Welcome to the NWKFHS Blog

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Victorian and Edwardian Photo's Chislehurst, Kent. Plaxtol Local History Group. Higham Village History Group. British Library Archival Sound recordings. East London Theatre Archive (ELTA). England, Wales, Ireland Online Historical Population Reports.

Both Family and Local History Societies provide a lot of information that can give details not only about people and families who lived in an area but also about the place that our ancestors lived. What work there was, how they lived, what entertainment was available to them. Many have photographs of the locality, the houses and buildings, farming and other occupations. Nearly all free to view and put to together by volunteers. They also often provide publications that provide in depth information for a low cost.

Chislehurst Society.

At The Chislehurst Society- Chislehurst Images there are photographs of Chislehurst and surrounding areas. There are also histories of the various places. The photographs date from Victorian and Edwardian times until the 1950's.

Plaxtol Local History Group.

This site has many Victorian/Edwardian photographs of Plaxtol. They show the houses, businesses, people, Schools and Churches. There are also details of the projects carried out by the Group and publications that are are available. Plaxtol History

Higham Village History Group.

The Higham Village History Group site offers a lot of information and Edwardian and later photographs. It has a meetings archive which gives a synopsis of the talks given at the meetings which goes back to 2003.  There is a profile of the parish church, St Mary, which has photographs and a history of the church. 

British Library Archival Sound recordings.

There are some 24,200 items that can be listened to on this site. You can browse and search for recordings made by people about oral history, accents and dialects and many other recordings. There are people in the 1950's who were recording about their life or homes at the turn of the century. Though the recordings cover the whole country there are many concerning Kent. To give an example there is a 1952 recording  "Farningham, Kent: Sidney talks about his work as a blacksmith and names a number of tools of his trade."  Archival Sound Recordings.

East London Theatre Archive (ELTA)

Though these theatres are not in the NWK area, however, there is one at North Woolwich,  the theatre played an important part in many peoples lives.  This site provides a database of East London theatre ephemera provided by the V & A Theatre Collections, East London theatres and UEL archives.

The collection ranges from 1827 to the present day, including playbills and programmes to press cuttings and photographs. You can search or browse the collections East London Theatre Archive

Online Historical Population Reports.

If you are interested in the details of what the England and Wales and Ireland (Eire pre 1926) censuses were used for and the results, population figures, marriage and baptisms figures and much much more  then this site will give you it all. From the census of 1801 onwards .  

The site provides a detailed insight into the population of Britain in the 19th and early 20th centuries. There are statistics lists, data set, essays and reports. Online Historical Population Reports

Friday, 24 June 2011

National Archives Trial Digitisation of 4.6 million records of the Home Guard. Beckenham, Kent, History Website. English Presbyterians/Unitarians Obituaries and Locations of Records, including those of Kent. Bromley Borough Local History Society. Another Kent Stray: Ethel Maud May, nee Ellis, Maxwell, Ladner, BC, born Plumstead, England 1903-1999

Trial Digitisation of part of the 4.6 million records of the Home Guard held by the MoD

News from the Federation of Family History Societies that the TNA (National Archives) are looking into a digitisation project to enable them to accept the whole collection of 4.6 million records of the Home Guard held by the MoD in digital form together with a small sample of the original documents.  The TNA is embarking on a pilot project with the records for County Durham (approximately 2% of the collection).  One key to the success of the project will be the choice of data to be searchable.  This will possibly include: 
Name – surname, forename(s)
Date of birth
Place of birth
Area or county

This news was announced at the first meeting of the new TNA User Advisory Group (UAG) which has been set up to provide an opportunity for users of The National Archives to become involved in the organisation's planning and decision-making processes.  Attendance is by invitation following an opportunity to express an interest.

The following sections of the user community are being represented:

On site personal interest researchers,    independent (paid) researchers,      academic researchers, researchers based primarily in the Map and Large Document reading room,   researchers interested in the diversity / inclusion / access agenda,   county / external archives,       genealogical / family history societies. Roger Lewry, FFHS Archives Liaison, attended the meeting as a representative of Family History Societies. 

Beckenham History Website.

On this website you will find 5 galleries of photographs of Beckenham and West Wickham from the early 1900's. Beckenham History There are also articles on the history of the area and the Parish Church.

Unitarian Historical Society.

