Place:Towersey, Buckinghamshire, England

TypeVillage, Civil parish
Coordinates51.741°N 0.937°W
Located inBuckinghamshire, England     ( - 1934)
Also located inOxfordshire, England     (1934 - )
See alsoLong Crendon Rural, Buckinghamshire, Englandrural district of which Towersey was a part until 1934
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Towersey is a village and civil parish about east of Thame in Oxfordshire. The village was part of Buckinghamshire for most of its history, but the boundary was moved in 1933 when Towersey was swapped for Kingsey.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

The toponym is Old English in origin; the earliest form is "Eia" in Domesday Book, 1086, with the meaning "island". In the middle of the 13th century it is recorded as "Turrisey" and "Tureseye" meaning island held by the de Turs family (Richard de Turs held the manor in 1252). This refers to a dry area of land in the marshes of the Aylesbury Vale, on the edge of which the village stands.

The Church of England parish church of Saint Catherine is said to date from the 12th century. Its chancel was built early in the 13th century in the Early English style, and the nave was rebuilt early in the 14th century in the Decorated Gothic style. In 1850-54 the architect James Cranston restored St. Catherine's and added the bell tower, which is in a slightly unusual position on the south side of the nave.[1] The tower has five bells: a peal of four cast in the 17th century and a small Sanctus bell cast at a later date.

In 1862 the Wycombe Railway was extended from High Wycombe to Thame, crossing Chinnor Road on a bridge just south of Towersey. In 1864 the line was extended again from Thame to Oxford. In 1933 the Great Western Railway opened on the west side of the bridge. British Railways withdrew passenger services in 1963 and freight services in 1991. The track has now been lifted but the bridge with its steel span over Chinnor Road still survives.

Research Tips


  • An outline map of the current civil parishes of Buckinghamshire (post 1974 and omitting Milton Keynes unitary authority) is provided by the Boundaries Commission.
  • Another map which gives no source, appears to have been drawn to show the county in the late 19th century and labels the parishes directly. However, the map does not show towns and villages (unless they are parishes using the same name) and some parishes have been found to be missing from this map.
  • A map provided by the Open University (a British university based in Milton Keynes) gives the locations of the old civil parishes and the new communities that make up Milton Keynes. It can be expanded to read the labels.

Registration Offices

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

  • Church of England and Nonconformist churches including registers of baptism, marriage and burial.
  • Around 35,000 wills proved by the Archdeaconry of Buckingham.
  • County and District Councils (lists of councillors, minutes of meetings, etc).
  • Quarter and Petty Session courts.
  • Landed estates of families including the Aubrey-Fletchers, Hampdens, Carringtons and Fremantles.
  • Historic maps including OS, tithe and inclosure maps
  • A wide range of local history books, some for loan.
  • Pamphlets and articles of local history interest.
  • Local newspapers
  • Computers for access to family history resources like Ancestry and FreeBMD.
  • Published material is listed in the Library Catalogue.
  • Catalogues to some of our manuscript material is available through Access to Archives, part of The National Archives (TNA). Their database contains catalogues describing archives held locally in England and Wales and dating from the eighth century to the present day.

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

  • GENUKI for Buckinghamshire provides a lot of material on the county history from a variety of aspects. The maps of the hundreds are reproduced from 19th century publications and show the topology as well as the locations of the various parishes. There is also a schematic map covering the whole county. GENUKI does not contain much information about the 20th century and beyond.
  • Local History Online provides a list of local historical organizations. Each of these societies and organizations has its own website.
  • The FamilySearch Wiki on Buckinghamshire explains the jurisdictions relating to civil affairs, parishes and probate (wills and testaments) for each parish in the county and also outlines when these jurisdictions were in existence. The data does not cover the post-1974 period.
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original content was at Towersey. 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.