Kent Ancestors who may have gone to British Columbia, Canada in the 1840's and 1850's or later.
James Conner toured England between 1847 - 1853 using a stage coach to advertise the benefits of going to North America. He visited many small towns so there was a lot of information available to people who were looking to better their lives.
In BC Hudsons Bay established a fort, at Victoria in 1843. Steam Ships were being built and becoming more common and they needed coal. coal was also needed for the Company blacksmiths' forges. Discovery of coal at the north end of Vancouver's Island led to Fort Rupert being built in 1849. However, Fort Rupert was not successful and this failure was responsible for the development of Nanaimo.
During this time many people came to Vancouver Island from all over the British Isles, including Kent. British Columbia has available many resources to search for records of your Kent Ancestors or family who may have gone to BC during this period and the good news is that much of it is free.
BC Archives, Vital Events Records (Births, Marriages and Deaths). Family Search Canadian Records.
At BC Archives you can search and obtain the details of marriage and death registrations date from 1872, birth registrations from 1854 (pre-1872 births registered after 1872). Colonial Marriages from 1859 to 1872 and baptisms from 1836-1888. They can also be searched on the Family Search site at FS Canada. For some you can even obtain copies of the original certificates for free. You can also access many of the Canadian Censuses from 1851 free.
Vancouver Island GenWeb Project - Links To The Past.
This site is essential if members of your ancestral family were or may have gone to this part of the world. There are four indexes of some forty-five thousand summarised transcripts of articles in newspapers published on Vancouver Island between 1858 and 1932. The period between 1858 and 1910 have been digitised which you can access from the results.
Vancouver Island GenWeb To Search the newspapers BMD before 1872 Vancouver Island Pre 1872 BMD or to search all (you can search by name as well) see Historical Victoria Newspapers
Unlike the UK you can also access most of the Canadian censuses: Indexes/Transcripts for free, including images of some of the censuses. Nor do you need to subscribe to Commercial sites.
Automated Genealogy has several projects to index Canadian censuses. Library and Archives Canada has digitised their microfilms of the original census forms for several of the Canadian censuses and Automated Genealogy has organised volunteers to produce indexes to the people enumerated in these censuses. There is a link to the LAC image of the original census page at the top of each transcribed census page.
The 1911 census is complete and the 1901 about 70% complete. There are many other projects linked to this site.
The Library and Archives site also enables you to search many of the censuses by name or you can carry out an ancestor search at LAC Ancestor Search
There are many Family History Societies in Canada who have a wealth of knowledge and publications that can help you in your search for your family who went to Canada. Archives Canada's Directory of Selected Genealogical Resources is a good place to start.
North West Kent Family History Society Meetings for November 2012. Visitors are welcome, a donation is appreciated.
Bromley Branch: The main hall, Bromley Methodist Church, College Road, Bromley BR1 3NS. There is free parking at the church, access is from College Rd. and from North St. The hall opens at 9.45am, the meeting proper is due to start at 10.30am.
Saturday 17 November 2012. Chris Jupp The Queen's Own West Kent Regiment in WW1
Dartford Branch: Dartford Science & Technology College, Heath Lane, Dartford, DA1 2LY. There is plenty of parking at the new site. The meetings room is the New Auditorium. This should be open from 9.45am with the meeting proper starting at 10.30am.
Saturday 3 November 2012. Christopher Bull An armchair walk of Swanscombe
Sevenoaks Branch: Sevenoaks Community Centre, Otford Road (at junction with Crampton Rd.), Sevenoaks, at 7.15pm.
Thursday 8 November 2012. Mrs Sheila Boyd Georgian Times
Branches have help desk for assistance with research and publications etc for sale. Please check the Society website or this blog before you travel for any last minute changes.