If any of your ancestors were English Presbyterians/Unitarians the Unitarian Historical Society is worthwhile looking at.

"The Society was founded in 1915 and exists to encourage and support the study of all aspects of Unitarian history, including that of constituent and related traditions such as English Presbyterianism, the General Baptists, Universalist churches, the Methodist Unitarian movement, the Non-Subscribing Presbyterian Church of Ireland, and other bodies and groups."

At  Index of Obituaries 1800-1899 there is an index of Unitarian ministers or of those who ministered in the earlier period in what became Unitarian churches. There is also an index of ministers from 1900-2004 Index of Obituaries 1900-2004 The indexes also give dates and place of birth. These indexes includes those that ministered in Kent. 

The society also maintains a location list of the records and archives and of most Unitarian congregations in Kent and in the rest of Great Britain at Location List of Records

Bromley Borough Local History Society.

The Bromley Borough Local History Society at Bromley Local History Society/ has several photographs from circa 1900 of Bromely and the surrounding areas i.e. Beckenham, Chelsfield, Cudham, Farnborough, St Mary Cray and other locations.

Another Kent Stray.

Ethel Maud May, nee  Ellis, formerley Hockey, Maxwell 1903-1999, Ladner, BC, Canada.  ...died on July 11th, 1999. Born in Plumstead, Kent, England 1903. Arrived in Canada prior to WWI....

Ethel Maud May Ellis was born 16 May 1903 and baptised 7 June 1903 at Woolwich St Mary Magdalene the daughter of George William, a labourer, and Alice Ellis of 90 Station Road, Plumstead, Kent.

The 1911 Census shows Ethel aged 7 and her brother John aged five at  12 Raglan Road Plumstead living with their mother Alice, aged 30, born Woolwich. The husband, George William Ellis is not present. It also shows that Alice and George had been married for 10 years. 

Monday, 20 June 2011

The Ideal Homes: a history of south-east London's Boroughs: Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark. Printed Maps of Kent 1575-1900. Windmill and Watermilll Collection-photographs, University of Kent. Gad's Hill, Higham, Kent. The Home of Charles Dickins to be opened to the public.

The Ideal Homes: a history of south-east London's Boroughs: Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark.

This site includes 4 former Kent Boroughs, Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham. It is the result of a  joint effort by  the University of Greenwich.,  a dedicated group of librarians, archivists and historians from London's Boroughs of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham and Southwark and, increasingly, by members of the public.  The site is hosted by the University of Greenwich and was funded by the New Opportunities Fund.

There are a selection of old photos, old maps, and historic documents from the rich and unique archive and local history collections of Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich, Lambeth, Lewisham, and Southwark, articles on the history of the places, contributions from members of the public.  The Galleries section has many Late Victorian, Edwardian photographs of places within the Boroughs and there are Historic Maps of the different locations. 

If you had ancestors or family originating or living in these areas this site will give you a wealth of information.  Ideal-Homes History of SE London (Kent)

Printed Maps of Kent 1575-1900.
If you are interested in maps of the area that your Kent ancestors lived in, how they developed over the centuries this amazing site should be on your list to explore.
It is not business site, but the on line publication of over 30 years research into old maps of Kent by Tony Burgess. It is another example of what enthusiasts, local family historians and historians and others of a like mind produce and make available with no charge to all.
To see the maps go to Old Printed Maps of Kent

Windmill and Watermilll Collection-photographs. University of Kent.

The University of Kent holds many archival, manuscript, photographic and rare books collections: Victorian and Edwardian theatre, wind and watermills, Kent local history and many other subjects.

There are hundreds of photographs of Kent Mills At Kent Mills Photographs you can either browse through them or search for a specific Mill.

They do not just have photographs of mills for Kent, but there are several thousand  photographs of Mills all over England.  If you had ancestors or family connected with Mills this site is one of the best resources to try to locate a photograph.


There is much more on the site. There is a large collection of Victorian and Edwardian programmes, doccuments. ephemera. Most of it is catalogued with a detailed discription of any Actors named etc.  Theatre Collections

Archival and Book collection.

