Welcome to the NWKFHS Blog

Monday, 24 December 2012

Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas from all at NWKFHS.

Happy Holidays and a Merry Christmas from all at NWKFHS.

Christmas Cards from the past. A small selection of Christmas Cards sent between 1903-1915.

Christmas Card sent 23 December 1903 to Miss E Hall, Cycle Works, Wimbourne Road, Winton Bournemouth. Sent from Agnes L Sheppard.

Christmas Card sent 24 Dec 1903 to Miss W George, 10 Perweeson? Terrace, Redruth, Cornwall. Sent from Kingswear.

Christmas Card sent 24 December 1906 to Mrs. Ellman, Ryde, Isle of Wight. Sent from Rochester Kent.

Christmas Card sent 2 January 1908 to Miss Ethel Murphy, St Johnsbury VT, USA from her aunt Grace. posted in Cowansville, Quebec, Canada.

Christmas Card sent 22 December 1911? to Miss E. Cousins, Towcester, Northants. From 'Fred'.

Christmas Card sent 22 December 1914 to Mrs. W Turner, Larpit Lane, Whitwell near Mansfield, Notts. Sent from her son Harry to say that he is coming home on leave. 

Christmas Card sent 23 December 1914 to Mme Clementine Godfrey, Queens Road, 41, London, England. Sent from Switzerland.

Christmas Card sent 12 December 1915 to Private F Stratford 3349 no 12 Platoon, C Coy, 2nd Batt 1st Bucks, Chelmsford. Sent by his niece 'little Joy'.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

North West Kent Family History journals from 1978-2007 can now be viewed or downloaded Free

North West Kent Family History journals from 1978-2007 can now be viewed or downloaded Free in PDF format from the relevant listings pages.
As part of a major revamp of the NWKFHS website it was decided to add this free resource. Some 34 years of the journals published by the Society containing articles, research, indexes, photographs.
In 1984 a member wrote to the Editor of the Journal:

"In my opinion the North West Kent ,Journal is the most useful in that it consistently prints previously unpublished records from a number of sources, which would otherwise remain unknown to the general searcher. In the last issue of the Journal, for. example, there are lists of residents in the parishes of Downecentury. Browsing through all the past Journals since the foundation of the Society, I have noted many such valuable lists... In the past three years 16 lists have been published, including the Beckenham Census of 1821; Bromley Settlement Certificates; Chelsfield Tax returns of 1771; Cudham M.I's; and N.W.Kent Royalists in 1655. In just 12 Journals, the Society has published  details of 2,700 names covering the period 1450-1821".
Since then (1984) there has been another 28 years of further lists etc. In line with the Charitable aims of the Society to further the study of Family History the first 34 years of the Journal is being made available to all who are interested in the subject.
The Journals can be found at NWKFHS BACK JOURNALS  By clicking on the Contents page of each Journal you will be taken to an index of the contents and below this is the link to download the Journal. You are welcome to read the Journals for private research, they are still copyrighted by the Society and any enquiries about any other use must be made to the Journal Editor.  
Post 2007 Journals are not available to be downloaded, however, by using the index of the contents for the Journals upto 2012 you can order a copy of the any article for £1 plus postage. Details can be found at on the NWKFHS Back Journal link given above.
There are also other Datasets that can be searched for free at Searchable Datasets They include Land Deeds & Documents, Ladywell & Brockley Cemetery as well as On-line Articles.

Friday, 14 December 2012

The New Kent History and Library Centre was officially opened on Tuesday 11th December 2012. Historical National Grid (Gas) Photographs.

The New Kent History and Library Centre was officially opened on Tuesday 11th December 2012 by His Royal Highness The Duke of Kent KG.

The official opening marks the final commissioning and acceptance by the National Archives as an approved archive.
The Duke was given a tour of the facilities which include research rooms, exhibition area and restoration workshops. NWKFHS was represented by the Society's President David Cufley who was one of three Kent history societies representatives, along with a representative of the TNA, presented to the Duke as he was about to enter the research room.

The National Archive acted as advisor to KCC to ensure the standards set for the new building were met and to help with issues such as fire control, atmosphere and methods of storage. The National Archive acted as advisor to KCC to ensure the standards set for the new building were met and to help with issues such as fire control, atmosphere and methods of storage.
At the end of his tour the Duke unveiled the plaque commemorating the opening of the Centre. This plaque will eventually be put up on the outside of the building.
There is also a new exhibition celebrating the opening of the flagship centre for Kent history.
On display together for the first time are a unique collection of documents including letters, diaries and charters linked to some of the most famous people in British history. From Jane Austen to Charles Dickens, Cromwell to Nelson, a jilted bride and the Gunpowder Plot. 
The Manuscript Exhibition includes original documents from the Archives, the National Archive and from the archives at Pas de Calais, France. It runs from Saturday 3rd December 2012 until Saturday 2nd March 2013. Admission is Free. More details can be found at Kent Archives .

