Welcome to the NWKFHS Blog

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Is Deptford in Kent or Surrey?

Today the question about Deptford and its parish registers was raised. For people who do not know the area it is difficult to understand changing civil and church boundaries and parishes like Deptford don't help with that understanding.
In the case of Deptford it was in part in Kent and the rest in Surrey.
West Kent Sources produced by North Kent FHS says 'Deptford ancient parish extended into Surrey. This part known as Hatcham became part of St Paul's in 1730 and a separate ecclesiastic parish in 1845.
The query arose for a record in 1770. In that case you need to look at all the parish registers as people moved across the boundaries.

St Nicholas parish registers from 1571 are at the LMA. Index only 1717-1769 at SOG.
St Paul's parish registers from 1730 are at the LMA.
The other parishes St John, Christ Church, St Luke, St Mark and Emmanuel are all 19th century churches and parishes.

Hope that helps anyone researching in that part of Kent. Local knowledge from family history societies is invaluable in situations such as this.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

NWKFHS Libray Catalogue

Today we had a Library Catalogue session and the resulting Catalogue is available in a searchable pdf format. It will soon be available on North West Kent Family History Web site www.nwkfhs.org.uk

A team of dedicated volunteers has been meeting monthly to create the catalogue database. A happy group that have found books to enhance their family research as they entered the book details. An advantage to them of volunteering to help.

We are busy cataloguing the Film and Fiche catalogue, the 'Old Documents' archive and the Photographic Collection. If you would like to join the cataloguing team email library@nwkfhs.org.uk and we will send you the next dates for the sessions.

Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Serendipity and Kevin Bacon (six degrees of separation) at work.

I am doing an assignment on Hall Place, Bexley and this has brought the Countess of Limerick's pseudo-historic repairs post-1926 to mind.

Hall Place collection display in 2012 had a brick marked ‘IH’ claimed to be 17th century but brickmarks only date from the mid-19th century. The brick had been salvaged from a chimneystack.

In 2014, a friend and I looked at the buildings that form the Swanley Park works area previous New Barn Farm.

The Bungalow had been reduced from a two-storey structure; date unknown; but in its chimneystack, we found a brick with the ‘IH’ brickmark.

Noticing some stock brick repairs in the Jacobean East Elevation, I again investigating the ‘IH’ brick puzzle as to their source.

In the 'Brickmakers Index' there is only one Kent reference to a company of brickmakers called IVORY AND HASELDEN who were in partnership from approx. 1931 to 1934 when it was dissolved (See Adrian Pearce and Dave Long’s paper ‘Chalk Mining and associated industries of Frindsbury’ published by Kent Underground Research Group in 1987). They had moved to Hoo Brickfield at Vicarage Road, Hoo in 1931. The details in this article include a comment that they produce stock bricks (yellow London stocks) as well as occasionally red bricks. While the bricks seen have a yellow face the body core colour is pinkish red. I am now convinced this is the source for Countess Limerick’s bricks in the 1930’s.

So how is this a Kevin Bacon moment

1) Me doing a Building Conservation assignment for York University at the Weald and Downland Museum (December 2015)

2) Being told of an ‘IH’ brick at Hall Place in 2012.

3) Visiting Swanley Park and discovering an ‘IH’ brick 2014.

4) Reading Adrian Pearce and Dave Long’s article from 1987.

5) Ivory and Haselden’s brickfield was at Vicarage Road, Hoo.

6) A member of my family lived in Vicarage Road, Hoo in 2010 without me realising it was local to a brickfield that was Hoo brickfield, but had been the source of the ‘IH’ brick.

So there you have it ‘six degrees of separation’ and serendipity and kismet playing a part in research. So, have you had similar experiences?

Thursday, 17 December 2015

Clandestine Marriages at Fleet Prison.

A thread on the ENG-Kent-NWKFHS Roots-web message board has turned out to be two fleet marriages (Clandestine marriages). It started with a found marriage in 1744 for the Non-Conformist listings (Fleet) and the groom’s occupation as a labourer in what looks like ‘Ye K Yards’ from Welling.  The same man was married in 1738, again at the Fleet, and described as a Husbandman.  The suspicion is that the later marriage may have been bigamous because a woman of the first wife’s name did not die until the mid-1745.

The enquirer asked for help with these occupations and confirmation that divorces were not available at that time.

Our first thoughts were it was unclear if the Fleet mentioned was a Fleet prison Clandestine Marriage or a parish in Hampshire, Kent or Lincolnshire. The suggestion was some marriages in the Fleet Prison occurred because they were underage, disapproved relationships or as possible in this case bigamous.

