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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. 

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