Welcome to the NWKFHS Blog

Thursday, 31 January 2013

North West Kent Family History Society and Research Service. The National Archives and The Records and Archives Association (ARA) new campaign.

North West Kent Family History Society and Research Service.
The NWKFHS Library and Research Centre located at The KCC Library, Summerhouse Drive, Joydens Wood Estate, Bexley, DA5 2EE open every Wednesday, 10am-4pm and is open to all, Members and non members.
The Society has its own room, separate from the main library, where the complete Society collection of books and other reference material is now available on open shelves. This includes microfiche, data CD's.   Much of this material is available for loan to members of the Society. We have computers with internet access, this includes Ancestry and other on-line genealogical databases. 
Volunteers are on hand to advise and help. Refreshments are available, there are toilets in the building, and as we're on the ground floor wheelchair access is no problem.
The Society also runs workshops for Members (£5 donation). If you have ancestors and family who came from or lived in the NW Kent and parts of SE London that were formerly part of Kent it may be worth your while to see what the Society has available.
For more details about the Library and to see the catalologue see NWKFHS Library
Details about the Workshops that are available to Members only can be found at Workshops
If you can not make it to the Library you could consiser using the Society's Research Service. It is open to Member and non members of the Society. You can find full details at  Research Details
The National Archives and The Records and Archives Association (ARA) have announced that they are  launching a new campaign this year, for the promotion of archives across the country.

This is a successor to the Archive Awareness Campaign (AAC), it is hoped to increase public awareness of the archive sector. It is intended to raise the profile of national institutions, local authority record offices, universities, community and private archives. It will highlight the benefits archives bring to communities, the impact they can have on peoples’ lives and seek to encourage a wide range of people to connect with their local history and culture. Source FFHS

Saturday, 26 January 2013

NWKFHS Meetings for February 2013. The Commonwealth War Graves Commission

NWKFHS Meetings for February 2013.

The 3 Branches, Bromley, Dartford and Sevenoaks hold monthly meetings (in the case of Sevenoaks there are only 9 monthly meetings). There is a talk at each meetings, plus a Society Bookstall and people to help and advise about your research. It is a good  opportunity to meet and talk to fellow family historians. Visitors are welcome so why not come to one of the meetings and see what the Society can offer and hear a talk by an expert in their field.
The next meetings to take place in February are:
Bromley Branch: Meetings are held on the third Saturday morning of the month, in the main hall, Bromley Methodist Church, College Road, Bromley BR1 3NS.  The hall opens at 9.45am, the meeting starts at 10.30am.

16 February 2013 The history of RAF Biggin Hill by Bob Ogley
Dartford Branch: Dartford Technology College.  Located on the north side of Heath Lane.  There is plenty of parking available. The meetings room is the New Auditorium.  Doors open from 9.45am with the meeting proper starting at 10.30am.
2nd February 2013 Chislehurst Caves - A History by Rod LeGear
You can view or download the branch newsletter Dartboard (current edition) from the website at NWKFHS Branches
Sevenoaks Branch: Sevenoaks Community Centre, Otford Road (at junction with Crampton Rd.), Sevenoaks, at 7.15pm.

14 February 2013 Jane Austen - Her connections with Kent by Clare Graham

 You can also view or download the branch newsletter Dartboard (current edition) from NWKFHS Branches
Before travelling to any meeting please check the website and this blog for any changes.
Other Meetings:
Thursday 7 February 2013, 6:00pm (doors 5:30pm) - 7:30pm at London Metropolitan Archives - Huntley Room: Documenting science: preserving the legacy of the Human Genome Project Jenny Shaw, archivist for the UK strand of the Human Genome Archive Project at the Wellcome Library will give a talk about the project.
Advance booking is essential. Please guarantee your place by e-mailing LMA : This seminar is free to all AfL members, non-members £5 (payable on the door). For further details see the Archives Twitter Page
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission. The  Federation of Family History Societies reports an appeal for help by the CWGC. The website has a free searchable database and as part of the preparations for the centenary of World War 1, the CWGC is installing visitor information panels at some of the significant WW1 sites and they are asking for your help  about those buried at Etreux British Cemetery, Guards Grave, Vailly British Cemetery and Houplines Communal Cemetery Extension, France. If you are aware of a personal story relating to any of these four sites, please email the CWGC.


