Welcome to the NWKFHS Blog

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Branches of the North West Kent Family History Society regularly hold talks given by experts in their fields. They are open to Members (Free) and to visitors on a donation basis. Details of November meetings. Canadian Censuses and Kent Ancestors- Free1891 census name seach and free download of original images. 1871 and 1881 Canadian Census-free search and images. 1901 and 1911 Canadian Censuses.

Branches of the North West Kent Family History Society regularly hold  talks given by experts in their fields. They are open to Members (Free) and to visitors on a donation basis. Please check the website for further details, especially before travelling to a meeting in case of any changes.  NWKFHS Society Meetings.
The talks for November are:

5 Nov 2011 at the Dartford Branch,  Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane, Dartford, Kent. Gordon Bentley The History of Pub Signs.   Open 9.45am with the meeting proper starting at 10.30am.

10 Nov 2011 at the Sevenoaks Branch,  Sevenoaks Community Centre, Otford Road (at junction with Crampton Rd.), Sevenoaks, at 7.15pm Richard Filmer Kentish Trades, Crafts & Industries.

19 Nov 2011 at the Bromley Branch, Main hall, Bromley Methodist Church, College Road, Bromley BR1 3NS. Audrey Collins Using the National Archives for Family History research.  The hall opens at 9.45am, the meeting proper is due to start at 10.30am.

Canadian Censuses and Kent Ancestors.

Many of our Ancestry and their families had strong connections with Canada, Some moved there permanently or for a period of time. Some pay per view sites have indexed the Canadian censuses but there are other possibilities that might save you money.

1891 Canadian Census.

1891 Canada census can be searched by name at Libraries and Archives Canada 1891 census. This will give you a list of the possible names. Clicking on the name you are looking for will give you the option of downloading the original census page free of charge.

1881 Canadian Census.

 You can also search the Libraries and Archives Canada site for the 1881 census by name and obtain images of the original census free to download. Libraries and Archives Canada 1881 census.

1871 Canadian Census.

The 1871 Canadian census can be searched by name and original images obtained at Libraries and Archives Canada 1871.

The 1901 and 1911 Canadian Censuses.

Though not searchable by family name you can search by location images of the original census. If you know the Province and district they lived in you can, with some patience search the district. 1901 Census and 1911 Census

You can also try 1901 Census of Canada Indexing Project where an index is being created for every name enumerated in the 1901 Census of Canada along with the personal data transcribed, links to images of the original census pages. There are also  links to other records for individuals including: census records from other years, birth, marriage, death, and other records.

It is work in progress, the names have been Indexed and transcribed and are at the stage of being checked. You can check on progress at Proofreading

The Libraries and Archives Canada site is worthwhile looking at to see what other information is available to help in your search for your ancestors and families.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Who's Who of Victorian Cinema. Dictonary of Victorian London. Victorian & Edwardian Photographs. C J Farlies photographers, Woolwich.1800-1845 Costume Fashion History- Regency to Romantic. New Family History TV series.

Who's Who of Victorian Cinema.

Cinema arrived in 1895 by the end of 1896 it had spread worldwide. By 1900 it  firmly established fortunes for some and reputations were made by many. It was also to have a profound impact on our ancestors lives, an impact that continues to this day..

This website is a biographical guide to the world of Victorian film. There are some 300 biographies involved with motion pictures. There are also photographs of early film cameras and projectors. If you are interested in the cinema and how it impacted on our ancestors it is a site worthwhile looking at. Who's Who of Victorian Cinema

Dictionary of Victorian London.

If you have not found this site yet it is one that you should explore.It has information on about every aspect of Victorian life from fashion and clothes, advertising, food, finance, professions, transport, housing, education and weather. It is almost a case of you name it is there.

There are many original adverts of the day and photographs Cartes de Viste, Dageurreotyype  The Victorian Dictionary

Victorian and Edwardian Photographs.

At Victorian & Edwardian Photographs from The Roger Vaughan Collection and Visitors Photographs.  This site can aid you in dating photographs and there is an alphabetical list of photographers throughout the country.

An example of what can be found for the former Kent Boroughs, now in London can be found at The Photographic Studio of C.J.Farlie and his Family which was located at Wellington Street, Woolwich.

If you are interested in what your Regency ancestors may have wore then 1800-1845 Costume Fashion History- Regency to Romantic will give you a lot of information.