There is a detailed catalogue under collections which is worth looking at. For instance old Ballard Songs. To give an example of the detail provided:

 PB 2342.P31 Special Collections
  • Collier, John Payne Old ballads, from early printed copies of the utmost rarity; edited by J Payne Collier Percy Society 1840. - With: 4 other works F057887
  • Worde, Wynkyn de The pain and sorrow of an evil marriage: from an unique copy printed by Wynkyn de Worde Percy Society 1840. - With: Old ballads. (F057887) A000673
  • Lydgate, John A selection from the minor poems of Dan John Lydgate; edited by James Orchard Halliwell Percy Society 1840. - With: Old ballads. (F057887) A000671
If you are interested in the music of you ancestor this would be a good place to look at what the University holds. Ballard and Song Collection

Gad's Hill Place, Higham, Kent. The Home of Charles Dickens.
Charles Dickens’  home in Higham, near Rochester is set to be opened for the author’s centenary in 2012. A Grade 1-listed Georgian building it has been occupied since the 1920s by Gad’s Hill School which is to be relocated. Dickens lived in the house for fourteen years until his death in 1870. It was at Gad's Hill that he wrote Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities.

The intention is for Gad’s Hill Place to be turned into a museum and world heritage centre in 2012 - a project expected to attract visitors from across the globe. Kent News and for the Dickens Gad's Hill appeal see Gads Hill appeal

Friday, 17 June 2011

The Greenwich Industrial History Society. Greenwich Parish Registers and Indexes. St Alphege and Our Ladye Star of the Sea, (Roman Catholic Church). More Kent Strays: 100 year old Albert Victor Earl and Frederick Ernest Leonard Earl, DCM of Saskatoon, Canada born Deptford England. Kent men and women who served as Soldiers, Nurses amd Chaplins of the First World War-Canadian Expeditionary Force. Last Post-Death Notices.

The Greenwich Industrial History Society.

If you had ancestors or family who lived in or came from the Greenwich area this site will be of interest to you. It contains information about the industrial and social history of people who lived in the area. If your ancestors lived in the area this will give you a good idea of their lives and what the area was like.

There is an index to help find information on buildings, industries and place names mentioned of any significance in the first volume, issues 1 to 5 of the Greenwich Industrial History Society's newsletter at  Newsletter Index 

The Greenwich Industrial History Blog gives you access to the Newsletters from 1998 to 2008, including any articles and letters. It is a site that is worthwhile exploring.

Greenwich Parish Registers and Indexes. St Alphege and Our Ladye Star of the Sea, (Roman Catholic Church).

If you are interested in the Parish Registers for Greenwich, St Alphege copies of the original registers from 1615 to 1989 can be obtained from The North West Kent Family History Society. This includes the 1714-47 burials missing from the filming of the original registers. There are also Transcripts and Indexes for 1615-1637 with alpha index and of baptisms 1813-38 (over 15,000 entries).

Our Ladye Star of the Sea, Roman Catholic Church, Greenwich Parish Registers 1794-1913 are also available. Details can be found at NWKFHS Parish Registers

More Kent Strays: 100 year old Albert Victor Earl and Frederick Ernest  Leonard Earl, DCM of Saskatoon, Canada born Deptford, England.

Albert Victor Earl died at St Paul's Hospital (Saskatoon) on  November 7, 1999... born in Deptford, England on March 13, 1899 to Frederick and Alice Earl. In 1910 his family emigrated to Canada and settled in Saskatoon... predeceased by his wife Marjorie (Mayne), his mother Alice, father Frederick and brother Frederick (DCM 1918) and his three sisters, Lilian, Edith and Hilda...

The 1901 census shows the family, including Albert and his brother Frederick at  48 Batawia Road, Deptford.

Frederick Earl, book binder, Head 38  Male Westminster London England
Alice Earl Wife 37  Female Peckham London England
Florence Earl Daughter 16  Female New Cross London England
Edith Earl Daughter 9  Female Tottenham London England
Frederick Earl Son 4  Male New Cross London England
Albert Earl Son 2  Male  London England

The baptism records of 4 of the children show their full names:

Florence Lillian Earl 13 Jan 1889 Frederick Thomas Earl, Alice Florence Earl Tottenham St Ann Haringey 
Edith Alice Kathleen Earl 15 Oct 1896 Frederick Thomas Earl, Alice Florence Earl Hatcham St James Lewisham 
Frederick Ernest Leonard Earl 15 Oct 1896 Frederick Thomas Earl, Alice Florence Earl Hatcham St James Lewisham 
Albert Victor Earl 30 Mar 1899 Frederick Thomas Earl, Alice Florence Earl Hatcham St James Lewisham

