Find your ancestors in London, Docklands and East End Baptisms, 1558-1933

Did your ancestor come from London’s notorious East End and Docklands? In this index to London parish registers, you will find your ancestor’s baptism date and the name of your ancestor’s parents.

Each record is a transcript created by Docklands Ancestors. It will provide you with the following information.

  • Name
  • Birth date
  • Baptism date
  • Parents’ names
  • Address
  • Parish
  • Church address
  • Notes
  • County
  • Docklands Ancestors reference

London’s East End has been known throughout history for its crime, poverty, and deprivation, but also for reform, social movements, and legends. It is located east of the medieval walled city of London, north of the River Thames, and bordered by the River Lea. It includes the boroughs of Whitechapel, Stepney, Spitalfields, Poplar, Southwark, Tower Hamlets, and more. The transcripts in this collection have been created by the Docklands Ancestors, who began transcribing parish registers in 2001.

The East End was first settled as separate villages to the east of the city and then continued to grow and expand. Industries, such as gunpowder manufacture, tanning, breweries, and slaughter houses, moved outside the city where they had more space and fewer restrictions. In the docklands, people were employed in shipbuilding and ropemaking. In 1858, the Messrs Scott Russell & Co. launched the largest ship of its time, the SS Great Eastern. The docks were used to import wine, tobacco, and wool. Goods were then stored and guarded in the giant warehouses. Industry in the docklands began to decline in the 20th century and the docks were closed in 1980.

Due to the large presence of industry and workers, the area was key in the development of trade union organisations. The borough of Bow also became the headquarters for the suffrage movement. Thousands of immigrants moved to the various boroughs from Huguenot weavers to Russian revolutions. The East End became notorious after the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888. Then in the 20th century, it reached new notoriety for the criminal enterprise of the Kray Twins in the 1960s. It has been featured in literature, TV, film, and music. Scenes from East London can be found in Geoffrey Chaucer’s The rioress’ Prologue and Tale, Charles Dickens’ Pickwick Papers, and Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.