New Family History TV series.

Find My Past has launched a new 10-part TV series starting on 20 October 2011 at 9pm on the Yesterday channel: Freeview channel 12, Sky 537, Virgin Media 203. Chris Hollins of BBC Breakfast, Watchdog and winner of Strictly Come Dancing 2009 presents the show.

Each week three members of the public are helped to discover how they are related to someone from a significant historical event. Three of the episodes focus on significant events in WWII: Dunkirk, Battle of Britain and D-Day. An online collection of photos to honour our heroes is being built and you can share photos of your ancestors who were connected in any way to Dunkirk, Battle of Britain and D-Day  This feature will be available very soon on the Find My Past  Facebook page.

Friday, 21 October 2011

The London Project-Cinemas and Film businesses 1894-1914. The Fairground Heritage Trust-Victorian/Edwardian and earlier until the 1970's. Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire. 10 November 2011 Guildhall Library: Fifty Years of Working in the Medieval Archives of the City of London

The London Project-Cinemas and Film businesses 1894-1914

The London Project is a database of cinemas and film businesses 1894-1914 . The aim is to map, analyse and make available how this new medium became a part of the lives of our late Victorian and Edwardian ancestors in what is now London but includes boroughs that were formerly in Kent, Greenwich, Deptford, Lewisham, Woolwich .

The research for the database was carried out by Senior Research Fellows Simon Brown (Businesses) and Luke McKernan (Venues). One of a number of research projects originally launched by the AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies, hosted by Birkbeck College, University of London. The London Project 

It has an interactive map which will take you a borough and from there you can click on any cinema or business listed for details, including, where available, any related people e.g. The Owner/Proprietor. The interactive map can be found here Borough Search

The Fairground Heritage Trust-Victorian/Edwardian and earlier until the 1970's.   

Fairgrounds were a important part of the lives of our ancestors in providing them with entertainment and the chance to wonder and enjoy the shows provided by Fairgrounds. They travelled through the country, setting up in venues that would attract the crowds. If your ancestor was employed at a fairground or you want to see what they went to see this is a site well worth looking at.

At  The Fairground can be found many photographs and information about Ghost Shows and the magic of illusion, Bioscope Shows and cinematography, Travelling Menageries, Freaks Shows and performers from the Victorian period.

Colonial Film: Moving Images of the British Empire.

If your ancestors and family, lived, worked or were connected in any way with the former Colonies of the British Empire you might wish to look at this site.

"This website holds detailed information on over 6000 films showing images of life in the British colonies. Over 150 films are available for viewing online. You can search or browse for films by country, date, topic, or keyword. Over 350 of the most important films in the catalogue are presented with extensive critical notes written by our academic research team".

The Colonial Film project involved Birkbeck and University College London, British Film Institute, Imperial War Museum and the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum creating a catalogue of films relating to the British Empire. The ambition of the website is to allow both colonizers and colonized to understand better the truths of Empire. Colonial Film Database

10 November 2011 Guildhall Library: Fifty Years of Working in the Medieval Archives of the City of London: A Personal view

Thursday 10 November 2011. The celebration of the 600th anniversary of Guildhall, November’s seminar held at Guildhall Library. Caroline Barron (Emeritus Professor of the history of London,Royal Holloway) will lead us through her experiences of using City of London archives to research the lives of medieval Londoners.

Thursday 10 November 2011, 6:00pm (doors 5:30pm) - 7:30pm at Guildhall Library - CDA Room Aldermanbury, London EC2V 7HH. Advance booking is essential. Please guarantee your place by contacting: Jeff.Gerhardt  This seminar is free to all AfL members, non-members £2 (payable on the door).

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Essex Ancestors-unlimited access to Essex parish registers and wills. London Metropolitan Archives to lose BMD Indexes. Domesday Reloaded- BBC Doomsday Project. Crystal Palace Campaign.

Essex Ancestors-unlimited access to Essex parish registers and wills. 

Many of us with ancestors in Kent have found that at some time someone in the family went to or came from or lived in  Essex.

So the news that the Essex Record Office is planning to launch a new online service giving unlimited access to Essex parish registers and wills might be welcomed by many.  The date has been delayed a few times but it is stating that the 24th October 2011 will see the service up and running.

