Place:Brixton, London, England

Alt namesBrixton-Hillsource: Family History Library Catalog
Brixton St. Judesource: ecclesiastical parish
Brixton St. Matthewsource: ecclesiastical parish
Brixton Hill St. Savioursource: ecclesiastical parish
Brixton Angell Town St. John the Evangelistsource: ecclesiastical parish
Brixton Loughborough Park St. Catherinesource: ecclesiastical parish
North Brixton Christ Churchsource: ecclesiastical parish
TypeArea, Parish (ancient)
Coordinates51.463°N 0.106°W
Located inLondon, England     (1889 - 1965)
Also located inSurrey, England     ( - 1889)
See alsoLambeth, London, Englandparish and metropolitan borough in which the neighbourhood was located
Lambeth (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering the area since 1965
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

Brixton is an area in the southern part of London within the London Borough of Lambeth. Brixton is mainly residential with a prominent street market and substantial retail sector. It is a multiethnic community, with a large percentage of its population being of African and Caribbean descent. It lies within Inner London and is bordered by Stockwell, Clapham, Streatham, Camberwell, Tulse Hill and Herne Hill. The main offices of the London Borough of Lambeth are in Brixton.

For more information, see the EN Wikipedia article Brixton. This is a very long article, but provides very little information pre 1900. The quotation from Wilson's Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales of 1870-72 given below shows just how large the neighbourhood was even in the 19th century. The total population of Lambeth, including Brixton, in the census of 2011 was approximately 304,500.

A nineteenth century description

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

"BRIXTON, a metropolitan suburb, five chapelries, a [registration] subdistrict, and a hundred, in Surrey. The suburb is in Lambeth parish, 2 miles SSW of St. Paul's, London; extends about 2 miles southward from the vicinity of Kennington: is partly well edificed in contiguity with other suburbs; has a [railway] station with telegraph on the London, Chatham, and Dover railway, and a station on the line from Ludgate-Hill; has also post offices of [Brixton], [Brixton] Rise, [Brixton] Hill, [Brixton] Road, North [Brixton], and Tulse-Hill, under London S.; and contains Drouet's establishment for pauper children, Bailey's asylum for aged females, and the county house of correction. The chapelries are [Brixton] St. Matthew, constituted in 1824, and subsequently curtailed; [Brixton] St. John, constituted in 1853; [Brixton] Christchurch, in 1856; Tulse-Hill, in 1856; and [Brixton] St. Jude, in 1868. Population of [Brixton] St. [Matthew]: 10,305; of [Brixton] St. John: 4,967; of [Brixton] [Christchurch]: 3,776. The livings of [St. Matthew], St. John, and [omitted, but Christchurch] are vicarages, and that of St. Jude a [perpetual] curacy, in the diocese of London. Value of St. [Matthew]: £766; of St. John: £250; of [Christchurch]: £700; of St. Jude: not reported. Patron of St. [Matthew]: the Archbishop; of St. John: W. H. Stone, Esq.; of [Christchurch]: the Rev. J. M'C. Hussey; of St. Jude: Trustees. Tulse-Hill is separately noticed. St. Matthew's church is a Doric structure, with portico, tower, and spire; and cost £15,192. St. Jude's church is a cruciform edifice, in mixed pointed styles, peculiar and showy; has two porticos and a tower, and was built in 1868. There are chapels for Independents, Lady Huutingdon's Connexion, and Methodists.
"The subdistrict is in Lambeth [registration] district, and conterminate with the chapelry of Brixton-St. Matthew as it was originally constituted. Acres: 1,445. Population: 20,067. Houses: 3,223.
"The hundred is cut into two divisions, Eastern and Western. The E. division comprises Lambeth parish, seven other parishes, and part of two others. Acres: 22,186. Population in 1851: 314,815. The W. division comprises Wandsworth parish, six other parishes, and part of another. Acres: 7,699. Population in 1851: 9,552. Population of the entire hundred in 1861: 409,504. Houses: 62,763."

Greater London Research Tips

A reminder that Greater London was not formed until 1965 and covers a much greater territory than its predecessor, the County of London formed in 1900. The City of London was only a part of the County of London. A map of the boroughs of Greater London is reproduced on all Greater London borough pages. A map of the boroughs of the smaller County of London is reproduced on all County of London borough pages.

Researching ancestors in London will probably be more successful than researching ancestors in the rest of England, particularly for the period before 1837 and the advent of civil registration. Baptisms, marriages and burials are available online for County of London parishes, and possibly for parishes throughout Greater London as well.

