Havering, London Borough Genealogy

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

Havering Borough Romford.jpg

History[edit | edit source]

Borough of Havering coat of arms
Borough of Havering location in Greater London
Borough of Havering logo

As with all the other London Boroughs, Havering Borough was organized by the central UK Government in 1965. This reorganization did not consider the need for historical records nor genealogical research. It includes the former areas of Romford and the other main communities are Hornchurch, Upminster and Rainham. All were previously part of the County of Essex. Included later in this document are the web sites for the County of Essex that should be of major help in researching family history.

The modern settlement of the area originated in Anglo-Saxon times when it consisted of Havering Palace and the surrounding lands that belonged to the king. The palace itself is known to have existed since at least the reign of Edward the Confessor when it was one of his primary residences. The area formed a liberty from 1465 which included the parishes of Havering atte Bower, Hornchurch and Romford.

The name Havering appears in documents from around the 12th century. The origins of this name have been debated by historians since the Middle Ages when it was linked to the legend of Edward the Confessor and a mystical ring returned to him by Saint John the Apostle. The event being commemorated in stained glass (from about 1407) in a chapel at Romford, that was dedicated to the king.

The development of the London Underground and fast rail services to central London resulted in considerable residential land use mixed with designated parklands and farmland under the planning policy of the predecessor local authorities and current authority during the 20th century and into the early 21st century. Coupled with this have been commercial expansion particularly in Romford and out-of-town, including beyond the M25, such as the Lakeside Shopping Center advertised as Lakeside regionally.

The development of the borough came in two distinct phases. The first middle class suburban developments were built in the late Victorian and Edwardian period. The garden suburbs of Upminster, Emerson Park and Gidea Park (also known as Romford Garden Suburb) were spurred on by the building of the railway lines through Havering from Liverpool Street and Fenchurch Street in the late 19th century.

In the 1930s the District Line was electrified and extended to Upminster with new stations at Elm Park and Upminster Bridge. Also at this time new industries near the area such as the Ford Motor Company plant at Dagenham caused a new wave of mostly working class developments along the route of the new Underground line. In addition to this, to the north of the borough, the large housing estates of Harold Hill and Collier Row were constructed to deal with the chronic housing shortages and early slum clearance programs in central London. [1]

The main town in the Borough is Romford. Romford is first recorded in 55 AD as the Roman settlement and army camp of Durolitum. It was later Rumford in Saxon times, the name derives from Rum which meant roomy and ford being a crossing point.

The original site of the town was to the south, in an area still known as Oldchurch. It was moved northwards to the present site in the later medieval period to avoid the frequent flooding of the River Rom. The first building on the new site was the parish church of Saint Edward the Confessor. The town developed in the Middle Ages on the main road to London and the regionally significant Romford Market was established in 1247. The early history of Romford and the immediate area is agricultural and it is recorded as being the location of a number of mills used to grind corn. The area was a focus of the leather industry from the 15th to the early 19th centuries and there is record of a wide range of industries such as cloth making, weaving, charcoal burning, metal working and brewing. Communications played an important part in its development; the main road to London was maintained by the Middlesex and Essex Turnpike Trust from 1721 and Romford became a coaching town in the 18th century. Several failed attempts were made in the early 19th century to connect the town to the Thames via a Romford Canal. Initially intended to transport agricultural products to London and later intended to serve growing industrial sites in Romford, only two miles of canal were constructed and the canal company were unable to reach the town.

The development of the town was accelerated by the opening of the railway station in 1839 which stimulated the local economy and was key to the development of the Star Brewery. Initially Eastern Counties Railway services operated between Mile End and Romford, with extensions to Brentwood and to Shoreditch in 1840. A second station was opened on South Street in 1892 by the London, Tilbury and Southend Railway on the line to Upminster and Grays, giving Romford a rail connection to Tilbury Docks. The two stations were combined into one in 1934.[12] Light industry slowly developed, reaching a peak in the 1970s with a number of factories on the edge of town. [2]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]

Hornchurch Cemetery
24 Upminster Rd
Hornchurch RM12 6PA

Romford Cemetery
3 Crow Ln
Romford RM7 0EL
Phone: +44 1708 434433

South Essex Crematorium
Ockendon Rd
Upminster RM14 2UY
Phone: +44 1708 434433

Rainham Cemetery
Upminster Rd N
Rainham RM13 9RY
Phone: +44 1708 434433

Marks Gate Cemetery
19 Rams Grove
Dagenham, Romford RM6 5LB
Phone: +44 20 8590 3280

