Croydon, London Borough Genealogy

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Guide to London Borough of Croyden history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Croydon old town hall

History[edit | edit source]

Coat of arms of Croydon
Croydon location within Greater London
Flag of City of London

Croydon is a large town south east of London, England, 9.5 miles (15.3 km) south of Charing Cross. Croydon has one of the largest commercial districts outside Central London, with an extensive shopping district and night-time economy.

As with most of the other London Boroughs, the Central Government extensively modified town and borough boundaries when the town was amalgamated into Greater London in 1965. From a historic and family history perspective, researchers should be looking at Croydon as a town in the county of Surrey.

Historically part of the hundred of Wallington in the county of Surrey, at the time of the Norman conquest of England Croydon had a church, a mill, and around 365 inhabitants, as recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086. The name of this place in Doomsday, is called Croindone, and is frequently so spelt in records of a later date.

The town of Croydon had a market on Wednesdays, as early as the reign of Edward I. procured by archbishop Kilwardby, and a fair which began on the eve of St. Botolph, and lasted nine days. Another market on Thursdays, was granted to archbishop Reynolds, by Edward II. and a fair on the eve and morrow of St. Matthew. A third market upon Saturdays, the only one of the three now continued, was granted by Edward III. to archbishop Stratford, and a fair on the Feast of St. John the Baptist. Of the fairs, the two last only are now held.

The church, which is dedicated to St. John the Baptist, is built of stone and flint; it is situated at the bottom of the town, near the source of the Wandle. The church is a Grade I listed building within the UK. See picture on right.

Croydon church

It consists of a nave, two aisles, and three chancels; at the west end is a handsome square tower, with pinnacles. The nave is separated from the aisles, by light clustered columns, with pointed arches, between which are several grotesque heads and ornaments. The church appears to have been rebuilt in the time of archbishop Chicele, who was a great contributor to the work; his arms are upon the west door, under the tower. The old font, which stands at the west end of the south aisle, appears to be of the same date. [1]

In the Survey of 1646, it is described as being "830 acres, in which the inhabitants of "Croydon have herbage for all manner of cattle, and mastage for swine without stint." Shirley Heath Common is said, in the same Survey, to contain 300 acres; Croydon Heath 340 acres. The soil, as may be supposed in so extensive a parish, is very various: indeed it is so various, that chalk, gravel, sand, clay, and peat, may be found in the same field. About a mile from the town, near the road to Addington, is a large chalk-pit, which produces a great variety of extraneous fossils.

Croydon expanded in the Middle Ages as a market town and a center for charcoal production, leather tanning and brewing. The Surrey Iron Railway from Croydon to Wandsworth opened in 1803 and was the world's first public railway. Later nineteenth century railway building facilitated Croydon's growth as a commuter town for London. By the early 20th century, Croydon was an important industrial area, known for car manufacture, metal working and Croydon Airport. In the mid 20th century these sectors were replaced by retailing and the service economy, brought about by massive redevelopment which saw the rise of office blocks and the Whitgift Centre, the largest shopping center in London until 2008. Croydon was amalgamated into Greater London in 1965. [2]

Croydon was the site of one of the most important airfields in the London area, and was thus bombed extensively. Croydon airport took an active role in the Battle of Britain, as well as providing a base for subsequent WWII raids.

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

Croydon Cemetery and Crematorium
Mitcham Road
London CR9 3AT
Phone: +44 20 8684 3877

Queen's Road Cemetery
Queen's Rd
Croydon CR0 2PR

Bandon Hill Cemetery
Plough La
Wallington SM6 8JQ
Phone: +44 20 8647 1024

Bromley Hill Cemetery
Bromley Hill
Bromley BR1 4JU
Phone: +44 1689 853617

Hither Green Cemetery
206 Verdant Ln
London SE6 1LL
Phone: +44 20 8314 9635

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

St Michael's
Church address:
7 Poplar Walk
Croydon CR0 1UA
Phone: +44 20 8680 2848

St Mary the Blessed Virgin
Church address:
Addington Village Rd
Croydon CR0 5AS
Opened: 1080 A.D.
Phone: +44 1689 842167

St Matthew's
Church address:
1 Chichester Rd
Croydon CR0 5NQ
Phone: +44 20 8688 5055

