Merton, London Borough Genealogy
Guide to London Borough of Merton history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.
History[edit | edit source]
As with most of the other London Boroughs, the British Government action of 1965 destroyed all traces of the original towns and villages from the point of view of Family History. Researchers should instead consider researching the original Merton Borough townships in their original county of Surrey.
The borough was formed under the London Government Act 1963 in 1965 by the merger of the Municipal Borough of Mitcham, the Municipal Borough of Wimbledon and the Merton and Morden Urban District, all formerly within Surrey. The main commercial centers in Merton are Mitcham, Morden and Wimbledon, of which Wimbledon is the largest. Other smaller centers include Raynes Park, Colliers Wood, South Wimbledon, Wimbledon Park and Pollards Hill.
As the Borough was cobbled together from Mitcham, Wimbledon, Merton and Morden, the history is quite difficult to identify. The information below is an amalgamation of materials from all four.
Human activity in Morden dates back to the Iron age period when Celtic tribes are known to have occupied areas around Wimbledon, when the hill fort on Wimbledon Common, the second-largest in London, is thought to have been constructed. The original nucleus of Wimbledon was at the top of the hill close to the common – the area now known locally as "the village".
Remains of the ditch between the two main ramparts of the Iron Age hill fort Wimbledon has been inhabited since at least the Iron Age when the hill fort on Wimbledon Common, the second-largest in London, is thought to have been constructed. The original nucleus of Wimbledon was at the top of the hill close to the common – the area now known locally as "the village".
The village is referred to as "Wimbedounyng" in a charter signed by King Edgar the Peaceful in 967. The name Wimbledon means "Wynnman's hill", with the final element of the name being the Celtic "dun" (hill). The name is shown on J Cary's 1786 map of the London area as "Wimbleton", and the current spelling appears to have been settled on relatively recently in the early 19th century, the last in a long line of variations.
At the time the Domesday Book was compiled (around 1087), Wimbledon was part of the manor of Mortlake, and so was not recorded. The ownership of the manor of Wimbledon changed hands many times during its history. The manor was held by the church until 1398 when Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury fell out of favor with Richard II and was exiled. The manor was confiscated and became crown property.
Wimbledon's convenient proximity to the capital was beginning to attract other wealthy families and in 1613 Robert Bell, Master of the Worshipful Company of Girdlers and a director of the British East India Company built Eagle House as a home at an easy distance from London. The Cecil family retained the manor for fifty years before it was bought by Charles I in 1638 for his Queen, Henrietta Maria.
Following the King's execution in 1649, the manor passed rapidly through various parliamentarian ownerships including Leeds MP Adam Baynes and civil war general John Lambert but, following the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, was back in the ownership of Henrietta Maria (now Charles I's widow and mother of the new King, Charles II).
The village continued to grow and the introduction in the 18th century of stagecoach services from the Dog and Fox public house made the journey to London routine, although not without the risk of being held-up by highwaymen such as Jerry Abershawe on the Portsmouth Road. The stage coach horses would be stabled at the rear of the pub in the now named 'Wimbledon Village Stables'.
The first decades of the 19th century were relatively quiet for Wimbledon, with a stable rural population coexisting alongside nobility and wealthy merchants from the city, but renewed upheaval came in 1838 when the opening of the London and South Western Railway (L&SWR) brought a station to the south east of the village at the bottom of Wimbledon hill. The location of the station shifted the focus of the town's subsequent growth away from the original village center.
Transport links expanded further with new railway lines to Croydon (Wimbledon and Croydon Railway, opened in 1855) and Tooting (Tooting, Merton and Wimbledon Railway, opened in 1868). The District Railway (now London Underground's District line) extended its service over new tracks from Putney in 1889. This resulted in rapid growth to Wimbledon itself, as well as to Mitcham, Merton, and Morden.
In the second half of the century, Wimbledon experienced a very rapid expansion of its population. From a small base of just under 2,700 residents recorded in the 1851 census, the population grew by a minimum of 60% each decade up to 1901 increasing fifteenfold in fifty years. During this, time large numbers of villas and terraced houses were built along the roads from the center towards neighboring Putney, Merton Park and Raynes Park. 
The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet club cemented Wimbledon's claim to fame in sporting world. The Club was founded by six gentlemen at the offices of The Field on 23 July 1868 at the height of a croquet craze, as the All England Croquet Club, and held its first croquet competition in 1870.
The then-infant sport of lawn tennis (a game introduced by Major Walter Clopton Wingfield a year or so prior, and originally called Sphairistikè) was introduced in 1875 and instantly became popular.
In 1882, croquet was dropped from the name, as tennis had become the main activity of the Club. But in 1899 it was restored to the Club's name for sentimental reasons, and the Club's name became The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. In 1884, the Club added Ladies' Singles and Gentlemen's Doubles, and then in 1913 Ladies' Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Since that time, WImbledon has become the stellar tennis sporting event, and is the only major tennis competition to be played on grass. 
