Leighton Buzzard Bedfordshire Family History Guide

Leighton Buzzard is an Ancient Parish and a market town in the county of Bedfordshire.

Alternative names: Hogsty End

Other places in the parish include: Hogsty End.

Parish church: All Saints

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1562
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1604

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Particular Baptist, Presbyterian, Primitive Methodist, Society of Friends/Quaker, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Adjacent Parishes

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

LEIGHTON-BUZZARD, a town, a township, a parish, a sub-district, and a district in Beds. The town stands on the river Ouse, at the boundary with Bucks, adjacent to the Grand Junction canal, and near the junction of the Northwestern railway with the line east south eastward by Luton to Hertford, 19 miles SW by S of Bedford, and 40½ NW of London. It is thought, by some writers, but without good evidence, to be the Lygeanburg, mentioned in the Saxon chronicle as having been taken in 571, by Cuthwulf, brother of the king of Wessex; and it derives its suffix name, according to some, from corruption of the name Beaudesert, according to others, from the Bozards or Basarts, an ancient family, one of whom was knight of the shire in the time of Edward III. A Cistertian monastery, a cell to Woburn abbey, was founded at the town, in the time of Henry II.; and an alien priory, a cell to Fontevrault abbey in Normandy, stood within the parish at Grovebury. Avery ancient pentangular Gothic cross, supposed to have had some connection with the Cistertian monastery, stands in the market-place; appears to have been erected about 1330; was repaired in 1650, and restored in 1852; is about 40 feet high; and consists of five steps and a surmounting arch, supporting five niches, occupied by hagiological statues. The town consists chiefly of one long wide street, extending N and S from the marketplace. The market-house was rebuilt in 1852. The corn-exchange was built in 1862, on the site of the old George inn, at a cost of about £7,500; is in the Italian renaissance style; has a two storey front, with Venetian windows and open balustrade, surmounted by an ornate tower about 85 feet high; and contains a hall, with accommodation for about 900 persons, and an assembly room, with accommodation for about 325. The temperance-hall was recently erected by private enterprise. The parish church, or church of All Saints, is spacious, cruciform, and chiefly early English; has a central massive tower, with an octagonal spire 193 feet high, and with chimes which were restored in 1865; and contains an ancient font, stalls, and some ancient monuments. St. Andrew's church, at the N end of the town, was built in 1866, at a cost of about £3,000; is in the early decorated style, with a spire upwards of 100 feet high; and measures, within walls, 110 feet by 50. There are five dissenting chapels, an endowed school, a British school, alms houses for eight poor widows, and charities, inclusive of the school and the alms houses, £599. The town has a head post office, a railway station with telegraph, two banking offices, a police station, and six chief inns; and is a seat of county courts, and a polling place. A weekly market is held on Tuesday; a large wool fair on the first Friday of July; and fairs for horses and cattle, on 5 Feb., the second Tuesday of April, Whit-Tuesday, 26 July, 24 Oct., and the Tuesday after 10 Dec. The manufacture of strawplait is largely carried on; and much transit traffic is conducted both by railway and by canal. The limits for lighting are not the same as those for poor law registration; and the latter were followed by the census enumerators of 1861. Pop., 4,330. Houses, 833.