The Essex Record Office site is not part of any other site such as Ancestry.com or findmypast. Access to the records will be free at in the search room but there will be a charge for accessing the records via the Internet.

The cost is still to be confirmed but early indications are that a subscription for a chosen period ranging from one day to one year will be available. Though not confirmed it is believed that the following costs for subscriptions will apply:

1 day £5.00; 1 week £15.00; 1 month £25.00; 6 months £50.00; 1 year £75.00. These rates will give unlimited access to the Parish Registers and Wills for the time period purchased.  Essex Record Office-SEAX

London Metropolitan Archives to loose BMD Indexes.

The General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO) provides free public access to the index of events for birth, marriage, death, civil partnership, adoption and overseas records. This information is made available at a number of libraries and record offices across England and Wales.

The list of centres acting as host sites for the complete set of the GRO indexes is being extended from 14 November will include Newcastle City Library.  However, from the 28 October, the indexes will no longer be available at the London Metropolitan Archives. Whilst the inclusion of Newcastle City Library is to be welcomed and is long over due not everyone can understand the decision to withdraw the index from the LMA. There are two location where it will still be available in London, The British Library and City of Westminster Archives Centre.
From November the Indexes will be available at:

Birmingham Central Library
Bridgend Local and Family History Centre
City of Westminster Archives Centre
Manchester City Library
Newcastle City Library
Plymouth Central Library
The British Library.

Domesday Reloaded.

In 1986 the BBC published the Domesday Project. One of the most ambitious attempt ever to capture the essence of life in the United Kingdom. Some one million people contributed to this digital snapshot of the country. 

They were asked to record what they thought would be of interest in another 1000 years.  Due to advances in technology there were fears that the discs would become unreadable. Now the project has been made available to all on the Internet and is in the process of being updated by  re-photographing the images today and updating text entries.

The story of how this project was rescued and again made available freely to all is an example of what can be done. In 2004  Adrian Pearce succeeded in making the data available to any Windows PC and published the data online. However, following his death in 2008 the website was taken off line. In  2003 Andy Finney a producer on the original project and now working on behalf of the UK National Archives, arranged for  digital copies of the Domesday videodisc master tapes to be made. This provided the photographs and maps used on the Domesday Reloaded website.

George Auckland of the BBC and his Innovations Team,  have now completed a full extraction of the community disc and this material has been published online as the centrepiece of the BBC “Domesday Reloaded” website.

If you wish to contribute and update photographs and information you have until October 31st 2011. The site can be found at BBC Doomsday Reloaded

Crystal Palace Campaign.

This site is worthwhile exploring if your ancestors were involved with the Crystal Palace, the exhibition, its move to the location at Sydenham, Kent

The Crystal Palace Campaign is a popular movement which has successfully prevented a 20-cinema multiplex from being built on the historic, Grade II* listed site in Crystal Palace Park where the rebuilt (Sydenham) Crystal Palace used to stand. What the site also provides is the history of the Crystal Palace, it builders and  illustrations and photographs. It takes a bit of navigating but can be worth the effort if you have links to the Crystal Palace.  Crystal Palace

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Convict Transportation-Free registers database. Index to Tasmanian Convicts-Free to search with free to view results. Australian medical pioneers-Free index-1700s-1875. Tasmaian Free Index and images for Wills & Letters of Administration from 1824-1989 and Census Records 1837-1857.

Many of our Ancestors in Kent went to Australia either freely or as prisoners. There is now a lot of information available on the Internet that can help in tracing these people and much of it is free to search with many sites having images or details that are free to view.

Convict transportation registers database.

People convicted of crimes and shipped to Australia as convicts came from all parts of England, including Kent.

The database has been compiled from British Home Office (HO) records as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP). The HO 11 Criminal – Convict Transportation Registers series has been indexed by the State Library of Queensland and the index is free to search, the basic results are also free to view. They include name, details of the Sentence (when convicted, where and what for) date of departure, the vessel and place of arrival.

Some 123,000 out of the estimated 160,000 convicts transported to Australia are  in this database. Including prisoners sent to New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania), Moreton Bay (Brisbane), Port Phillip. Western Australia and Norfolk Island. As well as some ships which were bound for Gibraltar. The records cover the period of 1787 to 1867.
You can search the database at  Convicts Transportation Database

Australian medical pioneers Free index- 1700s-1875

The AMPI website was developed and funded by the State Library of Victoria through Vicnet and Victoria's Virtual Library.