 Ancestry has a second series of clandestine marriages online and both sets need to be checked to see if these parallel records have the same details.

 Divorces were not available at this time, unless one had money and could afford an act of parliament or church courts to confirm it (see TNA leaflet on divorce law). For poor people it was cheaper to sell the wife.

 Occupation 'Husbandman' can be found in most occupation dictionaries, which applies to farming, but Labourer in 'Ye K Yards' could be anything from Brick Yard, Ship Yard or Timber Yard so a look at the original image was essential.

The image confirmed it was a Fleet Prison marriage, not a parish called ‘Fleet’.  It is important to be clear on locations. The record actually said ‘Wickham’. The query is ‘East’ or ‘West’, but with a Welling, Kent connection and other records, it was East Wickham.

 The groom was Hercules Manning who married Anne Knight on 3 October 1744.

Searching for him in other marriage records turn up an earlier Fleet marriage on 7 Oct 1838 to Mary Layton. She, possibly, features in the St Michaels, East Wickham burials in May 1745, after he married Anne.  Alternatively, was this a child of that name? In both of these marriages, he is described as a widower although an earlier marriage for him in Kent has not been found.    

 There is a record of a marriage between Hercules Manning and Eleanor Mead in 1727 in Buckland St Mary, Somerset. Could this be the same person? There does not seem to be any record of the death of Eleanor and this raises the query did he clear off, coming to Kent to start again.  Was he a double bigamist?

 There is a burial record of a Hercules Manning at East Wickham in 1780, aged 79 but without finding a record of his baptism in Kent. Somerset record office said the register covering baptisms 1642-1706 for Buckland St Mary is missing.

The Fleet marriage image shows it is an 'R' rather than a 'K' so we have labourer in 'Ye R Yard that we suspect is ‘Ye Rick Yard’. Work associated with farming but not as ‘Husbandman’, which is more a farmer than a labourer.

A sweep of the East Wickham area shows there are a few references to Hercules Mannings from the mid-1700s to the 19th century. The family lived and worked in an area that is contiguous to Welling, Bexley and Plumstead. These Hercules may be him or his descendants.

A check for any Settlement examinations might prove his birthplace.  These started in 1697; they are usually in the Archives, in this case a check on London Borough of Bexley, London metropolitan Archives and the KCC archives is needed. Gillian Rickards wrote 'Kent Settlement (Poor Law) Records: A Guide and Catalogue: Part 2: West Kent (Diocese of Rochester), published in 1994 (NWKFHS Library ref QGR0014), which may help the search.

The Burial of Hercules Manning in1780 age 79 at East Wickham may be him. His wives are from Greenwich and Woolwich, which confirmed the need to look in the East Wickham contiguous parishes for their burials and baptisms of their children. There is a Hercules Manning, son of Hercules Manning (no wife's name given) baptised 15 June 1748 at East Wickham and Elizabeth Manning baptised 18 October 1745 daughter of Hercules and Ann Manning. East Wickham registers start in 1730 so one needs to look at the contiguous parishes for earlier records.

A Will for Hercules has yet to be sought.

We hope this summary of the thread on this NWKFHS blog might generate ideas from others' as well as on message board. If you have any ideas please comment below.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Free to View-Over 2000 documents and photographs covering all parts of the UK on the NWKFHS Flickr pages

Over 2000 documents and photographs covering all parts of the UK are available on the NWKFHS Flickr pages Free to view.

They cover the period from the 1700’s to the early 1900’s. They are arranged in Counties that they are connected with. They are provided by Members and many have never been available in public before this.

Already people have found details of their ancestors and families, in some cases that they were not aware of. Others have found avenues of new research about their family history. It is worthwhile having a look to see if you can find any of your ancestors. It is a growing resource so it is worth checking back to see what has been added. They can be found at  NWKFHS Flickr 

The documents are provided by the NWKFHS and its Members as part of the Society’s Charitable remit. If you ancestors came from or they lived in South East London and the North West Kent area the Society can help you with your family history.

The Society has a well stocked Library containing reference books/transcriptions/Indexes, Parish Register and much more.  The Society also offers a low cost research service.  You can find more details about this and other services the Society provides at  NWKFHS Website 

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Communicating family history latest information

Hi Folks,
Just asked for where you can find NWKFHS events.

Web site = http://www.nwkfhs.org.uk/ which has short cuts to all the links and tells you how to connect to them or subscribe to these other services.

