Find out where you ancestors lived, look at maps of the local area and street plans of major towns and cities and explore the place they called home. The Comprehensive Gazetteer of England and Wales gives a snapshot of England and Wales in 1895. With more than 25,000 individual entries and beautiful colour maps of every English and Welsh county the Gazetteer can really give you an insight into where your ancestors lived their lives.
Each record will contain at least one image and a transcript. Many records contain more than one image, as they include both the map and the Gazetteer entry for a given place.
Maps are in colour and show political boundaries, railways and geographical features. The gazetteer entries vary in length and content but tend to include concise facts about a location, including but not limited to local history, notable inhabitants and principal trades.
The gazetteer of England and Wales edited by J.H.F. Brabner, FRGS, was published in 1895 by William Mackenzie. Originally published in six volumes and comprising over 200 pages, it includes over 25,000 individual entries and includes full colour maps of every English and Welsh county, plus plans of the major cities.
The Gazetteer was created over several years by an experienced team of compilers. To ensure accuracy, the (extensive) articles on the most important cities and towns were written "on the spot", while the smaller articles were submitted to local authorities to check to verify they information they contained.
Of particular value for genealogical research is the attention paid to churches and other ecclesiastical establishments in the various parishes; this can provide invaluable help in identifying the likely locations of original records for places with which your ancestors may be associated. There is also considerable historical information, mention of the main properties in each place, and the families associated with these properties. Victorian pride is shown by detailed statistics relating to commerce, shipping, manufactures and agriculture.
The Publisher's aim was: "to make it the most trustworthy and practically useful work of the kind, whether to the resident or the traveller, to the man of business or the man of leisure - to all, in short, who have any relations with their fellow-countrymen, and who take an interest in the wonderful development of their native country in the closing decade of the nineteenth century".
The publishers of the Gazetteer commented that "The want of a trustworthy modern work of reference on the topography of our own country is one that has long been felt and frequently expressed."
The Gazetteer was published soon after the release of the results of the tenth census (1891) of England & Wales.
You can search for individual places or browse by County or Country. It is usually best to search by place first then to broaden your search.
Many places are distinguished from other places by adding North, South, Lower, Upper, etc. Because there are so many of these, you should search by the main part of the name; for example, if you are searching for the entry for Great Blakenham, you should enter "Blakenham"; to search for Lower Lindons, enter "Lindons"; to search for South Littleton, enter "Littleton".
Terms which have been placed after the main part of a place name include:
North, South, East, West
Lower, Middle, Upper
Long (unless attached to the rest of the name)
New (unless attached to the rest of the name)
St (ie meaning "Saint")
You can use the "wild card" characters, "" and "?", to assist your searching. * stands for any number of characters; ? stands for any single character. Thus entering "LLAN" would find any of the many Welsh places beginning Llan...; entering "W??TON" would find Weston, Wilton, Wooton, etc.
E.R. East Riding
G.E.R. Great Eastern Railway
G.N.R. Great Northern Railway
G.W.R. Great Western Railway
L.D.& E.C.R. Lancashire, Derbyshire, and East Coast Railway
L .& Y.R. Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway
L.B. & S.C.R. London, Brighton, and South Coast Railway
L.C. & D.R. London, Chatham, and Dover Railway
L. & N.W.R. London and North-Western Railway
L. & S.W.R. London and South-Western Railway
M.R. Midland Railway
M.S. & L.R. Manchester, Sheffied, and Lincolnshire Railway
N.E.R. North-Eastern Railway
N.R. North Riding
R.O. Receiving Office (Post)
R.S. Railway Station
R.S.O. Railway Sub-office
S.E.R. South-Eastern Railway
W.R. West Riding