St George's
Church address:
Elstan Way
Croydon CR0 7QJ
Phone: +44 20 8654 8747

St John the Baptist

Croydon Minster
Church address:
Church St
Croydon CR0 1RN
Phone: +44 20 8688 8104

St Stephen's
Church address:
9 Warwick Rd
Thornton Heath CR7 7NH
Phone: +44 20 8684 3820

St Augustine's
Church address:
St. Augustines Ave
South Croydon CR2 6BA
Phone: +44 20 8688 4715

St Peter's
Church address:
St Peter's Rd
Croydon CR0 1HH
Phone: +44 20 8688 4715

St Mary Magdalen with St Martin's
Church address:
Hereford Court, 18 Canning Rd
Croydon CR0 6QD
Phone: +44 20 8654 3459

Non Conformists[edit | edit source]

Other Christian groups follow:

  • Baptists
  • Christian Science
  • Church of Christ
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Methodist
  • Pentecostal
  • Presbyterian
  • Rehoboth International Christian Center
  • Roman Catholic
  • Salvation Army
  • Seventh Day Adventists
  • Unitarian

Non Christian faiths include the following:

  • Ba'Hai
  • Buddhist
  • Hindu
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Sikh

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Croydon has its own Registry Office:

Croydon Register Office
Croydon Town Hall
Fell Rd
Croydon CR0 1NX
Phone: +44 20 8726 6300

Other useful sites for area BMD records follow:

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and G azetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

Croydon has a diverse economy with the service and retail sectors now dominating over the town's historical market status, and providing the majority of occupational opportunities. It is today served well by its extensive rail network centering on East and West Croydon stations, from where London Overground, First Capital Connect and Southern operate to most parts of Greater London, Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire and the East of England. With the A23, M23 and M25 orbital motorway intersecting Croydon to the South East, it is the principal gateway of the motorway network from the East Sussex area of the South Coast.

London Gatwick Airport is located to the direct south of the town and has scheduled flights to destinations within Europe, North America and Asia, and although it has tough competition from the even bigger London Heathrow Airport to the west it has managed to stay the UK's second busiest airport. The town has since 2000 had a tram network which has been highly successful, carrying more than 24 million passengers a year. The network has four lines with destinations including New Addington to Wimbledon, Beckenham to West Croydon, Elmers End to Therapia Lane, and Elmers End to West Croydon. Croydon is one of only five London boroughs not to have any form of London Underground services.

These good transport links have been a major factor contributing to the growth of Croydon, and have led to the town becoming a major center for distribution. Retail is another major service and employer in the town center, with a retail economy which has experienced a boom resulting in several new shops. North End is Croydon's main shopping street, with the Whitgift and Allders situated on it. The town centre also includes the famous Surrey Street market, one of the only lasting town centre markets in the Croydon and South London areas, and over 3 indoor shopping centres. The Whitgift Center and the newest Centrale center. Park Place will re-establish Croydon as one of the UK's top shopping areas. Plans include the construction of a new shopping centre to replace St George's Walk and older properties on George Street. The proposed redevelopment of Park Place by Minerva and Lend Lease will create a one million square foot destination with over 130 shops, cafes and restaurants, anchored by a new department store which the council hopes will be John Lewis. Other tenants interested have included Habitat, Borders and Gap. Improvements will see Queen's Gardens completely remodelled, together with the construction of a fully integrated public transport hub to include a new bus interchange and tram stop. The building of Park Place will create Europe’s largest covered retail area.

Croydon is one of the largest financial centers in the south east outside London and is also home to many legal and insurance firms. Croydon is a major office area in the south east of England, being the largest outside of Central London. In 2007, Croydon leapt up the annual business growth league table, with a 14% rise in new firms trading in the borough after 125 new companies started up, increasing the number from 900 to 1,025, enabling the town, which has also won the Enterprising Britain Award and "the most enterprising borough in London" award, to jump from 31 to 14 in the table. [3]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. British History, Croydon,, accessed 26 April, 2018.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Croydon" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 26 April, 2018.
  3. Wikipedia contributors, "Economy of the London Borough of Croyden" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,, accessed 29 April, 2018.