Place:Hackney, London, England

Alt namesHackney St. Johnsource: name of ecclesiastical parish
Metropolitan Borough of Hackneysource: formal name 1900-1965
St. John-Hackneysource: Family History Library Catalog
Hackney Centralsource: main settlement of Hackney
Dalstonsource: village in parish
De Beauvoir Townsource: settlement in parish
Hackney Wicksource: settlement in parish
Haggerstonsource: settlement in parish
Homertonsource: settlement in parish
Kingslandsource: settlement in parish
Lower Claptonsource: settlement in parish
Manor Housesource: settlement in parish
Upper Claptonsource: settlement in parish
Shacklewellsource: settlement in parish
Stamford Hillsource: settlement in parish
South Hackneysource: settlement in parish
Victoria Parksource: another name for South Hackney
West Hackneysource: settlement in parish
TypeParish (ancient), Borough (metropolitan)
Coordinates51.548°N 0.054°W
Located inLondon, England     (1889 - 1965)
Also located inMiddlesex, England     ( - 1889)
See alsoOssulstone Hundred, Middlesex, Englandancient subdivision covering the area until 1894
Hackney (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon Borough to which it was transferred in 1965
Contained Places
Victoria Park Cemetery
source: Family History Library Catalog
source: Family History Library Catalog

Hackney, or Hackney St. John, is one of the ancient parishes of Middlesex. In 1889 the civil parish was transferred to the newly-created County of London and in 1900 became Hackney Metropolitan Borough. Hackney Metropolitan Borough was abolished in 1965, becoming part of the Hackney London Borough in Greater London.

NOTE: Wikipedia has three articles on Hackney, each providing different information. They are titled "Hackney, London" (general history), "Hackney (parish)" (church history and architecture), and "London Borough of Hackney" (the modern borough and its organization). Wikipedia also has articles on many of the hamlets and settlements within the parish. In WeRelate these have all been redirected here.

According to the census of 1861, Hackney contained 76,687 inhabitants. Previous to 1835 it formed one parish, but with the expansion of population it was divided into three: Hackney St. John, South Hackney, and West Hackney. The hamlet of Hackney Central was in Hackney St. John, Haggerston, Homerton and Victoria Park were in South Hackney, and Dalston, De Beauvoir Town, Kingsland and Shacklewell were in West Hackney. There were also hamlets in the north of the parish: Upper Clapton, Lower Clapton, Manor House and Stamford Hill. To the east is the large open space of Hackney Marshes and the district of Hackney Wick.

In the 18th century there were silk mills which had spread north from Stepney and Mile End, but by the 19th century these had disappeared and most of the working population commuted into the City of London first by means of the London Northern Railway (1850-1870) and then by the London & North Western Railway. There continued to be various factories for waterproofing, bone-crushing, chemical works, and rope-walks in the vicinity of Hackney Wick. These were powered by water from the River Lea. Light industries in this area continue to this day.

Metropolitan Borough of Hackney

the following text is based on an article in Wikipedia

The Metropolitan Borough of Hackney was a Metropolitan borough of the County of London from 1900 to 1965. Its area became part of the London Borough of Hackney in Greater London in 1965. The metropolitan borough was one of twenty-eight created by the London Government Act 1899. It was the successor to the vestry of the parish of Hackney, which had been the local authority since 1855.

The metropolitan borough included the districts of Hackney: Upper Clapton and Lower Clapton, Homerton, Dalston and Kingsland. It was also expanded from the original parish boundaries of Hackney to include Stoke Newington Common, and the entire eastern side of Stoke Newington High Street. Until 1889 Hackney and Stoke Newington were separate parishes in Middlesex. A later map of Hackney in Wikipedia includes the Stoke Newington portion with no marked boundary.

Image:Hackney 1868 75pc C.png

Map based on an HMSO map of Hackney from their Boundary Commission Report of 1868 produced online by A Vision of Britain through Time.

Ecclesiastical parish

The ancient parish of Hackney was originally dedicated to St. Augustine, but by c.1660 it had been rededicated to St John the Baptist and is usually referred to as St John at Hackney. It was in the Diocese of London. From 1825, as the population of Hackney increased, a number of new ecclesiastical parishes were formed. These are listed in Wikipedia

Research tips

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.
  • GENUKI has is a long description of Hackney taken from a 1868 gazetteer.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Hackney, London. 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.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Metropolitan Borough of Hackney. 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.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Hackney (parish). 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.