The ancient parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, or simply Harrow, was one of the largest parishes in Middlesex. Apart from Harrow Town, it encompassed a number of smaller settlements, including Roxeth, Greenhill, Harrow Weald, Kenton, Preston, Uxendon, Tokyngton, Sudbury, Wembley and Alperton. In the nineteenth century Wealdstone was a major new settlement. Until 1766 Harrow also included what then became the parish of Pinner, although Pinner was semi-independent before this date. There is therefore some overlap between this page and the Pinner page.
The area of the ancient parish of Harrow is now divided between the London Boroughs of Harrow and Brent. Harrow Town, Pinner, Roxeth, Greenhill. Wealdstone, Harrow Weald and part of Kenton now fall under the Borough of Harrow, whilst the other settlements in south-eastern part of the parish are within Brent.
There are numerous histories of the various settlements within Harrow produced by individuals and local history groups. A search in online bookstores and second-hand bookstores is the easiest way to find them.
Hill and Saunders Photographers, Harrow Branch. Tens of thousands of negatives from this firm from the 1870s to 1970 were preserved at the Harrow School Archive, but have now been transferred to private ownership. There is a dedicated website, www.harrowphotos.com, which includes a description of the collection and an index to a proportion of the images. A different description of the collection with a name index to over 30,000 images is available online in Roger Vaughan's Picture Library. There is also a brief description of the collection in Genealogists' Magazine, Vol. 28, No.11, September 2006.
The parish churchyard and Pinner churchyard were the sole places of burial until the 19th century. However it is worth checking neighbouring areas as well. For example, Harrow Weald was closer to Great Stanmore church than to Harrow church and its inhabitants were sometimes buried there rather than at Harrow. The following table shows the opening and closure date of known cemeteries within the parish (note that the dates refer to cemeteries and not necessarily to the consecration of an associated church, for which see see below).
|Cemetery||Opened||Closed||Registers and their location||Notes/Memorial Inscription transcripts|
|St Mary's, Harrow-on-the-Hill||ancient||1884||LMA||
MIs transcribed by Central Middlesex FHS (now LWMFHS)
in 1980 available on fiche;
index published as Vol.2 No.3 of "Greentrees: The Journal of the Central Middlesex Family History Society";
a supplement using transcriptions published in the Harrow Gazette in 1866 is in "Greentrees" Vol.6 No.4 March 1987;
a supplement based on an 18th century manuscript in the Bodleian Library is deposited at Harrow Local History Collection.
|St John the Baptist, Pinner||ancient||1861||LMA|
|All Saints, Harrow Weald||1838||still in use||LMA (to 1972)||MIs transcribed by Central Middlesex FHS (now LWMFHS) about 1981 and available on fiche.|
|St John's, Wembley||1846||not known||LMA (to 1974)||MIs transcribed by Central Middlesex FHS (now LWMFHS) before 1984 and available on fiche.|
|Christchurch, Roxeth||by 1873||at least until 1942||not known||Summary of MIs of local notables in Bartlett's "The Story of Roxeth", pp.92-93|
|Paines Lane Cemetery, Pinner||1860||1924||Harrow Cemetery Office; copy at Harrow Local History Collection||MIs transcribed by Pinner LHS and/or Central Middlesex FHS (now LWMFHS) before 1990 and available on fiche.|
|Wembley Old Burial Ground, High Road||1867||not known||Alperton Cemetery Office|
|Harrow Cemetery, Pinner Road, Harrow||1888||still in use||Harrow Cemetery Office*||municipal cemetery|
|Pinner New Cemetery, Pinner Road, Pinner||1933||still in use||Harrow Cemetery Office*||municipal cemetery|
|Alperton Cemetery||1917||still in use||at the cemetery*; address below||municipal cemetery|
|Harrow Weald Cemetery||1937||still in use||Harrow Cemetery Office*||municipal cemetery adjacent to the All Saints Parish Cemetery; may be covered by the All Saints MI transcript|
Harrow Cemetery Office, Harrow Weald Cemetery, Clamp Hill, Stanmore, Middlesex, HA7 3JS. * indicates registers not searchable by the public.
Cemeteries Office, Alperton Cemetery, Clifford Road, Alperton, Wembley, Middlesex, HA0 1AF. * indicates registers not searchable by the public.
For all censuses of general use to the family historian, Harrow Parish, and the later subdivisions of it, fell within the Hendon Registration District and Harrow Sub-district.
