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Westminster City Council

Principal Public Libraries with family history resources
Research services
Registrar General's Index
Census records
Electoral registers
Poll books
International Genealogical Index
Unpublished indexes
Parish registers
Published transcripts
Other materials
Guides to collections
Record Office address
Other information

Library Services URL: http://www.westminster.gov.uk/libraries/
Chapman County Codes (BS 6879): LND

2. Principal Libraries with Family History resources

City of Westminster Archives Centre (COWAC)
10 St Ann's Street
Tel: 020 7641 5180
Fax: 020 7641 5179
Contact: John Sargent, Acting City Archivist

Opening hours:

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 1000-1900
Wednesday: 1000-1900
Thursday: 1000-1900
Friday: 1000-1900
Saturday: 1000-1700

Other Libraries:

3. Research Service

Service available? Yes

Fee-based? �20 per hour. Minimum 1 hour

Provided by local Record Office? Yes

4. Births, Deaths and Marriages

Registrar General's Indexes from 1837 (microform), or Registrar General for Scotland's Computerised Index from 1855.

Locations Registrar General's indexes for England and Wales 1837-1975 on microfiche

5. Census returns

1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901 for area covered by present City of Westminster boundaries (including former Metropolitan Boroughs of Paddington and St Marylebone) - all held on microfilm or microfiche, at COWAC. We also hold name indexes to 1851 and 1881 census for same area, plus 1881 index to census returns for all England and Wales.
Some original pre-1841 census returns are also held at COWAC: for St Marylebone (1821, 1831), for St Mary-Le-Strand (1801, 1811, 1821), for St Margaret (1801, 1811), and for a part of St James, Piccadilly (1801).

6. Directories

6(a) County and Regional Directories

An extensive collection of London-wide directories is held at COWAC dating from 1677 to 1990

6(b) City and Town Directories

In addition to the London-wide directories, COWAC holds extensive collections of more local directories, the most notable series of which are: St Marylebone directories, 1863-1963 (some gaps); Paddington directories, 1843-1939 (some gaps)

6(c) Telephone Directories

London directories, 1903-4, 1934, 1948, 1955, 1961, 1965, 1971, 1980 plus current directories held at COWAC

7. Electoral registers and polls books

7(a) Electoral Registers

Paddington: 1844-48, 1850-51, 1854-55, 1867-68, 1902-1915, 1918-1939, 1945 to date
St Marylebone: 1844-48, 1850-51, 1855, 1905, 1913-14, 1918-1939, 1945 to date
Westminster: 1857-1860, 1862-1866, 1883, 1890, 1906-1914, 1919-1939, 1945 to date

7(b) Poll Books

Paddington 1832
St Margaret & St John, Westminster 1796 & 1802
Westminster 1749, 1780, 1818, 1834-35, 1837, 1841
Copy of the London & Middlesex Electors from the Bedfordshire Poll Book 1727

8. International Genealogical Index (IGI)

The IGI for London & Middlesex (Mar 1992 edition) is held on microfiche at COWAC

9. Unpublished Indexes

Numerous indexes by personal, place names and subject maintained at COWAC

10. Parish Registers

COWAC is designated as Diocesan Record Office for Westminster South (i.e. area south of Oxford Street), and now holds original parish registers for all parishes within this area except two (St Margaret's Westminster, and St Mary's Bourne Street). Most original parish registers for Westminster North (i.e. north of Oxford Street) are held at the London Metropolitan Archives. COWAC has microfilm copies of St Margaret's Westminster and of most of the parishes in Paddington and St Marylebone (Westminster North).

COWAC also holds a number of original Nonconformist registers and records, plus copies of many local Roman Catholic registers (summary lists of these are enclosed).

11. Periodicals (excl. newspapers)

Very extensive collection of periodicals with local (or London-wide) relevance, including those produced by local churches, schools and other bodies

12. Published Transcripts of Archival Material

Numerous published transcripts available at COWAC (including, e.g. Harleian Society, Huguenot Society)

13. Other material

Wills of the Peculiar of the Dean and Chapter of Westminster Abbey, 1504-1829. Civil parish records, including extensive series of rate books, 17th century to 20th century. Large and varied collection of deposited records from outside organisations, e.g. Grosvenor Estate, local firms and schools, charities etc.

14. Guides to Collections

Preparation of a general guide is in progress and can be consulted in draft form at COWAC or at www.westminster.gov.uk/archives/

15. Local Record Offices

Some material relating to Westminster (notably parish registers for North Westminster, and some school and Poor Law records) deposited at:
London Metropolitan Archives
40 Northampton Road
Tel: 020 7332 3820
Fax: 020 7833 9136
Email: -

Other information

General information leaflet available.
Anyone tracing ancestors who lived in the area covered by the present City of Westminster (including Marylebone and Paddington) would be advised to visit the City of Westminster Archives Centre; in addition to the main sources mentioned above, the Centre holds an immense amount of mostly unique material (approximately 4 kilometres of records from 1256 to the present day) on all aspects of Westminster's history. Staff at the Centre will be pleased to advise enquirers on sources to consult.

Guide to Sources for Family History held by Westminster City Archives by Elizabeth Cory, Westminster City Archives 1997, available, price �3.00 +p&p 60p UK, �1.25 US/Can, �1.40 Aus/NZ.