Origins Network London records specialists

February 09, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
The Origins Network ( is the greatest source of on-line London records. The database has records going back to the 14th century and at present contains over 2 million London names, not including census records. These records include marriages, wills, burials, apprentice records and court disputes. They show the social history of London as far back as the late medieval period. For example the London apprentice records clearly show the magnetism of London at that time: was one of your ancestors among the many young people from all over the British Isles drawn to London? What London court cases might your ancestors have been involved in? Can you still see the church where your 18th century forebears were married? Among the records available exclusively on the Origins Network are:

Marriages. Indexes to over a million pre-1837 London marriages, identifying the parishes where the marriage took place.

The Bawdy Court. The Consistory Court of London, commonly referred to as “the Bawdy Court”, dealt, inter alia, with cases involving adultery and prostitution. The database has details of witnesses to such cases, including, for example the case of Frances (Francisca) Baldwin 1701 who gives details of what appears to be a paternity case. She states she knew Anabella Brown who was visited by a John Magrath whilst she was in a poor house who then went on to reside at the same lodgings in (Charing Cross, London) as Mr Magrath, The account details how although Ms Brown had many ‘gentleman visitors to dine’ with her, John Magrath was living at the same building at the time she gave birth to a male child.

Another deponent, John Jackson in a case in 1701 states how, in 1693, he had leased out his lodgings in King Street, Soho, to a married man, Henry Milson, who used this house to carry out an affair with a married woman. Many of the cases found in the London Metropolitan Archives are filled with detailed narrative even if the case seems of little importance in today’s society. For example in 1701, Elizabeth Alexander is in effect giving a character witness statement regarding a dispute or altercation between two women, Alice Copeland and Annie Beare with details such as ‘one week previously …sitting on her father’s chamber in Meeting House Alley, she heard a noise and found Alice Copeland standing in her porch’ and goes on to state her moral characteristics claiming that she was of ‘good character’.
[The index records typically contain full name of the deponent, their age, birthplace, current place of residence, name of their spouse, occupation of their or their spouse and the length of time they have been married.]

London Apprentices. Dating from the late medieval period, the records of the Livery Companies of London are one of the greatest archival treasures of the world. For the family historian, they can provide an immense amount of genealogical and biographical details. Abstracts of the indenture records for over 130,000 apprentices, from 55 of the London Livery Companies, are so far available online, These records include the parent’s name and occupation, where they lived, and the master’s name. The records show just how many apprentices came to London from all over the British Isles, and sometimes from overseas.

About The Origins Network (

The Origins Network (formerly, specialists in British and Irish genealogy, was founded in 1997 and offers online access to some of the richest ancestral information available for genealogy research at

Origins Network services include subscription access to exclusive English genealogy-related collections on British Origins ( and to Irish collections on Irish Origins ( and expert Scottish Old Parish records research on Scots Origins (

Genealogical data unique to The Origins Network includes Irish, English and Welsh census records (including exclusive access to the 1841 census of England and Wales – the first which contained people’s names), marriage registers, wills, valuation records, emigration passenger lists, court and apprentice records, as well as images such as original survey maps and vintage photographs. Most of this information is not available anywhere else on the internet.

Partnerships with leading archives and genealogical societies in the UK and Ireland, including the Society of Genealogists, Eneclann Ltd, The National Library of Ireland, and the Borthwick Institute for Archives, allow The Origins Network to provide exclusive online access to key sources, with an increasing emphasis on access to primary records, and to material which puts the “flesh on your ancestors bones”.

For all enquiries, please contact:
Jane Hewitt, Origins Network, 12 Greenhill Rents, London, UK EC1M 6BN - phone: +44 (0)20 7251 6117