Apart from the several censuses with national indexes available online and on CD, there is an index to the 1851 census available on microfiche.
The history of Harrow Parish is one of division and sub-division as population has grown and new parishes have been created. The number of churches of all denominations has multiplied greatly since the beginning of the twentieth century, and especially as the ancient parish became largely covered by the expanding suburbs of London. Here we attempt only to summarise the churches and parishes created up to circa 1911. For further details the Victoria County History is a good place to start. Websites for current churches can be found via www.findachurch.co.uk.
|Parish||Formed from||Date formed||Notes|
|St Mary the Virgin, Harrow-on-the-Hill||ancient|
|St John the Baptist, Pinner||Harrow||1766||registers start in 1754|
|All Saints, Harrow Weald||Harrow and small parts of Pinner and Bushey (Hertfordshire)||1844||burial register starts in 1838|
|St John the Evangelist, Wembley||Harrow||1846|
|Christ Church, Roxeth||Harrow||1862||registers start in 1863|
|Holy Trinity, Wealdstone||Harrow, Harrow Weald and Pinner||1881|
|St John the Baptist, Greenhill||Harrow||1866||registers start in 1869|
|St Anselm, Hatch End||Pinner and a small part of Harrow Weald||1895|
|St James, Alperton||St John's Wembley||1904|
|St Andrew, Sudbury||Wembley||1904|
|St Peter, North Harrow||Harrow||1907||although the parish was originally named North Harrow, it is in the area now known as West Harrow, and the parish is known as St Peter West Harrow or St Peter Harrow.|
|St George, Headstone||Hatch End, with small parts of Pinner and Greenhill||1911|
The table below lists the pre-1911 parishes and what is known of the coverage of their deposited registers. There are very few indexes known. The IGI covers Harrow-on-the-Hill baptisms 1562-1597 and 1602-1653 and marriages 1558-1599 and 1601-1653. Boyd's marriage index covers the same period. St John Wembley has an index for marriages 1846-1915 published on microfiche by Central Middlesex FHS (now LWMFHS).
All deposited original records are at LMA, and the appropriate call numbers can be found on the London Generations database.
|St Mary the Virgin, Harrow-on-the-Hill||Jul 1562-Jul 1905||1754-Mar 1967||Jan 1559-Jul 1918||Nov 1558-Nov 1884|
|St John the Baptist, Pinner||1654-1985||1654-1812, 1950-1999||1754-May 1979||1654-Dec 1861|
|All Saints, Harrow Weald||Dec 1838-May 1937||Oct 1845-Apr 1901, Jan 1956-May 1959, Jun 1974-Jul 1972||Dec 1845-Dec 1977||Dec 1845-Sep 1972|
|St John the Evangelist, Wembley||Jul 1846-Jul 1965||Apr 1876-Jun 1920, Feb 1926-Mar 1940||Apr 1847-1974||Jul 1846-Jun 1974|
|Christ Church, Roxeth||appear not to be deposited at LMA|
|Holy Trinity, Wealdstone||appear not to be deposited at LMA|
|St John the Baptist, Greenhill||Apr 1869-Nov 1958, Mar 1989-Dec 1992||Mar 1957-Aug 1985||Jan 1897-Mar 1956||Feb 1957-Mar 1982|
|St Anselm, Hatch End||appear not to be deposited at LMA|
|St James, Alperton||Nov 1904-Mar 1938||Mar 1958-Aug 1963||Jul 1912-Mar 1940|
|St Andrew, Sudbury||Apr 1910-May 1947||Apr 1926-Aug 1944|
|St Peter, North or West Harrow||appear not to be deposited at LMA|
|St George, Headstone||appear not to be deposited at LMA|
Description(s) from The National Gazetteer (1868)]
"HARROW ON THE HILL, (or Harrow), a parish in the hundred of Gore, county Middlesex, 11 miles N.W. of St. Paul's. It is a station on the Watford section of the London and North-Western railway, and is situated near the Paddington canal. The parish, which is well wooded, contains the hamlets of Greenhill, Roxeth, and Kenton, within the ecclesiastical limits, besides which Sudbury, Wembley, and Harrow-Weald form part of the parish for civil purposes. " (There is more of this description).
"ALPERTON, (or Apperton) a hamlet in the parish of Harrow-on-the Hill, hundred of Gore, in the county of Middlesex, lying 8 miles to the N.W. of the city of London. It is not far from the river Brent. The London and North Western railway and the Paddington canal pass near it.