Eastbrookend Cemetery
The Chase
Dagenham Road
Rush Green, Romford, Dagenham RM10 7DR
Phone: +44 1708 447451

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Parishes[edit | edit source]

St Peter's
Church address:
Gubbins Ln
Harold Wood, Romford RM3 0QA
Phone: +44 1708 342080

St Andrew's
Church address:
4 St Andrews Rd
Romford RM7 9AT
Phone: +44 1708 728583

St Luke's
Church address:
201 Front Ln
Upminster RM14 1LD
Phone: +44 1708 222562

St Edward the Confessor
Church address:
Church House
Market Pl
Romford RM1 3AB
Phone: +44 1708 744973

St Andrew's, Hornchurch
Church address:
222 High St
Hornchurch RM12 6QP
Phone: +44 1708 441571

St Michael and All Angels
Church address:
Gidea Park
Main Rd
Romford RM2 5EL
Phone: +44 1708 731057

St John the Evangelist
Church address:
The Green
North Rd
London RM4 1PL
Phone: +44 1708 721310

St Paul's
Church address:
35 Barley Ln
Ilford IG3 8XE
Phone: +44 20 8983 8998

Church of the Good Shepherd
Church address:
3 Redriff Rd
Romford RM7 8HD
Phone: +44 1708 745626

St Thomas'
Church address:
Church Rd
Noak Hill, Romford RM4 1LD
Phone: +44 1708 343923

St Helen and St Giles
Church address:
Rainham RM13 9YL, UK

St Thomas' of Canterbury
Church address:
St Thomas Church Centre
St Thomas Rd
Brentwood CM14 4DF
Phone: +44 1277 201094

Non Conformists[edit | edit source]

Other Christian and non-Christian groups follow:

  • Baptist
  • Celestial Church of Christ
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • Evangelical
  • Immanuel Ministries
  • Jehovah's Witnesses
  • Lutheran
  • Methodist
  • Redeemed Christian Church of God
  • Roman Catholic
  • Salvation Army
  • Seventh Day Adventist

There are a number of communities of non Christian religions including the following:

  • Buddhist
  • Confucian
  • Jewish
  • Muslim
  • Sikh

Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Birth, marriages and deaths were kept by the UK government from July 1837 to the present day. Prior to that, the only available records were those kept by the ecclesiastical bodies. As the Borough of Havering was previously considered part of Essex County, there is a link to the Essex County records below.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

Occupations[edit | edit source]

The Borough of Havering is primarily a bedroom city for the greater London economy. Havering has a lower population density than other London Boroughs as large areas are parkland and 23 square miles (60 km2) (more than half the borough) is Metropolitan Green Belt protected land. Those areas of development are extensive but rarely intensive.

There are over 7,000 small businesses based in Havering Borough. Romford is the main commercial hub of the borough with a small district of mainly office development close to the railway station. There is also some industry to the south between Rainham and the River Thames such as Rainham steel headquarters, on the boundary or Elm Park. Light industry elsewhere in the borough has been in decline. New industrial development is encouraged in the south of the borough and has been encouraged by the London Development Agency (now GLA Land and Property), with the opening of the Center for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence.

The main retail district is also located in Romford with several interconnected or nearby shopping arcades to the main Liberty Shopping Centre. Romford Market is located to the north of Romford and is the largest market within the borough and in the surrounding area. Hornchurch and Upminster are the other main retail centers with extensive high street shopping areas.

Romford has a developed night-time economy with one of the highest concentrations of bars and nightclubs anywhere in Greater London outside the West End with public transport radiating into all parts of the borough. This activity provides a quite extensive employment opportunity locally. [3]

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • Hornchurch and District Historical Society Facebook

Archives[edit | edit source]

Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Wikipedia contributors, "London Borough of Havering," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Borough_of_Havering, accessed 22 July, 2018.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Romford," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Romford, accessed 22 July, 2018.
  3. London Havering Borough ,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Borough_of_Havering#Industry_and_commerce, accessed 23 July, 2018.