Web site

Newsletters = http://www.nwkfhs.org.uk/newsletters.htm          

Subscription service

Email service = emailinfoservice@nwkfhs.org.uk

If in doubt see the Web site

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Workshops at NWKFHS Library

Yesterday at the Society Library it was exciting day as Victor Nutt unveiled the plans for the next 6 months.
January is 'Basic DNA-A changing world of Family History'
February is 'Less obvious sources'
March is 'Reading c18th writing'
April is 'Researching c19th Soldiers'
May is '1939 Registration'
June is 'Poor Laws'

There is also a free workshop for members in February on 'Our Library'
See the web site for the details and to book email workshop.booking@nwkfhs.
Hope to see you there.

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Family History is more than just family

Family history is more than just family, the research may involve local and industrial history. In seeking why families move may be for work reasons and that brings into question what occupations are sustained by the location. Lack of work would dictate a move to new employment or perhaps even the reason for joining the Army or Navy.
To help with this knowledge in addition to belonging to a family history society you may also join a local history society. Alternatively an occupation society such as 'Tools and Trades Historical Society' (TATHS) or the British Brick Society (BBS).
These societies like NWKFHS produce a journal, example today I received both the NWKFHS December edition Vol. 13 No 12 and Eden Valley Heritage Newsletter Number 29 the Journal of the Eden Valley Museum.
Lots of interesting articles to read over the coming days.

Thursday, 3 December 2015

Christmas is fast approaching and the Dartford Branch has its Christmas Dinner and talk on Saturday the 5th December 2015.  The Speaker will be Imogen Corrigan who will talk about The Politeness of Princes-The reality of medieval etiquette and table manners. 

Entry and parking is Free and Visitors are welcome. Doors are open 9.45 am for the meeting and talk. It is also an opportunity to meet fellow family historians and see what the Society can do to help you with your family history. Dinners are now booked, though you could always ask on the day or bring your own lunch. If you wish to just come and hear the talk and meet fellow family historians you are more than welcome. For more information see NWKFHS Website  

Dartford Technology College, Heath Lane, Dartford DA1 2LY. 

Sevenoaks Branch is meeting on Thursday 10th December 2015 and the Speaker is Geoff Doel who will talk about Smugglers & Outlaws of Kent.

Doors open at 7.15 pm, Free parking and entry, Visitors are welcome. There will also be a Finger Buffet. Once again it is an opportunity to meet fellow family historians and see what the Society can do to help you with your family history.NWKFHS Website for more details.

Sevenoaks Community Centre, Otford Road, Sevenoaks, TN14 5DN. 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

1066 to 1837 sources

A recent riddle in regard the Y-DNA results and family connections has created a need to examine in detail the ancestors in our project's family trees. The trees are not linked at present yet the Y-DNA would indicate family ties. Seeking guidance on the period before 1837 and  in particular 17th, 16th, 15th and 14th century lead me to Jonathon Oates book 'Tracing your ancestors from 1066 to 1837', published by Pen and Sword.
It starts with an introduction to the history of the period in Chapter 1. It then deals with different types of records in the following 11 chapters. Chapter 13 lists 'places to visit'. Lots of thoughts how we can start to track down records that may help our search. I'll keep you informed of any progress we make.
North West Kent FHS library has a number of reference books that will help you to transcribing old documents and there are volunteers who can guide you. We are fortunate to have such a resource. It looks like I will be spending a lot more time at the Library.

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

It was a sad day on Monday 23rd November at the funeral of Joan Field one of North West Kent Family History Society Vice Presidents. Joan with her husband Tony was the face of NWKFHS at FHS events and exhibitions in the 1980 and 1990s. She chaired the publication committee and one of their publications was 'West Kent Sources. The team of researchers gathered the information on the parishes west of the Medway as a guide to family and local historians. A research tool that I still use 17 years after its 3rd addition was published. If you need to know information about Kent parishes then this is the book for you, contact NWKFHS. We have been fortunate in the people that volunteer to help the Society to provide help and guidance to its members.
West Kent Sources
This book serves as a mark of the talents of those people that give freely of their time.

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Blog before the Internet

Free data on NWKFHS web site contains MIs from Ladywell and Brockley Cemetery.
James William BLOG was buried in 1897 age 54.
He was not the only BLOG for in 1903 Catherine was buried age 54.
So we have BLOGS about BLOGS before the Internet.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

How many Family History Societies (FHS) do you need to belong to?

'The answer to Life, the Universe and everything is 42'. Douglas Adams, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy.
Kevin Bacon would probably say 6. Six degrees of separation.
At a discussion at the Lincolnshire FHS, London Branch meeting today I suggested to a couple of its London members the answer was 2.
1) You need to belong to the FHS that covers the area of your ancestors. They have local knowledge. 2) You also need to belong to the FHS that covers the area where you live. You then have the opportunity to attend meetings, learn about researching family history and you have some people to talk to who understand research problems and can act as a sound board to the queries you may have.

