Great Woolstone and Little Woolstone are two historic villages in modern Milton Keynes, ceremonial Buckinghamshire now called jointly Woolstone or The Woolstones and forming the heart of a new district of that name.
Until shortly after the turn of the 19th century, the villages were named Woolstone Magna (Great Woolstone) and Woolstone Parva (Little Woolstone). The area is now collectively known simply as "Woolstone" or "The Woolstones" and it forms part of the Campbell Park Civil Parish of Milton Keynes and comes under the control of Campbell Park Parish Council. The land between the two villages is now occupied by the village cricket green. Detail from genealogical records can be found on the UK and Ireland Genealogy site.
They are both linear villages, being hemmed in by and along the north-south line of both the River Ouzel (to the east of the villages) and of the Grand Union Canal to the west. They form part of a chain of three villages along this line, the next about a mile further south being Woughton-on-the-Green.
Today, Great Woolstone still has its own village pub, the thatched roof "Cross Keys", which can trace its history back to 1560. Little Woolstone is the larger of the two Woolstones, having benefited from the building of the canal. Its village pub, "The Barge Inn", dates from this time,being opened to meet the needs of the canal labourers, but is now mainly a restaurant. The Church of England Church in Little Woolstone is still open and serves both villages, whilst the church in Great Woolstone closed in the 1970s and has served various purposes since then including being used as a music rehearsal room.
In 1934 Great Woolstone joined with Little Woolstone and another neighbouring parish, Willen, to become the parish of Woolstone cum Willen. In 2012 the Woolstones were separated from Willen and now form part of an area of Milton Keynes named Campbell Park.
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