This is a database of over 3000 medical pioneers, doctors who were registered or qualified in Australia, were resident in Australia, or visited  in a professional capacity, before 1875. Ships' surgeons, convict doctors, general practitioners and medical specialists are included. Not only is the index free to search the results are also free to view. Australian Medical Pioneers 1700's-1875 

Index to Tasmanian Convicts. Free to search with free to view results.

This is comprehensive index of all convicts transported to Tasmania and those who were convicted (through the convict system) in the colony. It was created by indexing all original records we held by the Archives Office of Tasmania from the beginning of transportation in 1804 until 1853 when transportation ceased. The latest entry in the database for the locally convicted convicts is 1893. Some 76,000 people are indexed.

The database can be searched at  Tasmanian Convicts Their is also an image database of medical workplaces, people and transport that covers the same period. Medical Picture Gallery

Free Index and images of Wills & Letters of Administration from 1824-1989 and Census Records 1837-1857.

The Archives Office of Tasmania is worthwhile searching if you had ancestors who went to Tasmania. Another free Index with copies of the original records can be searched at Index to Wills   Census Indexes with Free images can be searched at Census Database

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Ever thought of volunteering to help with Family History projects? The Royal Artillery Museum-Volunteers needed for Milittary Oral History Project. North West Kent Family History Society Projects. A Kent Stray, Florence Lily, nee Ward, Morrison born 1895 Plumstead, Kent.

Ever thought of volunteering to help with Family History projects?

Volunteers are important in helping to preserve records and make the information available to the wider community. The Commercial Pay per View sites have helped to make more records (at a cost) available, but long before they were on the scene records were being transcribed and information preserved by Family/Local History Societies. The 1881 census for Great Britain was a joint effort between Family History Societies, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormons) and others that was made to make the information available to all.

Family History Society Volunteers are still working away on many projects, Parish Registers and many other records. By  volunteering not only are you helping fellow Family Historians you are helping to ensure that records are preserved and available to all.

As an individual you can pick up many skills that will help you in your research, reading old handwriting, where and how to look for information and if a project covers a place that you are researching it gives you the opportunity to look at the primary sources.

There are many ways you can help from indexing and checking work carried out to editing. You can help with recording Memorial Inscriptions at Churches, which may disappear in a few years. You can work at home, or with others at various locations. More and more Museum's,  Record Offices/Archives rely on Volunteers and are publicly asking for help. 

The Royal Artillery Museum-Volunteers needed for Military Oral History Project.

Volunteers are needed to work on "an oral history project funded by an award of £48,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF). Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum, based in Woolwich, south-east London, wants to hear from volunteers who would like to help carry out the interviews for the project. Entitled Fighting Talk, the project will gather and preserve the memories of men and women who have served in the Royal Artillery, as well as their families, from the immediate post-Second World War period to the present day. Training will include interviewing techniques, operation of recording equipment, transcribing of interviews and cataloguing".

For more information on how to become a Fighting Talk volunteer email Nigel Clifton or visit the Museum website Firepower, The Royal Artillery Museum

North West Kent Family History Society Projects.

Since 1978 NWKFHS has been indexing, transcribing various records and publishing copies of original registers. Some are free to view on the Society Website Free Data sets 

Many such records are available to purchase at Publications any money that is earned is put back into enabling further records to be, indexed, transcribed or filmed and published. All of this work is carried out by volunteers. Some working from home others at the Society Library or at Churchyards etc recording information that may disappear or become lost in the future.

The Society would like to encourage more people to become involved in the many projects being carried out.  If you are interested in helping with NWKFHS projects further information can be found at Current Projects or you can e-mail the Projects Coordinator

Florence Lily, nee Ward, Morrison born 1895 Plumstead, Kent.

From time to time members of our and other Societies alert us to a person who was original from Kent but has been found located out of the County or even the Country.

Florence Lily, nee Ward, Morrison died in Saskatoon on 17 May 1986. She was the wife of George Wellington Morrison and came to Canada as a WWI War Bride.

Florence Lily Ward was Baptised 7 July 1895 at St Margaret, Plumstead  the daughter of Thomas William Ward, a Labourer, and Emily Elizabeth Ward. At the time they lived at 74 Villas Road. She married George Wellington Morrison in 1917 at Woolwich.

