Welcome to the NWKFHS Blog

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Free search and download of the records of Middlesex military service appeal tribunal for 1916-1918. Family History in Kent. Bexley Historical Society Talk. Folkestone and District FHS

Middlesex military service appeal tribunal for 1916-1918 Free search and download of records:

Some 8000 digitised records of the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal, which heard the cases of men seeking exemption can be searched and downloaded free at at the National Archives site.
The digitisation of this collection is supported by The Friends of The National Archives and Federation of Family History Societies
These records cover appeals heard by the Middlesex Appeal Tribunal and the Central Appeal Tribunal only. Most tribunal records were destroyed by government order.  Some local Record Offices also hold some records of Local Appeal Tribunals, though not complete. Local Newspapers of the period also contained reports of the Tribunals. 

Other Events and Websites around Kent:

Family History in Kent:  Indexing all the old birth registers held at Medway Register Office.  There is a partial list of the various marriage register codes that can be downloaded (pdf) and a lot of other useful information.

Bexley Historical Society Talk:  Monday 10 February 2014: Short AGM, followed by The History of Bexley's Buses, Trams and Trolleybuses, by Richard Diment

7.45pm for 8pm start, the hall of St John Fisher RC Church, Thanet Road, Bexley Kent DA5 1AP. Visitors are very welcome and the fee is £2.50 per meeting.

Folkestone and District FHS: 6th February  2014 “The Cinque Ports”  -  Clive Wire, ex Mayor of New Romney & Speaker of the Cinque Port, will talk a little about that role, and show a DVD commissioned by High Sheriff of Kent on history of the Cinque Ports, narrated by David Starkey. 

Meetings are held at the United Reformed Church Community Hall, Castle Hill Avenue, Folkestone.  7.15 pm and the talks are scheduled to commence at 7.30 pm. Visitors welcome a donation of £2 is required.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

NWKFHS WWI Projects: The War Graves Project. 1921 Census e-petition. Available free to search, The National Archives have digitised around 1.5 million pages of WWI war diaries with more to follow.

1921 Census e-petition:

An e–petition has been created by Gareth Farrell to request the Cabinet Office to amend the 1920 Census Act to make the publication of the census data exempt from the 100 year rule such that the 1921 census data can be published now. The petition points out that the 1931 census was destroyed and the 1941 census was never taken. If you would like to support the petition you can find it on the HM Government website

Available free to search, The National Archives have digitised around 1.5 million pages of WWI war diaries with more to follow and Crowd Sourcing Project:

The National Archives have digitised around 1.5 million pages of war diaries  and more will be released throughout this year as part of First World War 100, the National Archives centenary programme. 

This will allow researchers around the world to access the diaries, and has given us the opportunity to embark on a hugely exciting crowd sourcing project, Operation War Diary. This project asks for help to  classify the type of page and then tag key data from which will be created a detailed index to the people who appear in the pages. More information and for searches British Army War Diaries

NWKFHS WWI Projects: 

The War Graves Project: NWKFHS volunteers have been retaking photographs of War Graves at Cemeteries within our area which will be used to update the photographs on the War Graves Photographic Project which is a joint venture with the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and assisting the Office of Australian War Graves, Canadian Veterans Affairs and the New Zealand Ministry of Heritage and Culture.

So far some 1,500 photographs have been taken and uploaded by the Society to the War Graves Photographic Project. In addition our volunteers have been identifying civilian WWI graves, family stones and resolving any problems that arise in information and details. 

The Society wishes to thank the various Churches and people who have helped with information and details and the volunteers are are giving so much time to this project.

WWI Graves in the following Churchyards/cemeteries have been rephotographed:

