Place:Willesden, Middlesex, England

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NameWillesden
Alt namesWillesdunesource: Anglo-Saxon
Wellesdonesource: Domesday Book
Wilsdonsource: early 19th century
Willesden Greensource: the underground station
TypeParish, Borough (municipal)
Coordinates51.549°N 0.25°W
Located inMiddlesex, England     ( - 1965)
See alsoBrent (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon Borough into which the municipal borough was transferred in 1965
source: Family History Library Catalog


Willesden is one of the ancient parishes of Middlesex. In 1894 it became an Urban District, which was elevated to become a Municipal Borough in 1933. It is situated 5 miles (8 km) northwest of Charing Cross. Willesden Municipal Borough was abolished in 1965, becoming part of the London Borough of Brent in Greater London.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Willesden.

A nineteenth century description

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

"WILLESDEN, or Wilsdon, a village, a parish, and a [registration] sub-district, in Hendon [registration] district, Middlesex. The village stands 1½ mile N by W of Willesden-Junction [railway] station, and 7½ WNW of St. Paul's, London; and has a post-office under London NW, a police station, and fairs on Holy Thursday and St. James' day. The parish includes [Willesden] Green, Dollis-Hill, Sherrick-Green, Neasdon, and Harlesden hamlets, Brondesbury domain, and parts of Kilburn and Kensal-Green villages. Acres: 4,190. Real property: £28,401. Population in 1851: 2,939; in 1861: 3,879. Houses: 642. Population in 1869, about 15,000. The property is much subdivided. The manor was given by King Athelstan to St. Paul's, London; and was known, at Domesday, as Willesdone. [Willesden] House, Brondesbury Park, Neasdon House, Dollis Hill, Harlesden House, Heathfield, Mapesbury House, Bramshill Lodge, Glyn-field House, and the Rookery are chief residences. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of London. Value: £320. Patrons: the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's. The church is later English. The rectory of Brondesbury and two [perpetual] curacies of Kilburn are separate benefices. There are an Independent chapel, a national school, and charities £27.
"The sub-district consists of [Willesden] parish and Twyford-Abbey extra-parochial tract.

Middlesex Research Tips

Parts of Middlesex were absorbed into London in 1889 (Inner London), and some in 1965 (Outer London). Depending on the specific location and the year being investigated it may be necessary to check London records as well as those of Middlesex.

  • See wiki.familysearch.org under "Middlesex" for key information about the jurisdictions and records of Middlesex, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • The London Metropolitan Archives (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB) holds records relating to the whole of Greater London. Ancestry (subscription necessary) has produced transcriptions and provides images of lists of baptisms, marriages, and burials in churches across Greater London. These lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century.
  • The Victoria History of the County of Middlesex is a series of volumes available online through British History Online. The volumes were written over the past hundred or so years by a number of authors and cover various sections of Middlesex. A list of the volumes and what each contains can be found under the source Victoria History of the County of Middlesex
  • GENUKI has a long list of websites and archive holders in addition to London Metropolitan Archives above. (The list from GENUKI is not maintained so well that there is never a dead link in it. However, it is often worth googling the title given on the page just in case the contributor has reorganized their website.)
  • GENUKI has a separate page for Middlesex references.
  • GENUKI also has a list of the Archives and Local Studies Libraries for each of the boroughs of Greater London.
  • Registration Districts in Middlesex and Registration Districts in London, are lists of the registration districts used for civil registration (births, marriages and deaths, as well as the censuses). There are linked supporting lists of the parishes which made up each registration district, the dates of formation and abolition of the districts, the General Register Office numbers, and the local archive-holding place. This work has been carried out by Brett Langston under the agency of GENUKI (Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland) and UKBMD - Births, Marriages, Deaths & Censuses on the Internet.

Greater London Research Tips

  • See wiki.familysearch.org under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • The London Metropolitan Archives (40 Northampton Road, Clerkenwell, London EC1R 0HB) holds records relating to the whole of Greater London. Ancestry (subscription necessary) has produced transcriptions and provides images of lists of baptisms, marriages, and burials in churches across Greater London. These lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century.
  • GENUKI has a long list of websites and archive holders in addition to London Metropolitan Archives above. (The list from GENUKI is not maintained so well that there is never a dead link in it. However, it is often worth googling the title given on the page just in case the contributor has reorganized their website.)
  • GENUKI also has a list of the Archives and Local Studies Libraries for each of the boroughs of Greater London.
  • The London Encyclopaedia by Ben Weinreb and Christopher Hibbert. An e-book available online through Google, originally published by Pan Macmillan. There is a search box in the left-hand pane.
  • London Lives. A very useful free website for anyone researching their London ancestors between the years 1690-1800. This is a fully searchable edition of 240,000 manuscripts from eight archives and fifteen datasets, giving access to 3.35 million names.
  • London Ancestor, a website belonging to one of the London family history societies, has a list of transcriptions of directories from the 18th century, listing in one case "all the squares, streets, lanes, courts, yards, alleys, &C. in and about Five Miles of the Metropolis..." In other parts of the same website are maps of various parts of 19th century London and Middlesex.
  • The proceedings of the Old Bailey, London's central criminal court, 1674-1913. A fully searchable edition of the largest body of texts detailing the lives of non-elite people ever published, containing 197,745 criminal trials held at London's central criminal court. This website is free to use.
  • Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, are lists of the registration districts used for civil registration (births, marriages and deaths, as well as the censuses). There are linked supporting lists of the parishes which made up each registration district, the dates of formation and abolition of the districts, the General Register Office numbers, and the local archive-holding place. This work has been carried out by Brett Langston under the agency of GENUKI (Genealogy United Kingdom and Ireland) and UKBMD - Births, Marriages, Deaths & Censuses on the Internet.


This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Willesden. 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.