His brother who the Newspaper listed as Frederick Earl,  DCM (1918) joined the 28th Bn, Saskatchewan Regiment on 18 October 1915 and died on August 26, 1918.  The details can be found at Veterans Affairs Canada

On the 26th August 1918 the 27th & 28th Battalions attacked Neuville-Vitasse with the objective of taking the ruins of Wancourt Tower. The high ground was taken, but they met fire from a strong point,  A company of the 28th was sent over into the British section and neutralised it.  The 27th and 28th dug in at dusk, short of their objective. They made an assault after dark without a preparatory barrage, surprising the defenders and pushing them out.

Soldiers of the First World War-Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Many men and women who had been born in Kent and emigrated to Canada joined Canadian Regiments during WWI and fought in Europe and in other theatres of the war.

The  Library and Archives of Canada has a searchable database of over 600,000 men and women who enlisted in the Canadian Expeditionary Force (CEF) during the First World War (1914-1918) as soldiers, nurses and chaplains. A free down loadable copy of the attestation page, both front and back is provided, giving such details as place and date of birth, next of kin, physical description etc. It can be found at  Soldiers of the First World War-CEF

Last Post-Death Notices

Another site worth looking at if you think you had any family members from Kent who had a military connection in Canada is Last Post-Death Notices

The Royal Canadian Legion has been publishing short death notices of its members, men and women, since 1928. It also includes those members who served in the Police. At present the database goes back to those published from 1985 and contains over  187,117 names. The database is being added to twice a year with new entries and there are plans to  publish earlier ones as resources allow.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Geoff Riggs. St Giles, Farnborough, Kent Free Burial and Cremation Records. Another Kent Stray, Lilian Nellie, nee Marner, Troy

Geoff Riggs.

The sad news of the death of Geoff Riggs has come from the Federation of Family History Societies. Federation of Family History Societies  Geoff was a tireless worker in the field of family history and very well known in the UK. To list just a few of his accomplishments:

Former Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Director of Internet Facilities, and webmaster of The Federation of Family History Societies.
Chairman and webmaster of the Association of Family History Societies of Wales.
Regional Representative for Wales and former Vice-Chairman of the Guild of One-Name Studies.Liaison Officer, Trustee and former Chairman and webmaster of the Gwent Family History Society.
He appeared in front of the House of Commons Select Committee on Regulatory Reform, at Westminster , to present oral evidence to the Committee as a representative of the Federation of Family History Societies.

Geoff would also be seen every year at the "Who Do You Think You Are - Live" Show in the Olympia Exhibition Centre giving a talk on Family History Research in Wales. He appeared on radio and television, particularly in Wales, helping people and giving advice about family history research.

His website (which he maintained along with many other websites for family history societies) is full of help to all researching family history. Riggsology.

He will be much missed by many.

St Giles, Farnborough, Kent Burial and Cremation Records.

The parish of Farnborough (Kent) is another example of what local volunteers are doing, not only to maintain the Church and Churchyard but also to provide help and information to family historians. At  Farnborough, Kent Parish  you will find a link entitled Grave Registers. Clicking on this link you will be able to download the record of burials from the late 1880's onwards. The download is free of charge. Note: You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader for these.

There is much else to explore on the site and it is worthwhile doing so. There is a map of the development of the Churchyard from the past to today.

The Memorial Inscriptions for St Giles, going further back in date, can be found on the Kent Archaeological site at  MIs at Farnborough, Kent there is also a churchyard map of MIs up until 1919 at Farnborough, Kent Churchyard Map

Details and a photograph of the church, plus a map showing the location in the NW Kent area can also be found at NWK Family History Society, Farnborough

Another Kent Stray. 

Lilian Nellie, nee Marner, Troy of Chatham (Ontario). Passed away at Cooper  Terrace Long Term Care Facility .. at the age of 93. Mrs. Troy was born at Greenwich, London, England, daughter of the late George Marner and the former late Agnes Woods...

The baptism record of St Alphege Greenwich show that she was baptised as Lilian Nelly Marner, daughter of George Henry and Agnes Emma, nee Wood, Marner. She was baptised on February 28th 1906 (born 11th February 1906).