The township includes all the town, and extends beyond it. Real property, £18,476; of which £310 are in gas-works. Pop. in 1851, 4,465; in 1861, 4,882 Houses, 941. The parish contains also the hamlets of Stanbridge, Egginton, Billington, and Heath and Reach. Acres, 8,768. Real property, £30,441. Pop. in 1851, 6,874; in 1861, 7,312. Houses, 1,463. The manor belongs to Col. H. Hannier. There is a Roman camp. The Northwestern railway, in the vicinity, passes through a tunnel 300 yards long. The living is a vicarage in the diocese of Ely. Value, £453. Patron, the Prebendary of Leighton-Buzzard. The p. curacies of Stanbridge, Egginton, Billington, and Heath and Reach, are separate benefices. The sub-district contains also the parishes of Grove, Linslade, and Stoke-Hammond, all electorally in Bucks. Acres, 12,278. Pop., 9,243. Houses, 1,848. The district comprehends also the subdistrict of Wing, containing the parishes of Wing, Mentmore, and Soulbury,  all electorally in Bucks; the subdistrict of Ivinghoe, containing the parishes of Ivinghoe and Cheddington, both electorally in Bucks; and the sub-district of Edlesborough, containing the parishes of Edlesborough, Slapton, and Eaton-Bray, the two former electorally in Bucks. Acres, 38,015. Poor rates, in 1863, £6,737. Pop. in 1851, 17,142; in 1861, 17,648. Houses, 3,564. Marriages in 1863, 123; births, 666, of which 46 were illegitimate; deaths, 449, of which 190 were at ages under 5 years, and 12 at ages above 85. Marriages in the ten years 1851-60, 1,211; births, 6,285; deaths, 3,745. The places of worship, in 1851, were 16 of the Church of England, with 4,299 sittings; 2 of Independents, with 254 s.; 12 of Baptists, with 2,517 s.; 1 of Quakers, with 182 s.; 17 of Wesleyan Methodists, with 3,504 s.; 5 of Primitive Methodists, with 401 s.; 1 of Wesleyan Reformers, with 205 s.; and 1 of Latter Day Saints, with 100 s. The schools were 14 public day schools, with 1,045 scholars; 61 private day schools, with 1,099 s.; 38 Sunday schools, with 3,374 s.; and 1 evening school for adults, with 14 s. The workhouse is in Leighton-Buzzard township; and, at the census of 1861, had 122 inmates.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].


Below is a list of people that were declared bankrupt between 1820 and 1843 extracted from The Bankrupt Directory; George Elwick; London; Simpkin, Marshall and Co.; 1843.

Hopkins James, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, butcher, June 17, 1842.

Thompson Samuel, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, dealer in straw plait, Dec 29, 1827.

Parish Registers

Leighton Buzzard 1732-1812 - archive.org

Parish Records

Bedfordshire Archives & Family History Groups

Bedfordshire Archives

Bedfordshire Family History Society

Bedfordshire Historical Record Society


England, Bedfordshire Parish Registers, 1538-1983

Bedfordshire County Cemetery Records

Stotfold Cemetery Search

Bedfordshire Gaol Register

Bedfordshire Quarter Session Rolls 1714-1832

Bedfordshire Poll Book 1722

Bedfordshire Poll Book 1722

Bedfordshire 1926 Valuation Maps

Bedfordshire Apprentices

Bedfordshire Police Roll of Honour

Bedfordshire Pubs Archive

Lost Pubs of Bedfordshire

Records for England

Births and Baptism Records

England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975

Great Britain, Births and Baptisms, 1571-1977

England and Wales Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Marriage Records

England Marriages, 1538–1973

Great Britain Marriages, 1797-1988

England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

Death Records

England Death Records, 1998-2015

England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991

Great Britain Deaths and Burials, 1778-1988

England and Wales Death Registration Index 1837-2007

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

England and Wales, National Index of Wills and Administrations, 1858-1957

England and Wales, Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1640-1660

Non-Conformist Records

England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8), 1588-1977


England and Wales Census, 1841

England and Wales Census, 1851

England and Wales Census, 1861

England and Wales Census, 1871

England and Wales Census, 1881

England and Wales Census, 1891

England and Wales Census, 1901

England and Wales Census, 1911


United Kingdom, Merchant Navy Seamen Records, 1835-1941

War and Conflict

Great Britain, War Office Registers, 1772-1935

United Kingdom, Chelsea Pensioners' Service Records, 1760-1913

United Kingdom, Royal Hospital Chelsea: Discharge Documents of Pensioners 1760-1887 (WO 122)

United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933

United Kingdom, Militia Service Records, 1806-1915

United Kingdom, World War I Service Records, 1914-1920

United Kingdom, World War I Women's Army Auxiliary Corps Records, 1917-1920

Newspaper Archives

British Newspaper Archive, Family Notices

British Newspaper Archives, Obituaries


Vision of Britain historical maps


County: Bedfordshire
Civil Registration District: Leighton Buzzard
Probate Court: Court of the Peculiar of Leighton Buzzard
Diocese: Pre-1846 - Lincoln, Post 1845 - Ely
Rural Deanery: Pre-1852 - None, Post - 1851 - Dunstable
Poor Law Union: Leighton Buzzard
Hundred: Manshead
Province: Canterbury