Place:Wandsworth, London, England

Alt namesWandsworth Townsource: central part of the parish
Wandsworth St. Annesource: ecclesiastical parish
Wandsworth All Saintssource: ecclesiastical parish
Garrattsource: hamlet in parish
Southfieldssource: neighbourhood in parish
Coordinates51.4644°N 0.1924°W
Located inLondon, England     (1889 - 1904)
Also located inSurrey, England     ( - 1889)
See alsoWandsworth (metropolitan borough), London, EnglandMetropolitan Borough of Wandsworth|municipal governing body 1900-1965
Wandsworth (London Borough), Greater London, EnglandLondon borough covering the area since 1965
the text in this section is based on an article in Wikipedia

Wandsworth Town is a district of south London which, since 1965, has been within the London Borough of Wandsworth. It is situated 4.6 miles (7.4 km) southwest of Charing Cross. According to the UK census of 2011, Wandsworth Town had a population of 61,594.

Wandsworth takes its name from the River Wandle, which enters the Thames at Wandsworth. Wandsworth appears in Domesday Book of 1086 as "Wandesorde" and "Wendelesorde". The words mean 'enclosure of (a man named) Waendel', whose name is also lent to the River Wandle. To distinguish it from the London Borough of Wandsworth, and historically from the Wandsworth District of the Metropolis and the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth (1900-1965), which all covered larger areas, the central built-up area is known as Wandsworth Town.

end of Wikipedia contribution

Wandsworth was also a parish, both ecclesiastical and civil, and existed in the County of Surrey before this part of the county was absorbed into London in 1889. In 1904 the name of the civil parish was changed to Wandsworth Borough Civil Parish to match the metropolitan borough. There follows two descriptions from late 19th century gazetteers:

A Vision of Britain through Time provides the following description of Wandsworth from John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles of 1887:

"Wandsworth, [parliamentary borough] and [parish], Surrey, on river Wandle, at its influx into the Thames, 5 miles SW. of Waterloo Station, London, by rail - [parish]: 2433 [acres], population 28,004; [borough] (including also the [parishes] of Tooting-Graveney, Streatham, and Putney): 8148 [acres], population 68,792. Wandsworth is mentioned in Domesday Book, and became a seat of several important manufactures introduced by refugee Frenchmen after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes; the present industries include oil-mills, dye-works, paper-works, calico printing, hat making, corn mills, brewing, vinegar making, etc. There are 3 [railway] stations: Wandsworth, Wandsworth Common, and Wandsworth Road. The Surrey County Lunatic Asylum, the Royal Hospital for Incurables, and the Boys' Home Reformatory, are here. Wandsworth returns 1 member to Parliament; it was made a [parliamentary borough] in 1885."