A George Marner born abt 1882 born in England sailed from St John, New Brunswick, Canada on 18 Feb 1915 Liverpool, England   aboard the Corsican of the Allan Line. Almost certainly to serve in the First World war. Is this the same George Marner?

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Free limited search of the 1911 census for England and Wales. West Kent Parish Gazeteer of C of E Churches and a list of RC Churches. Some More Kent Strays, Dorothy S, nee Simpson, Zopff 1904-1992. William Charles Kersey 1888-1986

Free search of the 1911 census for England and Wales.

A search of the 1911 census for England and Wales is now available which provides restricted information at  FamilySearch  site. A search will list the name, age, gender, birthplace and registration district of a individual. No details of any others present in the household is provided. A link will take you to the findmypast site where the full information is available for a fee. 

findmypast offer a similiar free search but the FamilySearch search offer the additional information of the place of birth. 

Though this new search is limited it is an advance on what is offered on the findmypast search.

West Kent Parish Gazeteer.

The NWKFHS has a Gazeteer of Church of England churches built before c1910. It  includes a photograph of each ancient parish church, as well as of many Victorian churches. There are currently 249 church photos along with information about Administrative Units, other churches, such as Baptists, in the area and a map showing the location of the parish in the North West Kent Area. The Gazeteer can be found at West Kent Churches

A lst of RC Churches built before 1910 with some information about their registers and a map showing their location in the North West Kent area. It can be found at Roman Catholic Churches

Some More Kent Strays.

Dorothy S Zopff, 87, of Romeo (Michigan) died Monday, March 30, 1992... born April 21, 1904, in Syd(e)nham (Kent) England. the daughter of Daniel and Albina (Barber) Simpson. She and her family lived in London and Hespler in Canada prior settling in Detroit in 1912.

The 1901 census gives the following information about the family:

1901 Sydenham, Beadnell Road,
Daniel B F Simpson, Bricklayer,  Head 33  Male Kennington London England
Albina F Simpson Wife 30  Female Forest Hill Kent England
George E Simpson Son 12  Male Lower Sydenham Kent England
Elinor A Simpson Daughter 10  Female Lower Sydenham Kent England
Henry Simpson Son 9  Male Lower Sydenham Kent England
Charles Simpson Son 7  Male Lower Sydenham Kent England
Ethel V Simpson Daughter 3  Female Lower Sydenham Kent England
Archie Simpson Son 2  Male Lower Sydenham Kent England

William Charles Kersey ... Victoria BC passed away,,,May 15, 1986...born in Bromley, Kent, England on April 11, 1888...wife Mae... brother Albert of Los Angeles...

The 1901 census shows William and his brother Albert with their family at 7 Pope Road, Bromely, Kent:

Samuel Kersey Head, Builders Foreman, 50 Male Lewisham Kent
Emily Kersey Wife 44 Female Leeds Yorkshire
Samuel Kersey Son 19  Male Bromley Kent 
William Kersey Son 12  Male Bromley Kent 
Charles Kersey Son 10  Male Bromley Kent
Albert Kersey Son 9  Male Bromley Kent
Aleck Kersey Son 5  Male Bromley Kent

Friday, 10 June 2011

Free Indexes- All Saints Woodchurch, Kent. Free Mid-Kent Marriage Index. Hartley (Sevenoaks) Kent Baptisms, Marriages, Burials. 1840 Pigots Directory for Kent and London Marriage Licences refering to Kent 1521-1869

Woodchurch Local and Family History.

Though this is not in the NWKFHS area I have found many families in our Society area either originated or moved to other places in Kent. It is also an example of what individuals and local societies can and do produce to help the family historian.

This site has free searchable indexes covering Baptisms 1538-1989, Non-conformist Baptisms, Tenterden Vaccinations, Marriages 1538-1978, Banns 1754-1837, Burials 1538-1990, Parish Chest 1633-1849 and Memorial Inscriptions. The site can be found at Woodchurch Local and Family History

Mid-Kent Marriage Index.

The Mid-Kent Marriages Index 1754-1911 is the work of local historians and genealogists David Hills and Gary Samson. David Hills transcribed the marriage records of seven registration districts in the mid Kent area: East Ashford, West Ashford, Cranbrook, Elham, Hollingbourne, Romney Marsh and Tenterden. Also included are marriages for Maidstone (All Saints). Once again this illustrates the work and dedication of local and family historians and societies in providing information and help to fellow researchers. It is also on the Woodchurch Local and Family History site.

