London Family History Guide

The Thames at Westminster
The Thames at Westminster

London is situated on the banks of the river Thames, about sixty miles from the sea, and lies in four counties; in Middlesex and Essex to the north of the Thames, and in Kent and Surrey to the south of the Thames.

The limits of London, as defined by Act of Parliament for Parliamentary purposes, are “the circumference of a circle, the radius of which is of the length of three miles from the General Post Office.” This would make London about twenty miles in circumference; it is generally said to be about thirty. The City was included with the walls and gates, (such as Ludgate, Newgate, Moorgate, Aldersgate, Cripplegate, Bishopsgate, and Aldgate), and within certain liberties without the wall, marked by bars, – such as Holborn Bars, Whitechapel Bars, Temple Bar, &c.

Source: A Handbook for London, Past and Present. Peter Cunningham. Published by John Murray 1849.

See also Churches in London before the Fire

Parishes in London



  • Barnard’s Inn, London
  • Bridewell, London


  • Christ Church, Newgate Street with St Leonard, Foster Lane, London




  • London Cathedral, London


  • Serjeants’ Inn, London
  • St Alban Wood Street with St Olave Silver Street, London
  • St Alphage London Wall, London
  • St Andrew Undershaft with St Mary Axe, London
  • St Andrew by the Wardrobe with St Ann Blackfriars, London
  • St Ann and St Agnes with St John Zachary, London
  • St Antholin with St John the Baptist upon Wallbrook, London
  • St Augustine with St Faith, London
  • St Bartholomew Moor Lane, London
  • St Bartholomew the Great, London
  • St Bartholomew the Less, London
  • St Benet Gracechurch with St Leonard Eastcheap, London
  • St Benet Paul’s Wharf with St Peter Paul’s Wharf, London
  • St Botolph Aldersgate, London
  • St Botolph without Aldgate, London
  • St Botolph without Bishopsgate, London
  • St Bride, London
  • St Clement Eastcheap with St Martin Orgar, London
  • St Dionis Backchurch, London
  • St Dunstan in the East, London
  • St Dunstan in the West, London
  • St Edmund the King with St Nicholas Acons, London
  • St Ethelburga, London
  • St George Botolph-Lane with St Botolph Billingsgate, London
  • St Giles without Cripplegate, London
  • St Helen Bishopsgate, London
  • St James Garlickhithe, London
  • St James’ Duke’s Place, London
  • St Katherine Coleman, London
  • St Katherine Cree, London
  • St Lawrence Jewry with St Mary Magdalene Milk Street, London
  • St Magnus the Martyr with St Margaret New Fish Street and St Michael Crooked Lane, London
  • St Margaret Lothbury with St Christopher le Stocks and St Bartholomew by the Exchange, London
  • St Margaret Pattens with St Gabriel Fenchurch, London
  • St Martin Ludgate, London
  • St Martin Outwich, London
  • St Mary Abchurch with St Lawrence Pountney, London
  • St Mary Aldermanbury, London
  • St Mary Aldermary with St Thomas the Apostle, London
  • St Mary Magdalene Old Fish Street with St Gregory by St Paul, London
  • St Mary Somerset with St Mary Mounthaw, London
  • St Mary Woolnoth with St Mary Woolchurch Haw, London
  • St Mary at Hill with St Andrew Hubbard, London
  • St Mary le Bow and St Pancras Soper Lane with All Hallows Honey Lane, London
  • St Matthew Friday Street with St Peter Cheap, London
  • St Michael Bassishaw, London
  • St Michael Cornhill, London
  • St Michael Queenhithe with Holy Trinity the Less, London
  • St Michael Royal with St Martin Vintry, London
  • St Michael Wood Street with St Mary Staining, London
  • St Mildred Bread Street with St Margaret Moses, London
  • St Mildred Poultry with St Mary Colechurch, London
  • St Nicholas Cole Abbey with St Nicholas Olave, London
  • St Olave Hart Street, London
  • St Olave Old Jewry with St Martin Pomeroy, London
  • St Peter Cornhill, London
  • St Peter le Poer with St Benet Fink, London
  • St Sepulchre, London
  • St Stephen Coleman Street, London
  • St Stephen Walbrook with St Benet Sherehog, London
  • St Swithun London Stone with St Mary Bothaw, London
  • St Thomas in the Liberty of the Rolls, London
  • St Vedast Foster Lane with St Michael-le-Querne, London


  • Thavie’s Inn, London
  • The Temple, London


  • Whitechapel St Mary, London
  • Whitefriars, London

The Wards of London

The Wards of London bear the same relation to the City that the Hundred anciently did to the shire. The Wards are twenty-six in number, and are divided into several precincts, each of which returns one common councilman. The common councilmen and Ward officers are elected annually, and the meetings of the aldermen and common council are called Wardmotes.

The wards are: –

  1. Aldersgate Within
  2. Aldersgate Without
  3. Aldgate
  4. Bassishaw
  5. Billingsgate
  6. Bishopsgate Within
  7. Bishopsgate Without
  8. Bread-street
  9. Bridge
  10. Broad-street
  11. Candlewick
  12. Castle Baynard
  13. Cheap
  14. Coleman-street
  15. Cordwainer
  16. Cornhill
  17. Cripplegate Within
  18. Cripplegate Without
  19. Dowgate
  20. Farringdon Within (North)
  21. Farringdon Within (south)
  22. Farringdon Without
  23. Langbourn
  24. Lime Street
  25. Portsoken
  26. Queenhithe
  27. Tower
  28. Vintry
  29. Walbrook

Source: A Handbook for London, Past and Present. Peter Cunningham. Published by John Murray 1849.

This article was updated on February 13, 2020