Chesham Bois

"Chesham Bois (Amersham Stat.) is now indistinguishable from the new town known as Amersham-on-the-Hill. It is situated on the S. of Chesham Bois Common, on the large ridge which divides the valley of the Chess from the Misbourne Valley. The church is finely placed in a pleasant meadow overlooking the valley of the Chess." [Buckinghamshire, by E.S. Roscoe]


The following reference sources have been used in the construction of this page, and may be referred to for further detail. Most if not all of these volumes are available in the Reference section of the County Library in Aylesbury.

"Buckinghamshire", E.S. Roscoe, London Methuen & Co Ltd, 1935.
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"Magna Britannia: Buckinghamshire", Lysons S. and Lysons D., 1806.
"The Place-Names of Buckinghamshire", Mawer A. and Stenton F.M., 1925.
"The Victoria History of the Counties of England: Buckinghamshire", Page W. ed., 1905-1928
"War Memorials and War Graves: Amersham, Chesham and area, Volume 10", Peter Quick.



The following Monumental Inscriptions are available as publications or as part of a Society library:

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting



In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 33 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Chesham Bois.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 135 inhabitants in 29 families living in 23 houses recorded in Chesham Bois.

Census Year Population of Chesham Bois
1801* 135
1811* 130
1821* 160
1831* 157
1841 218
1851 185
1861 218
1871 258
1881 351
1891 552
1901 767

* = No names were recorded in census documents from 1801 to 1831.
** = Census documents from 1911 to 2001 are only available in summary form. Names are witheld under the 100 year rule.

Microfilm copies of all census enumerators' notebooks for 1841 to 1891 are held at the Local Studies Libraries at Aylesbury and Milton Keynes, as well as centrally at the PRO. A table of 19th century census headcount by parish is printed in the VCH of Bucks, Vol.2, pp 96-101.

Availability of census transcripts and indexes.

  • 1851 - Full transcripts and indexes for Buckinghamshire are available on CD-ROM, hard copy and microfiche from the Buckinghamshire Family History Society.
  • 1861 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.
  • 1881
    • Available on CD-ROM from the Church of the Latter Day Saints, as part of the National 1881 Census Index.
    • Available on CD-ROM for Buckinghamshire, with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from Drake Software.
  • 1891 - Available on CD-ROM with advanced search and mapping capabilities etc. from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.


Church History

Details of the stained glass in the church can be found on the following web sites (the site includes many photos):


Church Records

The original copies of the parish registers for St Leonard, Chesham Bois have been deposited in the Buckinghamshire Record Office in Aylesbury, and they hold the following years:

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1562 - 1916
Marriages 1561 - 1954
Banns 1754 - 1974
Burials 1542 - 1972

Copies or indexes to the parish registers are available from societies as follows:

Society Library*
Dates covered
1813 - 1875
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1720 - 1748
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1813 - 1837
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society

* = material held in a Society library is generally available for loan to all members either via post, or by collection at a meeting

An ecclesiastical census was carried out throughout England on 30 March 1851 to record the attendance at all places of worship. These returns are in the Buckinghamshire Record Office and have been published by the Buckinghamshire Record Society (vol 27). The returns for Chesham Bois showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
Chesham Bois, St Leonard 75 - Morning General Congregation
20 - Morning Sunday Scholars
95 - Morning Total

135 - Afternoon General Congregation
20 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
155 - Afternoon Total


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Chesham Bois which are provided by:





  • One-Place Study - Colin Mills is conducting a One-Place Study on Chesham Bois, and has collected a large amount of information from sources such as directories, censuses, electoral registers, pollbooks, parish registers, and specialist indexes etc. He will conduct name searches for a fee (or free to those who provide documented details of residents or strays). Please contact him for further details, at: Colin Mills, 70 Chestnut Lane, Amersham, Bucks HP6 6EH, tel 01494 726103, fax 01494 729358, email colinmills[at]phonecoop[dot]coop. for further details


Historical Geography

You can see the administrative areas in which Chesham Bois has been placed at times in the past. Select one to see a link to a map of that particular area.



Chesham Bois was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

CHESHAM-BOIS, in the hundred and deanery of Burnham, lies nearly two miles south of the town of Chesham. The family of De Bosco or De Bois were possessed of the manor in the reign of King John. About the reign of Henry VII. it came into the Cheyne family, by the marriage of Sir Thomas Cheyne, of Cheynies and Drayton-Beauchamp, with Elizabeth, daughter and heir of Sir John Chesham, who seems to have inherited in the female line from the family of De Bois. From this time it continued to be one of their principal seats, until the death of William Cheyne, Lord Viscount Newhaven, without male issue in 1728: soon after this, it became the property of John Earl Gower, and was sold by him, in 1735, to the Duke of Bedford, from whom it has descended to his grandson, the present duke. In the parish church are some memorials for the family of Cheyne, and other persons allied with it, among which is an altar-tomb (without inscription), which has the insignia of the Garter. The church was formerly a chapel of ease to Chesham, but has since become parochial: the Duke of Bedford has the great tithes, and is patron of the donative.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SU969998 (Lat/Lon: 51.688604, -0.599617), Chesham Bois which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

Chesham Bois derives its name from two sources. The first part, Chesham, derives from the old english ceasteles-hamm and means 'the hamm of the ceastel'. The second part Bois relates to the family of De Bosco or De Bois which held the manor (mentioned in records in 1213).