Acton Middlesex Family History Guide

Acton is an Ancient Parish in the county of Middlesex.

Other places in the parish include: East Acton, Steyne and Friar's Place.

Parish church: St Mary
Parish registers begin: 1539

Nonconformists include: Independent/Congregational, Roman Catholic, and Wesleyan Methodist.

Parishes adjacent to Acton

  • Ealing St Mary
  • Old Brentford
  • Hammersmith St Stephen
  • Willesden
  • Turnham Green
  • West Twyford
  • Chiswick St Nicholas

Photo of St Mary's parish church, Acton, London W3, seen from the northeast by Patche99z, Public Domain.

Historical Descriptions

The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

Acton, a village, a parish and a subdistrict in Brentford, Middlesex. The village stands 8½ miles W of St. Paul's, London; is linked to the metropolis by an almost continuous line of houses, bisected by the Junction railway, connecting the Northwestern railway with the Southwestern; and it has a station on the railway and a post office under London W. The parish contains also the hamlets of East Acton and Steyne. Acres, 2,286. Real property, £18,477. Pop., 3,151. Houses, 610. The property is subdivided. Old Oak Common, traversed by the Great Western railway and by the North and Southwestern junction, was anciently a thick oak forest. Acton Wells, on the common, were in much repute, about the middle of last century, for their medicinal waters. Berrymead Priory was once the seat of the Savilles and the Evelyns. Sir P. Skippon, Richard Baxter, Sir Matthew Hale, Bishop Lloyd, Provost Rous, Thicknesse, the traveller, and Ryres, the author of "Mercurius Rusticus," resided in Acton. The living is a rectory in the diocese of London. Value, £968. Patron, the Bishop of London. The church is early English, and was restored in 1865. There are Independent and Wesleyan chapels, a literary institution, handsome national schools, Wesleyan schools, and well-endowed alms-houses. -The subdistrict comprises four parishes. Acres, 5,963. Pop., 6,443. Houses, 1,044.
Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Acton, 5 miles W. London. P. 2665
Source: Leonard's Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850.

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1840

Acton, a village and parish in the Kensington division of the hund. of Ossulstone, union of Brentford, Middlesex; 8½ miles west from St Paul's, London, and 1 south of the Great Western railway. It includes the hamlets of East Acton and Friar's Place. Living, a rectory in the archd. of Middlesex and dio. of London; rated at £14; gross income £1,018. Patron, the bishop of London. It was enlarged and repaired in 1825. An Independent chapel was erected here in 1815, and there is a Roman Catholic place of worship. The village is pleasantly situated on the declivity of a gently sloping eminence. It chiefly consists of one long street. The houses are in general old, but some of the wealthier inhabitants of the metropolis have their country-residences here. The goldsmiths' company have an alms-house in Acton for the maintenance of ten men and ten women. There is also a public school for the orphan sons of the clergy here. By the bequest of Edward Dickinson, Esq., in 1781, the third part of the interest of £5,000 is annually distributed among three poor and industrious couples married in Acton church during the preceding year; £10 per annum for the education of poor children was bequeathed by Lady Conway; a charity school, supported by voluntary subscription, was established in 1808; £73 are annually appropriated to the clothing of poor people belonging to the parish; and several smaller sums are given for other charitable purposes. Acton is governed by a chief magistrate, two head-boroughs, and a constable. There are some aperient springs here, which were in much repute about the middle of last century. It is proposed to carry a branch line from this place to Paddington canal basin, the length of which will be 4 miles, 44 chains. — The village of East Acton is agreeably situated about 1½ mile from Acton. Richard Baxter, the celebrated nonconformist divine, and Sir Matthew Hale, resided for many years in this village; the former in a house near the church. Pop., in 1801, 1,425; in 1831, 2,453. Houses 426. Acres 2,260. A. P. £11,321. Poor rates, in 1837, £1,161.
Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1840.

Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales 1807

Acton, (Midd.) a village, supposed to have derived its name from the quantity of oak timber produced in the neighbourhood as Act in the Saxon language, signifies an oak. There is both East and West Acton. The former is famous for its mineral springs called Acton Wells: the latter is chiefly remarkable for the beautiful house and extensive grounds of General Murray. At the entrance of Acton, on the London side, is a conduit made for the benefit of the public, and endowed, in the year 1612, with an annual rent-charge of 201. to keep it in repair, the overplus to be given to the poor. The principal inn is the George. Distant from London 4 miles 6 furlongs.
Source: Complete Pocket Gazetteer of England and Wales; Crosby Rev. J. Malham; 1807


  • County: Middlesex
  • Civil Registration District: Brentford
  • Probate Court: Court of the Commissary of the Bishop of London (London Division)
  • Diocese: London
  • Rural Deanery: Not created until 1858
  • Poor Law Union: Brentford
  • Hundred: Ossulstone (Kensington Division)
  • Province: Canterbury

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