"The area of Swanbourne is 2510 acres. Population, 602; rateable value £3702. The Buckinghamshire Railway intersects the parish, and the "Swanbourne Station" on that line is about 1 1/2 mile from the village. The soil is a gravelly sand, based on clay. The Village is seated on an eminence, and of considerable size, and is distant 2 1/4 miles E. from Winslow, and 9 miles N. from Aylesbury. Nearton, or Nerton End is a detached part of the village, about a quarter of a mile from the church, where are some good modern brick-built houses. The villagers make lace and straw plait." [History and Topography of Buckinghamshire, by James Joseph Sheahan, 1862]


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 Contributions for Ireland 1642", Wilson J., 1983.
"Buckinghamshire Returns of the Census of Religious Worship 1851", Legg E. ed., 1991, ISBN 0 901198 27 7.
"History and Topography of Buckinghamshire", Sheahan, James Joseph, 1862
"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: North Central Bucks, Volume 4", Peter Quick.



War Memorials

War memorials in Swanbourne have been transcribed by Peter Quick, and published in a booklet entitled "War Memorials and War Graves: North Central Bucks, Volume 4", available from the Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society.



In 1642 there were 79 people named in the tax returns for contributions for Ireland. Between them they were assessed at £7.6.2 of which sum Robert Lownds vicar and John Adams both contributed £1.0.0

In 1798 the Posse Comitatus listed 92 men between the ages of 16 and 60 in Swanbourne.

In the earliest government census of 1801, there were 529 inhabitants in 115 families living in 80 houses recorded in Swanbourne.

Census Year Population of Swanbourne
1801* 529
1811* 499
1821* 616
1831* 668
1841 679
1851 646
1861 603
1871 558
1881 474
1891 429
1901 405

* = 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 Records

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

Event Dates covered
Christenings 1565 - 1944
Marriages 1565 - 1968
Burials 1565 - 1895

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

Society Library*
Dates covered
1565 - 1836
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1565 - 1836
Buckinghamshire Genealogical Society
1565 - 1836
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 Swanbourne showed the following numbers:

Church Attendance
St Swithin
80 - Morning General Congregation
90 - Morning Sunday Scholars
170 - Morning Total

130 - Afternoon General Congregation
95 - Afternoon Sunday Scholars
225 - Afternoon Total

Particular Baptist Chapel
42 - Morning General Congregation
6 - Morning Sunday Scholars

72 - Afternoon General Congregation

72 - Evening General Congregation


Description & Travel

You can see pictures of Swanbourne which are provided by:




Historical Geography

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



Swanbourne was described in 1806 in "Magna Britannia" as follows:

SWANBOURN, in the hundred of Cotslow and deanery of Muresley, lies about two miles and a half to the west of Winslow. The manor belonged to Woburn abbey, and was granted in 1554 to Ambrose Gilbert: it seems to have been since divided into moieties one of which was for many years in the family of Adams. After the death of Mr. James Adams in 1775, this moiety passed by his bequest to Mr. Williamson: it is now by purchase the property of Joseph Farborough esq. The other moiety was some years ago in the family of Askew, and was purchased of them by the Deverells, to whom it still belongs.

In the church are some memorials of the Adams family, and of Mr. Josias Askew who died in 1750, at the age of 94.

The great tithes were formerly apropriated to Woburn abbey. The parish has been inclosed by an act of parliament passed in 1761, when an allotment of land was assigned in lieu of great tithes to James Adams esq. then impropriator, an allotment for the vicar's glebe, and a corn rent in lieu of vicarial tithes; an allotment of land was assigned for the repairs for the church, and another to the poor in lieu of an indulgence of pasture. The vicarage is in the gift of the crown.



You can see maps centred on OS grid reference SP801273 (Lat/Lon: 51.93845, -0.836242), Swanbourne which are provided by:


Names, Geographical

The name of Swanbourne derives from the old english words swana + burna, and means 'peasants' stream'.