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

"WANDSWORTH, a town, a parish, and a [registration] district, in Surrey. The town stands on the river Wandle at its influx to the Thames, on the London and Windsor railway, near the point of the Southwestern railway whence the branch goes off to Croydon, and 6 miles SW of St. Paul's, London; is mentioned in Domesday book; became a seat of several important manufactures introduced by French refugees and by Dutchmen, after the revocation of the edict of Nantes; is a seat of petty sessions and county-courts; carries on industry in oil-mills, dye-works, calico-printing-works, hat-making establishments, extensive paper-mills, corn mills, vinegar-works, distilleries, and a brewery; conducts inland commerce from the mouth of the Wandle; occupies the declivities of two hills; includes a suburb on the E called New Wandsworth; contains many handsome houses; and has a post office under London SW, two [railway] stations, two chief inns, a recently-erected courthouse, a police station, the Surrey house of correction, the Surrey lunatic asylum, the Bridge-House reformatory, the Royal Victoria Patriotic asylum, three churches, seven dissenting chapels, a Roman Catholic chapel, a literary and scientific institution, a collegiate school, five national schools, a British school, a green-coat school with £67 a year from endowment. The industrial school of St. James, Westminster, the Fishmongers' alms houses, the Hibbert alms houses, and other charities: £321. The house of correction has capacity for 742 male and 244 female prisoners. The lunatic asylum was built in 1842, at a cost of more than £150,000; is in the Tudor style, 535 feet long, with centre and wings; and has accommodation for upwards of 1,000 patients. The Patriotic asylum was founded in 1857 by the Queen; was built and endowed from a surplus of the patriotic fund, formed during the Crimean war in 1854-5; presents a general resemblance to Heriot's hospital, in Edinburgh; and serves for 300 orphan daughters of soldiers, sailors, and marines. All Saints church, excepting the tower, was rebuilt in 1780. St. Anne's church was built in 1824, at a cost of £14,600; and is in the Ionic style. Trinity church is recent and spacious. A Baptist chapel, built in 1863, is in the Romanesque style. The Fishmongers' alms houses were built in 1849-51, at a cost of £25,000; are in the Tudor style; form a quadrangle 255 feet by 235; and have a handsome chapel in the centre.
"The parish includes Garratt and Summer-Town (Summerstown); is ecclesiastically cut into three sections; and comprises 2,432 acres of land, and 46 of water. Real property: £73,414; of which £1,607 are in gasworks. Population in 1851: 9,611; in 1861: 13,346. Houses: 1,909. The livings of [Wandsworth] All Saints and [Wandsworth] St. Anne are vicarages, the former with Trinity chapel annexed, in the diocese of Winchester. Value of [All Saints]: £350; of [St. Anne's]: £800. Patron of [All Saints]: the Rev. J. Buckmaster; of [St. Anne's]: Miss Du Buisson. The [perpetual] curacy of Summer-Town is a separate benefice.
"The [registration] district contains also Clapham, Putney, Lower Tooting, Streatham, and Battersea parishes, except Penge hamlet. Acres of the district: 11,695. Poor rates in 1863: £44,571. Population in 1851: 50,764; in 1861: 70,403. Houses: 11,186. Marriages in 1863: 504; births: 2,579, of which 105 were illegitimate; deaths: 1,498, of which 613 were at ages under 5 years, and 21 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60: 3,528; births: 18,205; deaths: 12,376. The places of worship, in 1851, were 21 of the Church of England, with 17,461 sittings; 7 of Independents, with 3,200 [sittings]; 6 of Baptists, with 1,920 [sittings]; 1 of Quakers, with 180 [sittings]; 7 of Wesleyans, with 1,366 [sittings]; 1 undefined, with 100 [sittings]; 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 100 [sittings]; and 2 of Roman Catholics, with 382 [sittings]. The schools were 40 public day-schools, with 5,061 scholars; 140 private day-schools, with 2,968 [scholars]; 44 Sunday schools, with 4,211 [scholars]; and 6 evening schools for adults, with 88 [scholars]. The workhouse is in Battersea."

Both gazetteers omit mention of Southfields, a neighbourhood to the south of the central part of Wandsworth. Southfields has been redirected here.

Surrey Research Tips


Administrative boundaries of the county of Surrey (Surrey History Centre. The centre has a website with a number of useful indexes--titheholders in various parishes, deaths at the county gaol, etc.)

Registration Districts

  • Registration Districts in Surrey from their introduction in 1837 to the present. By drilling down through the links you can follow any parish through the registration districts to which it was attached.

GENUKI provisions

The website GENUKI provides a very comprehensive list of reference sources for the County of Surrey. It includes:

  • Archives and Libraries
  • Church record availability for both Surrey and the former Surrey part of Greater London
  • 19th century descriptions of the ecclesiastical parishes
  • Lists of cemeteries
  • Local family history societies
  • A list of historic maps online


  • The Victoria History of the County of Surrey is a series of three volumes available online through British History Online. The volumes were written over the past hundred or so years by a number of authors and cover various sections of Surrey. A list of the volumes and what each contains can be found under the source Victoria History of the County of Surrey. Both volumes 3 and 4 contain areas which are part of Greater London and parts of modern Surrey.


  • The National Library of Scotland has a website which provides maps taken from the Ordnance Survey England & Wales One-Inch to the Mile series of 1892-1908 as well as equivalent maps for Scotland itself. The immediate presentation is a "help" screen and a place selection screen prompting the entry of a location down to town, village or parish level. These screens can be removed by a click of the "X". The map is very clear and shows parish and county boundaries and many large buildings and estates that existed at the turn of the 20th century. Magnification can be adjusted and an "overlay feature" allows inspection of the area today along with that of 1900. The specific map from the series can be viewed as a whole ("View this map") and this allows the inspection of the map legend (found in the left hand bottom corner. Becoming familiar with the various facilities of these maps is well worth the trouble.

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.