Resources[edit | edit source]
Cemeteries (Civil)[edit | edit source]
Merton and Sutton Joint Cemetery
Morden SM4 4NW
Phone: +44 20 8545 3666
London Road Cemetery
59 Victoria Rd
Mitcham CR4 3JB
London SM4 4NU
Phone: +44 20 8337 4835
London CR9 3AT
Phone: +44 20 8684 3877
17 Lindsay Rd
Worcester Park KT4 8LF
Phone: +44 20 8644 9437
A17 Alcorn Cl
Sutton SM3 9PX
Phone: +44 20 8644 9437
Additional information on cemeteries and crematoria in the Borough can be found on the Merton Borough website as follows: www2.merton.gov.uk.
Church Records[edit | edit source]
Parishes[edit | edit source]
58 Christchurch Rd
London SW19 2NY
Phone: +44 20 8616 5794
577 Kingston Rd
London SW20 8SA
Phone: +44 20 8543 4411
London SW16 5JH
Phone: +44 7909 043811
Merton Park, London SW19 3HJ
Phone: +44 20 8542 1760
London SW19 8DA
Phone: +44 20 3732 2349
St John the Divine
139 High Path
London SW19 2JX
Phone: +44 20 8544 0018
20 Beech Rd
London SW16 4NW
Phone: +44 20 3532 8674
St Mark's Pl
W Wimbledon, London SW19 7ND
Phone: +44 20 8944 8436
2 Cottenham Park Rd
Wimbledon, London SW20 0RZ
Phone: +44 20 8540 5279
120 Augustus Rd
London SW19 6EW
Phone: +44 20 8788 2024
St Paul's Furzdown
47 Freshwater Rd
London SW17 9TH
Phone: +44 20 8769 5117
30 St Mary's Rd
Wimbledon, London SW19 7BP
Phone: +44 20 8946 2605
St Peter and St Paul
London, Mitcham CR4 3BP
Phone: +44 20 8648 1566
9 Warwick Rd
Thornton Heath CR7 7NH
Phone: +44 20 8684 3820
Sherwood Park Rd
Mitcham CR4 1NJ
Phone: +44 20 8679 8117
All Saints Rd
London SW19 1BU
Phone: +44 20 8542 5514
49 Camborne Rd
Morden SM4 4JL
Phone: +44 20 8542 9143
Non Conformists[edit | edit source]
Other Christian groups follow:
- Christ Church
- Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
- Crossway United Reformed
- Destiny International
- Jehovah's Witnesses
- Roman Catholic
- Salvation Army
- Seventh Day Adventists
- United Reformed
Non Christian faiths include the following:
Civil Registration[edit | edit source]
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
- Merton Borough: Local History
- British history Online: Mitcham
- British History Online: Wimbledon
- British History Online: Merton
- Merton and Morden Past and Present by Sara Goodwins
- Mitcham Histories by E. N/ Montague
- Wimbledon and Southfields Through Time by Ron Elam and SImon McNeill-Ritchie
Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]
- OpenStreetMap: London Borough of Merton
- Google Maps: London Borough of Merton
- Hidden London: Morden gazetteer
- Hidden London: Mitcham
- Hidden London: Wimbledon Park
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
Occupations[edit | edit source]
Merton Borough is primarily a 'high rent' area of London and so provides major bedroom areas for professionals working in the London Financial, legal, and government sectors. The Borough is serviced with wonderful transportation nodes, including the London Tube, the London Bus Transportation network, and local and regional train and bus companies. The Borough still houses a number of large firms, either with HQ's in the area, or with large regional offices. These would include such companies as:
- Lidl Corporate Offices (small local markets).
- A Nelson and Co. UK's leading manufacturer of natural healthcare products.
- Iglu travel services: Professionals in all arenas of adventure and cruising travel.
- The Kindred Group: Major players in the UK and Europe Gaming Industry
- ETS Technical Ltd: Manufacturer of custom aluminum parts, large and small.
- Euro London Appointments; Specializing in employment opportunities throughout the EU.
- Hovis Bakery, Mitcham Regional Center.
- ASC plastics molding and forming.
- Basil Bush WHolesale Distribution Ltd.
Obviously the major sporting arena opportunities are in the area of Tennis, with Wimbledon being the premier world event in professional tennis. However the area supports amateur and professional clubs in such fields as soccer, rugby, and cricket. 
Societies[edit | edit source]
Archives[edit | edit source]
Websites[edit | edit source]
- London Borough of Merton
- Wikipedia: London Borough of Merton
- Wikipedia: Wimbledon
- Wikipedia: Mitcham
- Wikipedia: Mordon
- Surrey County Council
References[edit | edit source]
- Wikipedia contributors, "Wimbledon" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wimbledon,_London, accessed 22 August, 2018.
- Wikipedia contributors, "All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/All_England_Lawn_Tennis_and_Croquet_Club, accessed 22 August, 2018.
- Monster Worldwide jobs listings, https://www.monster.co.uk/jobs/l-mitcham,-london.aspx?jobid=198790842, accessed 26 August, 2018.
- Wikipedia contributors, "London Borough of Merton" in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/London_Borough_of_Merton, accessed 26 August, 2018.