Ash & New Ash Green St Peter & St Paul Churchyard
Bexley St Mary’s Church
Bexleyheath Cemetery
Bidborough St Lawrence Churchyard
Biggin Hill Cemetery
Brasted St Martin Churchyard
Chelsfield St Martin of Tour Churchyard
Chevening Burial Ground
Chevening St Botolph
Cobham St Mary Magdalene New Churchyard
Darenth St Margaret of Antioch R.C. Churchyard
Dartford East Hill Cemetery
Dartford Watling Street Cemetery
Dartford Stone Cemetery
Dartford Joyce Green Hospital Cemetery
Erith Brook Street Cemetery
Erith St John the Baptist Churchyard
Eynsford Baptist Chapelyard
Eynsford St Martin Churchyard
Fawkham St Mary Churchyard
Footscray All Saints
French Street Private Burial Ground
Halstead St Margaret Churchyard
Hayes St
May the Virgin Churchyard
Hartley All Saints Churchyard
Higham St Mary Churchyard
Horton Kirby St Mary New Churchyard
Ide Hill St Mary Churchyard
Ifield St Margaret Churchyard, Cobham
Ightham St Peter Churchyard
Kemsing St
Mary Churchyard
Keston Parish Churchyard
Lamberhurst St Mary the Virgin Churchyard
Larkfield Holy Trinity
Longfield St Mary Magdalene
Meopham St John Churchyard
North Cray St James Additional Churchyard
Northfleet Cemetery
Nurstead St Mildred Churchyard
Orpington All Saints Chuchyard Extension
Orpington All Saints Churchyard
Otford St Bartholomew Churchyard
Paddock Wood St Andrew old Churchyard
Penshurst St John the Baptist Churchyard
Plaxtol Churchyard
Ridley St Peter Churchyard
Riverhead St Mary Churchyard
Shoreham St Peter & St Paul Churchyard
Sidcup Cemetery
Sidcup St John’s
Southfleet St Nicholas Churchyard
St Mary Cray, Star Lane Cemetery
St Paul's Cray, St Paulinus Churchyard
Stansted St Mary Churchyard
Sutton-at-Hone Burial Ground:
Swanley St Mary Churchyard
Swanley St Paul Churchyard
Swanscombe Cemetery
West Kingsdown (St. Edmund the King & Martyr) Churchyard (also known as The Church in the Woods)
West Wickham St John the Baptist Churchyard
Wrotham St George Churchyard Extension

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Free Talks at Greenwich Heritage Centre, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich. NWKFHS talks for February 2014. Some new NWKFHS Publications.

Greenwich Heritage Centre, Royal Arsenal, Woolwich is hosting a new and free programme of talks on history developed in conjunction with historians from the University of Greenwich. 

The first talk is on Wednesday 22nd January 2014 where Dr Emma Hanna will deliver ‘”Whatever cheers the warrior helps to win the war” – Concert Parties and the British Army on the Western Front, 1914-18.’

All talks start at 6:30pm on Wednesday evenings. They are free and do not require booking, just turn up. Drinks and other refreshments will be available. Greenwich Heritage Centre

Other talks will be

Wednesday 5 March 2014
‘Northern Nature and Exploratory Science c. 1790-1830’ -  Dr Angela Byrne

Wednesday 30 April 2014
‘Sights and sounds of the Medway Towns, 1550-1900’ - Dr Sandra Dunster

Wednesday 28 May 2014
‘“Lifting the Veil”: Military expeditions and the performance of power on the Imperial frontier’ - Dr Gavin Rand

Wednesday 25 June 2014
Working for Victory: The work of the Women’s Voluntary Service

(WVS) during the Second World War- Dr June Balshaw

NWKFHS talks for February 2014.

Bromley Branch: Main hall, Bromley Methodist Church, College Road, Bromley BR1 3NS. Free parking at the church. The hall opens at 9.45am, the meeting proper starts at 10.30am, ending by 12.15pm.

15 Feb. 2014. Peter Christian Maps on-line for the family historian

Dartford Branch: Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane, Dartford DA1 2LY. Open from 9.45am with the meeting proper starting at 10.30am, ending by 12.30pm.

1 Feb. 2014. John Meakins Kent Fire Brigade. Please note this is a change of speaker from that originally advertised. 

Sevenoaks Branch: Sevenoaks Community Centre, Otford Road, Sevenoaks, TN14 5DN.  Doors open at 7.15pm, meetings start 8.00pm, ending by 9.30pm.

13 Feb 2014.  Ian Walker Old Sevenoaks - The Pavement Plaque People

Visitors are welcome at all Branch Meetings. In addition to the talks, there is a bookstall, continuing projects and all the helpful advice that you might need. Please check the Society Website for further information and any changes to talks before you travel.

Some new NWKFHS Publications:

The Society is always involved in projects and new publications are periodically produced. Some recent ones are:

Stone St Mary the Virgin: Baptisms 1718-1955 - CD52
The disc consists of 9759 entries with a transcript and index. This complements the marriages and burials already completed last year - CD41 Burials 1718-1963 and CD42 Marriages 1722-1955; each of these discs contains over 3000 records.