If you live out of area or overseas of your ancestors homeland being able to communicate with the FHS members that know that area may be essential to your research.

Now how many FHS do you think you need to belong to?
Leave a comment and please confirm what is the answer to "everything".


Friday, 20 November 2015

Where can I learn about Family and Social History

Not all the members of NWKFHS are in area and able to get to the meetings and Library.
It dawned on me this morning when the 2016 program of courses at the Weald and Downland Open Air Museum (WDOAM) arrived in the post, that there are other places to learn about your ancestors.
Perhaps you have heard of a course that might be out of area, but of interest to our members. Why not let us know so we can pass it on to the members.

Example NWKFHS does a workshop on old documents but that's at the Society Library in Joydens Wood. If you live in Sussex or the contiguous counties perhaps WDOAM at Singleton on the 15th July 2016 course 'Deciphering old documents' might be closer and of interest. See www.wealddown.co.uk

Society of Genealogists (SOG) also runs courses in their London centre and it might be easier for you to get to.

We have members in other parts of the world so if you are in Australia or America and know of an event that would be interesting to other members why not comment and let us know.

So if you hear of any courses or workshops that may interest NWKFHS or family historians in general please let us know.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

NWKFHS runs workshops at its Library

Had an interesting morning at the Society Library today attending the 'Writing Family History' workshop lead by Pauline Heathcote. It was an interesting discussion on how you could write up your family history.

Todays challenge for me was how to write family history that is interesting rather just a list of names and dates.
At the end of the workshop Pauline left us with a challenge 'What are you going to achieve as a result of this workshop?'
Guess what my response is, 'I'm going to write a family history blog'.

Can I challenge you now, 'are you now going to write a comment to this blog?'

If you want to learn about researching your family history there are a number of workshops that teach not only the basics but also give tips for the more experienced researchers. See http://www.nwkfhs.org.uk/workshops.htm. All the workshops can be rerun if there is any interest in them. Just get in touch with workshops@nwkfhs.org.uk. If you have an idea for a new topic then Victor would be very happy to hear. Use the same email address.

The Challenge is on.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Ahnentafel Charts

Received an email today from Canada and learnt a new word 'Ahnentafel'. There was a text chart numbered for each person. Its only when I Googled 'ahnentafel' did I realise it was the German name for a birth brief and by numbering each person on the chart you can use the numbers to understand the relationships of the people on the chart. See Dick Eastman's explanation which is very clear http://blog.eogn.com/2014/12/16/ahnentafel-explained/.

Wikipedia also has a definition and includes a chart from 1590
There is always something to learn when doing family history.

Monday, 16 November 2015

New FFHS Newsletter look.

The Federation of Family History Societies has a new-look to their Newsletter!.It may appear a little different to their old Ezine, but the FFHS Newsletter continues to bring family-history news, updates on resources and give-ways straight to your in-box.

The newsletter is published every couple of months, with a bonus Christmas edition. If this is too long to wait for genealogy updates, 'Like' Federation of Family History Societies on Facebook and 'Follow' them on Twitter.

It looks a lot less cluttered and as usual has some interesting articles. This edition includes the 1939 Registration and Manorial records. A very easy way to keep in touch with the happenings in the family history world.

To subscribe go to http://www.ffhs.org.uk

While at the FFHS web site you can learn of the new Essex web site among other news.

Friday, 13 November 2015

Where is North West Kent FHS area?

The Federation of Family History Societies seminar 'Executive Committee Roles and Succession' Planning' in Liverpool on the 31st October I was asked which part of Kent our Society covered.

Our web site www.nwkfhs.org.uk has a map but Kent can be confusing as there are five Societies covering the ancient County.

North West Kent is the area of Kent that did extend westward to the Surrey boundary at Deptford. Its East boundary is approx. a line running  south from Gravesend to the Sussex boundary at Frant.

In modern terms it covers the South East London area which includes the London Boroughs of Lewisham, Greenwich, Bexley and Bromley. It also includes the Kent area that surrounds the M25 motorway. You can see all the Parishes in these areas on the web site with their research source details.

The other family history societies that  are in Kent are:-
Kent FHS that covers the area of Kent East of our boundary.
Folkestone and District FHS that covers the area around Folkestone on the SE coastline of the County.
Tunbridge Wells FHS that also covers part of our Kent area and extends across the Sussex border.
Woolwich and District FHs that also covers our Kent area on the Thames river front and specialises in Woolwich and the Woolwich Arsenal area.
All these Societies have web sites with maps showing the areas they cover.

The best map reference to the parishes is 'Phillimore's Atlas' published by Phillimore & Co, Chichester, Sussex.