Place:Finsbury (metropolitan borough), London, England

NameFinsbury (metropolitan borough)
Alt namesMetropolitan Borough of Finsburysource: formal name
Finsburysource: shortened form
TypeBorough (metropolitan)
Coordinates51.527°N 0.108°W
Located inLondon, England     (1889 - 1965)
See alsoMiddlesex, Englandcounty in which it was located prior to 1889
Islington (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon Borough covering the area since 1965
Parishes and non-parochial places before 1899Later municipality from 1965
Clerkenwell, Middlesex St. Luke, St. Sepulchre Middlesex, Charterhouse, and the Liberty of Glasshouse Yard London Borough of Islington
Former higher level of government until 1889Later higher level of government from 1965
MiddlesexGreater London

More information on these linked pages.

the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

The Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury (#8 on the map) was a metropolitan borough within the County of London from 1900 to 1965, when it was amalgamated with the Metropolitan Borough of Islington to form the London Borough of Islington.

Finsbury Metropolitan Borough bordered the metropolitan boroughs of Islington, Shoreditch, the City of London, Holborn and St. Pancras.

Image:County of London with Thames.png

The borough was formed from the five civil parishes and extra-parochial places of Clerkenwell St. James and St. John, Middlesex St. Luke, Charterhouse, Liberty of Glasshouse Yard, and St. Sepulchre Middlesex. In 1915 these five were combined into a single civil parish called "Finsbury", which was conterminous with the metropolitan borough.

Previous to the borough's formation it had been administered by three separate local bodies: Holborn District Board of Works, Clerkenwell Vestry and St Luke's Vestry. Charterhouse had not been under the control of any local authority prior to 1900. Finsbury had been a manor which give its name to the "Finsbury Division" of the Ossulstone Hundred of Middlesex, from the 17th century until 1900.

As can be seen by the 1916 map, prior to that date most inhabitants appeared to live in the neighbourhoods of Clerkenwell or St. Luke's and addresses they used should indicate that fact. The registration district for the area was Clerkenwell Registration District from the start of civil registration in 1837 until 1869. It was then altered to Holborn. It is surprising, therefore, that the number of people recorded in WeRelate as living in "Finsbury, Middlesex, England" in the 19th century is as large as it is. But the Family History Library Catalogue has used Finsbury to describe all its datasets covering this area, even those from the 19th century and before.

Image:Finsbury parishes 1911.png

By 1952 the wards of the metropolitan borough had been revised to fit with the change in population density in different parts of the borough. The names of the wards are much more illustrative than those used in the northern part of the borough in 1916. However, most of the ward names have not used in WeRelate because most of our material is about people who lived in the 19th century.

Image:Finsbury Met Borough Wards 1952.png

Greater London Research Tips

A reminder that Greater London was formed in 1965 and covers a much greater territory than the County of London formed in 1900. The City of London is 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 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 and Stepney in the east to Hyde Park and Kensington in the west) drawn by Edward Mogg in 1806. Blows up to a very readable level.
  • 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.
  • Ordnance Survey map of Middlesex 1900 (provided online by A Vision of Britain through Time) showing Middlesex parishes just 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.

Registration Districts

  • 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. The names of the individual registration districts are "places" within WeRelate and can be used where the only information has been obtained from UKBMD.


  • 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.)

Other online sources

  • See the FamilySearch Wiki 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.
  • 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.
  • A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 8, Islington and Stoke Newington Parishes , published 1985, from the Victoria County History Series provided online by British History Online. Follows the growth of this part of London in depth from 1740 forward almost to the present day. Includes a number of maps of different periods on the timeline. 225 pages plus index in the original book.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Metropolitan Borough of Finsbury. 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.