  • Anglican Parishes in London is a wiki here on WeRelate listing the places of worship of the established church throughout London. The churches are grouped within the post-1965 boroughs and for each is the street address, a link to the Booth Map (inner boroughs only), the time span for which the database AIM25 holds records, the FamilySearch Wiki link (see below), the Wikipedia link, and further notes. This is a work-in-progress and not all churches are listed as yet, but it is a guide to a great deal more information on those for which information has been gathered.
  • 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. Many of these lists start in 1813 and stretch into the 20th century; some start even earlier.


  • A street-by-street map of London (both sides of the Thames, and stretching from Limehouse, Stepney and Greenwich in the east to Hyde Park and Kensington in the west) drawn by Edward Mogg in 1806. Blows up to a very readable level. Highly recommended viewing. Shows named areas on the edge of the County of London (1900-1965) as the small villages they were in 1800. Streets in the City are named, but churches are missing.
  • The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers edited by Cecil Humphery-Smith and published by Phillimore & Co Ltd (edition of 1995) provides a map of the City of London indicating all the parishes and includes dates of commencement of registers for parishes formed before 1832.
  • Wikipedia has an expandable map of the area of devastation of the 1666 fire. The map includes the location of Pudding Lane where the fire started.
  • A map of London in the 1890s provided by the National Library of Scotland. There are a few steps between the home page index and the individual maps which may be difficult to follow for those who don't know London, but the maps themselves are produced at the scale of 5 feet to the mile on the original and are very clear. Houses on streets are marked, but not numbered.
  • Ordnance Survey map of London 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing London parishes just after the reorganization of 1899. The map was originally drawn over a street map at a scale of 1 inch to the mile and can be blown up to inspect a single borough. Only the major streets are marked and are only visible at maximum magnification. The City of London is an inset in the top right hand corner.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Middlesex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing the parishes remaining in Middlesex after the reorganization of 1899 when much of the former area of Middlesex had been transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Surrey 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Surrey parishes (chiefly Southwark) just after the reorganization of 1899 when the most urban parts of Surrey were transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Kent 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Kent parishes just after the reorganization of 1899 when the western part of Kent had been transferred into London.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Essex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Essex parishes (West Ham, East Ham, Ilford) which were absorbed into Greater London in 1965.

Registration Districts

  • Registration Districts in London, Registration Districts in Middlesex, Registration Districts in Surrey, Registration Districts in Kent, and Registration Districts in Essex 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, and has been updated into the 21st century. If the only information about an individual has been obtained from UKBMD, the name of the registration district is considered a "placename" within WeRelate and can be used to provide a broad estimate of the location.


  • Deceased Online includes four of the "Magnificent Seven" cemeteries (Brompton, Highgate, Kensal Green, and Nunhead) in its inventory of 65 London cemeteries. Transcripts for Abney Park are free with registration online at Ancestry (international subscription necessary) has "London, England, City of London and Tower Hamlets Cemetery Registers, 1841-1966". That leaves West Norwood without comprehensive online access to burial records. (Deceased Online and Ancestry may have increased their provision since this was written in 2016.)
  • As of October 2019 Ancestry has a file titled "England & Scotland, Select Cemetery Registers 1800-2016" which includes Abney Park Cemetery, Greenford Park Cemetery, Acton Cemetery, Ealing & Old Brentford Cemetery, Havelock Norwood Cemetery, Hortus Cemetery, South Ealing Cemetery, Queens Road Cemetery, and Chingford Mount Cemetery.
  • The City of London Cemetery, at Manor Park, near Wanstead in the London Borough of Redbridge also contains remains transferred from former parishes in the City of London whose graveyards have been replaced by streets and commercial buildings.
  • Brookwood Cemetery, beyond the Greater London borders in Surrey, was opened in 1854 for burials for Londoners. See the Wikpedia article.

Other online sources

  • See the FamilySearch Wiki under "London" and also under "Middlesex", "Surrey", "Essex" and "Kent" for key information about Greater London's jurisdictions and records, plus links to indexes, reference aids and Family History Library holdings.
  • 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 and GENUKI has not picked it up.)
  • 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.
  • Brixton St. Matthew (,_Surrey_Genealogy) was one of many ecclesiastical parishes in Lambeth. For a list of all of them with locations on a map, see England & Wales Jurisdictions 1851. For Brixton St. Matthew, parish records began in 1825. Separate registers exist for Lambeth Workshouse from 1803.
  • Also from England & Wales Jurisdictions 1851: "The following non-Church of England denominations were located somewhere in Lambeth, but the exact parish has not been identified: Baptist, Bible Christian, Bible Christian Methodist, Christians, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Countess of Huntingdon Methodist, Independent/Congregational, Plymouth Brethren, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, Protestant Dissenters, Society of Friends/Quaker, Unitarian, Wesleyan Methodist, Wesleyan Methodist Association, and Wesleyan Methodist Reform."
  • A History of the County of Surrey: Volume 4, chapter on Lambeth first published 1912 and available online through British History Online.

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