Ancestry Archives

An Index of London Schools and their Records

banner1 An Index of London Schools and their Records

The addition of  the London School Admissions and Discharges records, 1840-1911 to the Ancestry website provides the opportunity to remind researchers and family historians of Cliff Webb’s Index of London Schools and their Records, published by the Society of Genealogists. The book lists educational establishments covered by the old London County Council alongside available records of genealogical interest, and is a useful tool for anyone researching London schools and those who attended them. An Index of London Schools and their Records is available at £8.95 (10% discount for SoG members) from the society’s bookshop and online at


London School Admissions & Discharges, 1840-1911 on and free at SoG


This is a collection of School Admission and Discharges for schools in London. This collection contains more than a million students from 843 different schools. In 1833, Parliament started to provide money for the construction of schools for poor children, although it was still largely a private affair. Mandatory schooling was a local decision until 1870, when children were required to attend from age 5 to 10. By 1918, education was required up to the age of 14.

These records are lists of children who were admitted to and discharged from schools. When education was required, children could be discharged from their schooling if they were needed to work to help support the family. The records vary by school and some are more detailed than others. The records available on  include:

· Admission Date

· Name

· Parents’ names

· Parents’ occupation

· Address

· Birth date

· Age is available free to use in the Library of the Society of Genealogists

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 The SoG has received the notice of the following record release  from Ancestry -

 An online archive revealing historic values of London’s famous landmarks is published today for the first time –

  •  Bank of England, Fleet Street and St Paul’s Cathedral found in records
  • Average London property in 1910 valued at just £14,000, compared to £430,500 today1
  • Homes of famous dramatist Sir W.S. Gilbert and scientist William Crookes uncovered, the UK’s favourite family history website2, has launched online for the first time the London, England Land Tax Valuations 1910, revealing the historic values of some of the capital’s most famous streets and landmarks from just over a century ago.

These valuations were originally compiled in 1910 from across the UK as part of David Lloyd George’s 1910 Finance Act, later known as the ‘Domesday Survey’, which was introduced as a means to redistribute wealth through the assessment of land value. BankofEngland 110000 thumb London 1910 Land Tax Valuation published on Ancestry   free at the Society of Genealogists Library


As well as listing the owners and occupiers of a property, the records also detail the address, property value and annual rental yield for properties in early 20th century London, providing vital information about Britain’s epicentre at the time.

The records reveal a stark contrast to today’s housing market, with the average 1910 property carrying a price tag of just £14,000 – almost 3,000 per cent less than today.3 

Of particular interest are the values of famous landmarks included in the collection, such as the Bank of England; worth a mere £110,000 in 1910, the Old Bailey; worth just £6,600, and Mansion House; which contrastingly was valued at an impressive £992,000. St Paul’s Cathedral also features, but without a valuation as it is listed as ‘exempt’ from tax.

Famous streets include the media-hub Fleet Street, which according to the records was even then home to numerous newspapers including the Liverpool Courier, Yorkshire Evening News and the Newcastle Chronicle. A property on Fleet Street cost an average of £25,000 in 1910, compared to £1.2 million today.4

Surprisingly, buildings on law-dominated Chancery Lane were worth very little (around £11,000) a century ago, compared to £1.1 million today. The rapid disappearance of family homes in the City over the last century has also led to a drastic change in the average house value, particularly evident on Cannon Street, where a home costing £20,000 in 1910 would today set you back a staggering £2.2 million.5

As well as famous landmarks, the records also include some of the notable names of the era, such as:

 Sir W. S. Gilbert – An English dramatist best known for his comic operas, including The Pirates of Penzance, H.M.S. Pinafore and The Mikado, and allegedly an inspirational figure to Oscar Wilde. Gilbert is listed proprietor of three properties on Spring Street in Paddington

  •  Sir William Crookes – A scientist who worked on spectroscopy, a pioneer of vacuum tubes, and famed for being one of the first scientists to investigate ‘plasmas’. He is listed in the records as living at 16 Newcastle Street, London

The records provide a valuable snapshot of land ownership at the start of the 20th century and will enable those with ancestors in the collection to discover more about their respective financial situations and the lives they led a hundred years ago. International Content Director Dan Jones comments: “These records are especially useful as a census substitute for people tracing their London ancestors who may not have been captured in the England and Wales 1911 Census.

“The collection offers a fascinating insight into our capital at the beginning of the 20th century – a time when Britain was on the verge of major social, political and economic change.”

 The collection complements the extensive census records, ranging from 1841 to 1901, already online at which is availeble free of charge  at the Society of Genealogists Library.


1. An audit of more than 300 randomly selected records from the Greater London area in the collection revealed the average London property value in 1910 was £14,115 (rounded to £14,000). According to the BBC UK the average UK house price for July-September 2010 Greater London was £430,483. Source:

2. Source: Based on market share of visits among all UK websites in the Hitwise Lifestyle – Family industry, 2009.

3. A rise from 14,000 to 430,500 is an increase of 416,500, or 2975 per cent, or almost 3,000 per cent.

4. An audit of randomly selected records from Fleet Street, Chancery Lane and Cannon Street found the average values for property on these streets in 1910. These were contrasted with property prices found on leading UK property website for December 2010.

5. See footnote 4.

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