The index can be found at Mid-Kent Marriage Index and is searchable by first name, last name and parish. 

Hartley (Sevenoaks) Kent.

Within the NW Kent area an example of the work of local historians providing information and help can be found at Hartley-Kent history  There are details of Assize Court Records 1288 - 1325 giving the names of people involved. There are also baptisms, marriages & burials 1712 - 1832,  Churchwardens' Accounts 1745-1817 and much more.

Pigots 1840 Kent Directory.

At Janet and Richards Genealogy Home Page

There is a complete transcription of the 1840 Pigots Kent Directory.. A  name  index of the 29,102 entries.  

On the same site at  London Marriage Licences  can be found London Marriage Licences 1521 - 1869  with  Kent references. There are 1052 individual entries that refer to Kent and are indexed by male last name. Female names can be searched on any page with your "find" tool on your browser.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

NWKFHS June Journal-John Wesley, the 1754 Marriage act and the Surat that sailed from Gravesend to New Zealand in 1873. Copies of Articles. Have you a story to tell that is connected to the North West Kent area? The Josephine Birchenough Bursary Fund Award for members of the Society..

The June Issue of the North West Kent Family History Society Journal has been sent to the printers and should be posted by the end of June. Copies will be delivered by post to all paid-up members.

This issue records the annual bursary awards and has major articles on John Wesley, the 1754 Marriage act and the Surat that sailed from Gravesend to New Zealand in 1873.

Copies of Articles.

You can also purchase copies of individual articles. There is an index (up until 2007) of articles at  Journal Index It is hoped that this index will be updated. If you are interested in an article and would like to purchase one or if you would like more information please go to Obtaining Copies of Articles and use the Link to e-mail the Back Copies Co-ordinator.The cost is GBP £1.00 per article (including postage) in the UK. For Overseas the cost is GBP £2 (including postage). All payment must be in UK Sterling.

Have you a story to tell that is connected to the North West Kent area?

The editor welcomes contributions for future issues of the Journal. Being a Charity no payment  to authors for articles are made. But if you would like to share your story with fellow family historians and have it printed in the Society Journal  take a look at the guidelines at Guidelines for Journal Authors   Articles or stories by non members of the Society will also be considered.

If you have an article that is preferably but not exclusively related to the area covered by NWKFHS that you would like considered for publication in the Journal go to Journal Editor and use the link to contact the editor.

The Josephine Birchenough Bursary Fund Award to Society Members.

If you are a member of the Society your story will automatically be entered for the Josephine Birchenough Bursary Award.

Josephine Birchenough was a founder member of the Society and an enthusiastic supporter of our activities over many years. Following her death in 1994 some money was donated by members in her memory and it was decided to use this to establish a Bursary Award scheme.

Each year the President and Vice Presidents judge what they consider to be the best articles from the previous year's journals. The awards then are presented at the Society AGM, and consist of a number of prizes - currently £40, £30 and a number at £10.  For more details go to Josephine Birchenough Award 

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Kent Strays- Maude, nee Stephens, Broad, Hugh David Adams. Free Marriage Witness Index. United Kingdom and Ireland Records. The Workhouse.

Kent Strays.

Strays can be an important source of information. The Internet has various records such as censuses and church registers making it easier to find people who moved away from their place of birth. However, there are still many records and sources, such as newspapers, not available on the Internet, were there can be found information about people who left their home and moved elsewhere. Strays could lead you to finding out what happened to some of your family who 'disappeared'.

Though it has become less common some people who come across such information  still send strays to Family History Societies.  Recently we were sent an envelope full of newspaper clippings which contained details of people who had passed away in Canada and America but were for the most part born in the late 19th century in the North West Kent area. Hopefully they will appear in future editions of the Society Journal.

A couple of examples are as follows:

Maude (Stephens) Broad died at Victoria Manor, Lindsay Ont.. July 7, 1991 at the age of 90 Wife of the late Gordon Broad...(List of family members)... Maude was born at Woolwich, East Plumstead, County of London, England the daughter of Samuel and Mary Ann Stephens.

Adams-Hugh David passed away...on January 11 1992 at Victoria (BC). Born on March 4 1889 in Beckenham, Kent...emigrated to Saskatchewan in 1912...1914 returned to England to enlist but rejected due to colour blindness...Returned to Canada and May 1916 enlisted in the city of Regina 195th Battalion...served as a stretcher bearer in France...