Stone Cemetery Dartford & Stone St Mary Churchyard CD-MI 5 (2ndEdition) £5:
Disc includes transcripts of monumental inscriptions and an alphabetical surname index. Stone Cemetery was completed earlier in the year but not widely publicised as we were awaiting Monumental Inscriptions from Stone St Mary church. This complements burials for the area for which we are grateful.

Gravesend Cemetery Burial Registers 1902-1983 – CD53 £10:
Transcripts of Burial Indexes (approx 30,000 burials).  This complements CD27 £10 which covers 1839-1901

Details on these and other publications and how to order can be found at NWKFHS Publications

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858 are now available on Ancestry.co.uk. Old Deptford History. Naval-History. Net.

Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills, 1384-1858 are now available on Ancestry.co.uk

This is an important resource, in the past you needed to go to National Archives or use the on-line site of the National Archives to obtain copies of these wills. There is a searchable Index to locate a will and the original Image can be viewed/downloaded. There is a fee for this, either subscription or vouchers for pay per view.

Old Deptford History.

A Website dedicated to the past History Of Deptford, Kent. Photographs, stories of and by inhabitants of the past. Contributions are welcomed. If you had family or ancestors who lived in Deptford this site would be worth looking at. Old Deptford History

Naval-History. Net.

If your ancestor or family served in the Royal Navy during WWI a visit to Naval-History. Net. could be worthwhile. There are 350,000 pages transcribed of Royal Navy Logbooks of 209 ships now on-line, including Gallipoli, Mesopotamia, East Africa, China Station. There are contemporary accounts of many aspects of WWI, including Naval.

There are also 19th and 20th Century logbooks of ships of the United States Navy, US Revenue/Coast Guard Service and US Coast & Geodetic Survey, many in the Arctic and Pacific.

Saturday, 4 January 2014

Kent History Centre Archives User Group: New User Group is formed for Archives Centre in Maidstone. Art and Exhibitions: Music Hall in London. 11 January - 27 February 2014.

Kent History Centre Archives User Group: New User Group is formed for Archives Centre in Maidstone.

Amid concern that figures show a drop of more than 16% in the number of customers rating the service of the new archives as 'good' or 'very good' compared to the service in the previous archives at the Centre for Kentish Studies (CKS) the new Kent History Centre Archives User Group hope to be able hope to be able to work with management at KHLC to improve access to and understanding of the archives for all users.

Among issues that have been highlighted are "The focus of the new building is that of a library rather than of an active archive; the facilities are poor and there are staff with little or no knowledge of the documents.  The centre currently fails to provide an appropriate environment for the public to access the records and worse, a number of important documents cannot now be located since the move from the archive at CKS".

The new building was to provide easy access to the information held in the archives and the concern being expressed is that this is not happening.

The first meeting with KCC representatives will take place on Thursday 16th January at 2pm at KHLC. For more details see the KHCA User Group

Art and Exhibitions: Music Hall in London.

Music Halls played an important part in many of our ancestors lives. A free exhibition, at Barbican Music Library, explores the history of the halls and their performers through photographs, prints and documents.

The exhibition runs from 11 January - 27 February 2014 at the Barbican Music Library. Free during opening normal hours. More details can be found at Barbican Music Hall in London

Friday, 3 January 2014

New articles available free to read and download on the NWKFHS website. North West Kent Family History Society Journals: Another year added that can be.downloaded and read for Free. New Commonwealth War Graves Commission Museum opens in Maidstone Kent

New articles available free to read and download on the NWKFHS website.

The articles about prominent families from the Dartford area have been written by NWKFHS members. There are 4 new articles for December 2013. 

The 4 new articles are:

'John Landale (1784-1860) : Lottery Winner, Property Owner and Antiquarian.'
'Simon Francis Phillips (1832-1908) : Successful Draper in Dartford'.
'Emery Alexander Quait (1823-1901) : Draper, Pawnbroker and Local Councillor'.
'James Snowden (1821-1906) : Engineer and Printer'

They can be found at On-line Articles

North West Kent Family History Society Journals: Another year added to those that can be downloaded and read for Free.

Society Journals were available to download and read from 1978-2007 have now been extend until the end of 2008. You can browse the Journal or search them by subject or author. They can be found at NWKFHS back Journals

New Commonwealth War Graves Commission Museum opens in Maidstone Kent.

The Duke of Kent, President of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) inaugurated a new museum at the CWGC's refurbished headquarters. The museum is open to the public Monday to Friday, 10am - noon and 2pm - 4pm. 

Full details, location, enquiries, parking etc can be found at CWGC News