"GREENHILL, a hamlet in the parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, hundred of Gore, county Middlesex, 1 mile N. of Harrow, and close to the railway station."
"KENTON, a hamlet in the parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, county Middlesex, 2 miles N.E. of Harrow."
"PRESTON, a hamlet in the parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, county Middlesex, 2 miles N.E. of Harrow. J. Lyon, founder of the grammar school, lived at this hamlet."
"ROXETH, a hamlet in the parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, county Middlesex, 1 mile S.W. of Harrow."
"SUDBURY, a hamlet in the parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, county Middlesex, 10 miles N.W. of St. Paul's. It is a station on the North-Western railway. It was formerly a seat of the archbishops of Canterbury."
"WEALD-WITH-GREENHILL, a hamlet in the parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, hundred of Gore, county Middlesex, 2½ miles N. of Harrow. [Greenhill is just north of Harrow-on-the-Hill station. Harrow Weald is a mile to the north of Harrow-and-Wealdstone Station. Harrow Weald common is on the Middlesex border, just south of Bushey (Hertfordshire).]
"WEMBLEY, (or Wembly) a hamlet in the parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, county Middlesex, 9 miles N.W. of St. Paul's, London. It is situated on the river Brent, near the Sudbury station of the London and North-Western railway, by whom the church was built. The manor formerly belonged to the priory of Kilburn. For ecclesiastical purposes it forms a district parish with Sudbury.
"WEST END (HARROW), a hamlet in the parish of Harrow-on-the-Hill, county Middlesex, 3 miles N.W. of Harrow. [This must be an error for West End, Pinner, about 1/4 mile east of Pinner Station at the west end of Chapel Lane.]"
Description(s) from "The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland" (1868), transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003; intended for personal use only, so please respect the conditions of use.
The parish of Harrow was covered by two manors, the Manor of Harrow Alias Sudbury was much larger than the Harrow Rectory Manor. Much of the time both were held by the same lord and hence their records are intermingled; the Lord of the Manor was the Archbishop of Canterbury until the dissolution of the monasteries, when in 1544-45 the manors passed to the crown. In the post-medieval period, there were various lords, but mostly the Lords North and later the Lords Northwick. The records of both manors are deposited at the London Metropolitan Archive, though a few medieval records are also to be found at the Lambeth Palace Library. At LMA the records span the dates 1315-1913. There are surname indexes to some of the records compiled by manorial officials in the early 19th century. Details of the holdings can be found on Access to Archives (A2A) and the Manorial Documents Register (MDR). There are also significant manuscript transcripts of the manorial court rolls in the Percy Davenport Collection within the Harrow Local History Collection.
Links to maps of Harrow and places within its boundaries.
Prior to the twentieth century the major local newspapers were the Harrow Gazette and the Harrow Observer, which merged early in the 20th century. Good runs of both are to be found at the British Library Newspaper section at Colindale. The Harrow Local History collection also holds microfilm copies, as do the Brent Archives.
From medieval times, Harrow was a peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London until the Middlesex peculiars were abolished in 1845. Consequently the probate jurisdiction was administered under the Deanery of Croydon. The records of this probate court are to be found at Lambeth Palace Library. An effective name index is provided for the period 1664-1841 by the catalogue including testators' names under reference AA/V/H/97 on A2A. From 1845-1858 the parish fell under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, and the Consistory Court of London, but the Diocesan probate courts were virtually defunct by this time and the majority of executors were seeking probate at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC). Judging by the small number of Harrow wills in the A2A Catalogue, this may also have been the practice of many executors in the preceding centuries. PCC wills are catalogued online at The National Archives.
From 1858 the national probate records should be consulted. See the GenUKI page on national probate records.
The most famous school in the parish is Harrow School, which was founded by John Lyon in 1572, primarily to educate local boys, though by the eighteenth century the majority were fee-paying non-locals. The school has its own archive.
Log books and admission registers of some local schools are held at Harrow Local History Collection, including Greenhill School 1876-1931, and Vaughan School 1925-1961.
Find help, report problems, or contribute information.
[Originally created by David Hawgood. Last updated 31 Aug 2013 by Andrew Millard]
© GENUKI. GENUKI is a registered trade mark of the charitable trust GENUKI, see About GENUKI as an organisation