Thursday, 6 October 2011

National Archives at Kew-Volunteers are needed to sort WWI War Diaries. Historical Manuscripts from Auction & Booksellers Catalogues. Kent and other Counties.

National Archives at Kew-Volunteers are needed.

Do you live within traveling distance of The National Archives at Kew and can spare a few hours of time? if so the TNA is looking for volunteers to help sort and re-order the pages within unit war diaries from the First World War, catalogue reference WO 95 are in the correct order before a conservation and digitisation project begins.

The work involves handling original documents  at The National Archives in Kew.  you don’t need to be familiar with the series to volunteer as training and supervision will be provided. All volunteers will have to pass basic security clearance, and basic travel expenses are available.

If you can help and wish further details you can email TNA or look at the TNA Website

Historical Manuscripts from Auction & Booksellers Catalogues. Kent and other Counties.

An interesting and useful site which is always worth checking to see if there are any of your ancestors named. A Family History site of the Durtnals it also has a section dealing with  documents that are indentures or other property related documents such as conveyances, mortgages, leases etc. Other documents include wills, bibles, letters, commonplace books etc. Many counties are covered, including Kent. An example of what can be found:

1634 P226 15 Dec 1634. Letters Patent of pardon for the trespass committed by William Lane and Faith his wife in acquiring from Thomas Browne gentleman and John Browne his son and heir apparent (by indenture dated 12 Dec., 1 Charles I) a messuage called Chauntry House in Horton Kirby, co. Kent, and a close of land containing 2 acres abutting on the said messuage towards the west and lying next the king’s highway leading from the said messuage towards Kingsdowne on the north, which premises are held in soccage in chief, without first obtaining the knight’s licence. Westminster, 15 Dec., 10 Charles I. Great Seal of Charles I (broken and repaired). Endorsed with a note of enrolment on the Memoranda Roll of the Lord Treasurer’s Remembrancer amongst the Recorda of Easter term 11 Charles I. “ A pardon of alienation for William Lane.” £7/10/- Lane Browne.

The webmaster or the site do not own or sell the documents themselves and that in most cases they will have long since been sold. The information has been placed on the site to freely help others in their research. Historical Manuscripts

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Turnpike Trusts-Kent and other counties of England. Milestones including those of Kent. Bell's Weekly Messenger, 1830: parliamentary table showing prices of provisions, wages of labour at the Greenwich Hospital from the year 1729 to the year 1818. Rates for Watermen in 1722.

Turnpike Trusts-Kent and other counties of England.

Turnpikes were an important part of our ancestors lives. Parliament passed various acts to allow Trusts to erect turnpike gates. This ensured that the costs of improvement and maintenance of a road was financed by the travellers. In the18th century a  network of turnpike roads were created across Britain. They linked the major centres  by highways that operated for the benefit of long distance commercial traffic.

By the 1870's nearly all such Trusts were abolished. Many of our ancestors would have at some stage in their lives either used, helped build or worked at the various Toll Gates.

At  List of Turnpike Trust can be found information on individual turnpike trusts in England, including Kent. Such information as length of road, number of toll houses, debts and income, when the Trust was formed and when abolished. As an example:

Dartford and Sevenoaks  formed by Parliamentary Act 6 Geo3 c98 in 1766 length 14 miles number of Main Gates 5 number of Side Gates 5.

Milestones including those of Kent.

Another feature our ancestors were familiar with and if they done any travelling would have relied on.

At Milestone Society can be found a clickable map that will enable you to download an Excel file giving the location of surviving Milestones other downloads are available for Crosses, Fingerposts etc. On the same site at Gallery are photographs of some surviving Milestones.

Bell's Weekly Messenger, Sunday, February 28, 1830: parliamentary table showing the contract prices of provisions, wages of labour, &c. at the Greenwich Hospital from the year 1729 to the year 1818.

A fascinating transcription of the cost of wages and food paid at Greenwich Hospital. It is a good guide to what our ancestors earned and what they had to pay for food. How this increased from 1729. Price of Food and Labour

Rates for Watermen in 1722.

Many of us have a Waterman in our family tree. This site gives a good idea of what some of them would have earned in 1722. At  Rates for Watermen is a transcription of a Table of Rates for Watermen, as they are set forth by the Lord Mayor and Aldermen of London. 1722.