Monday, 21 January 2013

North West Kent Family History AGM and Family History Day 27 April 2013. NWKFHS will be at 'Who Do You Think You Are Live' Friday 22 - Sunday 24 February 2013.Crossness Engines Trust Sunday 21 April 2013. Free Famine Orphan Girl Database

North West Kent Family History Society Family History Day 27 April 2013.
The 35th Annual General Meeting and Family History Day will take place at Dartford Science and Technical College, Heath Lane, Dartford, Kent DA1 2LY.
There will be talks and some stalls including Society Publications. More details will be available soon.
NWKFHS will be at the Society of Genealogists fair at 'Who Do You Think You Are Live' Friday 22 - Sunday 24 February 2013. The National History Show, Olympia, London.
NWKFHS will be at Stand number: 96 & 97. There will be Society and other publications for sale. If you have ancestors or family from the North West Kent Area our volunteers will be happy to see if they can help you. More details of the fair can be found at WDYTYA  More details about the Society can be found at NWKFHS
NWKFHS will also be at the Crossness Engines Trust, The Old Works, Crossness Sewage Treatment Works, Belvedere Road, Abbey Wood, London SE2 9AQ on Sunday 21 April 2013 from 10.30am.
More details can be found at Crossness Engines Trust
Other News:
Threat to Croydon Archives:
Archives for London  reports on the plan by Croydon Council's to reduce the Croydon archives to the 'statutory minimum' saving £105,000. This would mean the loss of its staff and effective denial of public access to the Local Studies Library.
Famine Orphan Girl Database:

This Database consists of some 4000 young women who came to Australia under the Earl Grey’s Famine Orphan Scheme  during the Famine years of 1848 to 1850. They came from the Workhouses in all 32 counties of Ireland. All were Orphans (which meant loosing at least one parent) and destitute.

It is a database that is growing and worthwhile having a look at. You search by name or by ship and the results are free.


Sunday, 13 January 2013

Future of Public Libraries. Society Library and Resource Centre. 9 February is National Libraries Day.

Libraries and Local Studies are important to Family Historians. They provide an important resource for people to use and they can provide links to commercial sites such as Ancestry and other records on line for people who are looking into their family story and where they fit into society past and present.
In these days of economic problems Libraries are under increasing threat of closure by Councils. The Islington Tribune reports "TOWN Hall chiefs have issued a bleak warning that libraries, children’s centres and youth clubs would have to be abandoned completely if the government presses ahead with its cuts programme".
Phil Bradley, president of the Chartered Institute for Library and Information Professionals (CILIP), said: "I feel that 2013 is going to be as bleak, if not bleaker than 2012. The Bookseller He estimates that some 300 Libraries could be closed this year.
Other ways of using and saving Libraries are being looked at.
Janene Cox, president of the Society of Chief Librarians, has said: "I think it is definitely the most challenging era for all public services but I do think it is during these periods when you do see real innovation and creativity. I think continued challenging financial environment for all local authorities will mean the acceleration of different service models emerging – co-locations, community managed libraries, social enterprises, mutuals etc." The Bookseller
In Kent the picture is not so clear and it is more difficult to determine what KCC plans are. In England there are cases where Libraries have been handed over to local communities. For instance Gateshead has decided to transfer five libraries to volunteer groups, while York is considering passing its 13 libraries to a charitable body. The London Borough of Bexley has transferred its Bexley Village Library to the charity Greener Bexley who become responsible for the management and upkeep.
Customers of the Library service will have to apply to join the Bexley Village Library as it is for all intents and purposes now separate and independent of the Council's Library network. It remains to be seen if this handing over of Libraries to local communities will work in the long run and whether or not they can maintain any sort of financial support from Councils.
NWKFHS operates its Society Library and Resource Centre  in  conjunction with Kent County Council Libraries. As a Society we are very active in working along with local Library Branches. The Society is also aware of how important Libraries are to many of our members and to the local communities. 
We encourage people to volunteer in a Public Library or other research facility and many of our members help as volunteers in Libraries and other research facilities with enquiries about family history research. We offer help and assistance to them and other non Society members who volunteer to help the public at Libraries.   The NWKFHS Publicity Co-ordinator, Mike Weeks is keen to make sure such volunteers are fully informed about the ways in which the Society can offer help and support. If you know a volunteer please draw this to their attention. Mike Weeks can be contacted by email at Publicity at NWKFHS   
Saturday 9 February is National Libraries Day. However, there seems to be a silence on how KCC Libraries will mark the Day. A briefing document to Kent library staff said: "We will mark National Libraries Day in the best way possible - by continuing to deliver the best quality service to our very many satisfied customers." Source: The Bookseller   In other words very little will be done to support the day.  If you would like to read more about the plans for Libraries by KCC see Kent Online The National Libraries website can be found at NLW

Friday, 4 January 2013

NWKFHS 3rd Newsletter. Family Historians and Genealogist recognised in the Honours List.

The Third North West Kent Family History Society Newsletter is now available and Free to down load and read. It can be found at NWKFHS  You can also find Branch Newsletters that are Free to download and read they can be found at NWKFHS Branches

Family Historians and Genealogists recognised in the Honours List.

The Federation of Family History Societies reports that Brenda Murray a member of the Liverpool and South West Lancashire Family History Society has been awarded the BEM in the 2013 New Year Honours List.

Brenda,aged 88 and one of the original founders of the Liverpool History Society, receives the award for 'Services to Heritage and History'.

Pauline Litton  has also been awarded an honour in the New Year Honours List.  Pauline has been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire.  The award was made for services to genealogy and family history.
Pauline is  a Life Vice President of the FFHS and has been involved in genealogy and family history since 1968.  She is also the President of Harrogate & District Family History Society.