As a matter of interest the 1901 census shows Hugh living with his parents in Croydon, Surrey:

Charles Adams Head 52 1849 Male Islington London England
Emily F Adams Wife 46 Female Twickenham Middlesex England
Alfred C Adams Son 16 Male Beckenham Kent England
Winifred E Adams Daughter 1887 Female Beckenham Kent England
Hugh D Adams Son 12 Male Beckenham Kent England

Marriage Witness Index and UK and Ireland Records

Ted Wildy's Marriage Witness Index (MWI) was started many years ago and was a pioneering concept. It was also an inspired idea to index the witnesses to marriages and make the information free to access. Many people contributed to the index. After the death of Ted Wildy in 1997 the MWI was not so easily available. At one time it seemed as though it might end up lost to all.

However the UK MWI with some 30,000 entries with the names of the Witnesses, Bridge and Groom and date and place of marriage can be found at British MWI It can be searched by Surname.

Hosted on Rootsweb and free to use is  United Kingdom and Ireland Records  where you can search by Surname, First Name Year and County some 265,347 records ( about 4,7162 distinct surnames). There are various records, many are of marriages and give the name of the Bride, Groom, Date, where married. Entries are added to by contributors. Dates range from the late 1500's to the 20th Century. 


If  any of your ancestors or families were unfortunate enough have fallen upon hard times and had to enter the workhouse and you have not found this site before then it will give you an amazing amount of information. Not just for the Victorian period but before 1837 and after 1901.

The site has been on the web for about 10 years but not everyone, especially those new to family history know of it. In the Kent section it shows how people entered and the rules they had to live by. The routine and  details of food that was provided. What work they had to carry out and what medical care was available. The site does not confine itself to Workhouses in Kent but has sections for other counties and on the Poor Law Unions of Wales, Ireland and Scotland. There is a map of all the Unions and much more.The Workhouse 

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Crossness Open Day, Abbey Wood, London on Saturday 26 June. Timothy Cox, "I do like to be beside the seaside"- the development of seaside holidays. 'Here's Kent' a site with many resources.

Crossness Engines Trust. Saturday 26 June.

Crossness Engines Trust, The Old Works, Crossness Sewage Treatment Works, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ. This is a "steam transport" day where they will have many types of steam engines/vehicles present. North West Kent Family History Society will be present with it's bookstall and volunteers to help with information about Family History for the area.

By the 1850's the water supply in Londond and the Thames was heavily polluted. Cholera was killing thousands each year.  In 1858, Parliament instructed the newly formed Metropolitan Board of Works to remedy this situation. The Engineer of the MBW, Joseph Bazalgette, built miles of new sewers and pumping stations. The one at Abbey Mills, still exists but none of the original pumping plant remains. South of the river there was a pumping station at Deptford, which has essentially disappeared, but the station at Crossness remains relatively untouched except for the ravages of time.

Since 1985 the Crossness pumping station has been undergoing restoration. Tthe Engine House and the engines are being restored to their 1899 condition, (the year in which the engines were upgraded). It is well worth a visit to see how the Victorians solved the problem of sanitation and reduced the annual death rate of London.

Full details can be found at Crossness Pumping Station click on 'Visit' for deatails of the day. 

"I do like to be beside the seaside" - the development of seaside holidays.

18 June 2011 If you are in the Bromley, Kent area NWKFHS Bromley Branch have an interesting talk by Timothy Cox,  "I do like to be beside the seaside" - the development of seaside holidays. As your ancestors started to get some free time and with the Railways enabling them to travel and boats ofering trips from London they started to be able to have day trips and seaside holidays.

Visitors are welcome (a donation is also wlcome). Bromley Methodist Church, College Road, Bromley BR1 3NS. Start 10.30am. More details at NWKFHS Meetings.

Here's History Kent.

Here's History Kent is a site worth looking at if your ancestors and families lived in Kent. It is has a huge resource of archival material, including articles, maps and images, on Kent History. The site has guidance for local historians,  family historians, genealogists and students.

Here's History is a collaboration between County Council and communities in Kent. The project has been coordinated by Ian Coulson and is the culmination of several years work. Not every Kent  town or village is on the site but is is worthwhile looking to see what is here.