Historical National Grid (Gas) Photographs. The Gas REA London HQ Branch has put some 1, 400 photographs, most dating from the old Gas Industry, on its website. They have no captions and thus are seeking help from ex employees and others in identifying them. The Photographs can be found at OLD FLAMES

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Thousands of World War I archive records  are to be digitised by the RAF Museum for the 1914-18 centenary.
Following a £64,000 grant from the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund The RAF museum has announced that it will digitise, preserve and provide public access to around 300,000 First World War personnel records. They will be part of a new permanent exhibition exploring the 1914-18 conflict.
More details can be found at Cuture 24 
The Federation of Family History Societies has announced that The Federation of Family History Societies (FFHS) and Family History Information Standards Organisation, Inc. (FHISO) that The Federation of Family History Societies has finalised its plans to become a founding member of the organisation.
Dr. Nick Barratt, FFHS President has outlined how the FFHS will assist in creating much needed standards for genealogical data around the world.
It is hoped that some of the problems that have emerged – incorrect citation of primary sources, confusion about where information was originally created, and issues around referencing personal archives that have been made available on the Internet can start to be dealt with by encouraging and setting standards.  
Higham Village History Group. Another village local history group that has a lot of information and photographs of the village. They hold regular talks, Visitors are welcome (there is a £2 charge). If your ancestors came from this area this site is worth exploring. Higham Village HG

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Crayford. For much of its existence Crayford was a comparatively small village but by the late 1800's it started to grow. Then the Maxim Nordenfeldt Gun and Ammunition Company was formed in Crayford. A decade later Vickers of Birmingham came into the area eventually buying up Maxim Nordenfeldt. From then and into the WWI period Vickers grew and became a major centre of employment.
If you had ancestors and their families in this part of North West Kent then Crayford History is a site that is well worth having a look at. You will find photographs, history of the area including of Vickers. 
St. Mary Cray Paper Mill. If your ancestors or family were connected with the Paper Mill industry in St Mary Cray you might be interested in this down loadable pdf Bromley Borough Local History paper of the history of the Mill, including illustrations. St Mary Cray Paper Mill.
Kent Towns, Villages, and Public Houses. Is an interesting site which states "The idea of the Kent Villages site, is to correctly arrange the Pubs in Kent into a reasonable structure, following the variety of changes in Registration, e.g. Districts, Lathes, Hundreds, Parishes etc". There is a lot of information that can be found.  Kent Towns, Villages and Pubs
BBC WW2 Peoples Stories:
Between  2003 and 2006 the BBC asked people to contribute their memories of World War Two to a website . This archive of 47,000 stories and 15,000 images is the result. The stories cover the Country including Kent. It is an amazing site that is worth while looking at. 

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Bexley Historical Society. Changing Times Project. A photographic project started in 2009 using old photos of the London Borough of Bexley from a variety of sources and comparing them with ones taken from approximately the same position today. They are also asking
people who have interesting old photographs of the area, certainly previously unseen ones, to contribute to this ongoing project.

They also hold regular monthly meetings at The Huxtable Hall, St Martin's Church, Erith Road, Barnehurst, Kent DA7 6LE (near Bexleyheath Bus Garage) at 7.45pm for 8pm start.
Talks are free for Members. Visitors are very welcome and the fee is £2 per meeting. Details can be found at BHS

Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre.

At Bexley Borough Photos there are some 3,200  photographs and Post Cards from the Victorian period onwards of Bexley. You can search by date and area and by theme. You are sure to find something that you are looking for.

Bexley war memorials project has several downloadable information sheets about War Memorials in the area. This is an on-going project to record servicemen who are commemorated on Bexley war memorials.

Thursday 6 December - Boswell's Bexley  Repeat of 'Boswell's Bexley' a talk, first presented on 3 December which has been sold out). 7.15pm-8.30pm at  Bexley Local Studies and Archive Centre. Admission: £3.50.

Archivist Lucy Bonner will give an illustrated tour of Bexley using recently digitised images taken from lantern slides made by one of Bexley's foremost local historians and photographers Arthur H. Boswell. Boswell's images captured a changing Bexley as the area transformed from a Kentish countryside to a London suburb. For further details and how to book see Boswell's Bexley

North West Kent Family History Society - Bexley Asylum Minute Books 1901-1939. The Publications and Projects Team has published this CD of the work carried out by Society Volunteers at the Society Library.
The work consists of some 12,000 names of staff, patients and contractors who were recorded in the Minute Books. The contractors, staff and patients came from many places, not just from the Bexley area. Lincolnshire, Essex and other places within London are recorded and some even further afield such as America, Canada and Europe. Details can be found at NWKFHS Publications 
Other News.
British Newspaper Archive reaches the 6 million page mark on its first birthday. The target is to have 40 million fully-searchable pages by 2021, this 10-year project is the biggest digitisation of newspapers to take place in the UK.
The on line Archive can be searched at British Newspapers The website is free to search, but there is a charge who would like to view the paid for content.id-for content. Access to the resource is free to users of the British Library’s Reading Rooms.