham to London Marylebone. Haddenham was without a railway station from 1963 to 1987.
The village name is Anglo-Saxon Hǣdanhām, "Hǣda's Homestead" or, perhaps Hǣdingahām, "the home of the Hadding tribe". There is an intriguing possibility that the first villagers were members of the Hadding tribe from Haddenham in Cambridgeshire. It is known that the first Anglo-Saxons to settle in the Vale of Aylesbury were followers of Cuthwulf, from Cottenham in Cambridgeshire, who marched south-west to the Thames after routing the British at the Battle of Bedcanford in 571. It was listed in the Domesday Book of 1086 as Hedreham, but by 1142 had taken on its more modern form and was called Hedenham.
From the Norman conquest to the time of the Dissolution of the Monasteries the village was in the possession of the Convent of St Andrew in Rochester. King Henry VIII gained possession of the village after the dissolution and held it until his death, after which it passed to his daughter Elizabeth I.
The village had a Royal charter as a market town between 1294 and 1301. The market was short-lived because the influential manor of Thame objected due to a significant loss in trade because of the rival market held so close by.
Astronomer William Rutter Dawes had his home and private observatory in the village from 1857 to 1868.
Haddenham was long a stronghold of radicalism and in particular of the Buckinghamshire Farm Labourers Union established in 1872 by Edward Richardson of Dinton.
Haddenham is known nationally as one of only three wychert (or whitchet) villages. Wychert describes a method of walls of buildings using a white clay mixed with straw, which are then thatched or topped with red clay tiles. Wychert is also used to make decorate the walls with branches, leaves, flowers, etc. The town's Baptist and Methodist chapels re both of whitchet construction.
Haddenham is also renowned for its ponds which were used to breed Aylesbury ducks. Breeding has been revived recently on the pond in front of the parish church (dedicated to St Mary the Virgin, and of Norman origin).
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