Why do I still have such a problem with Kent?

25 Mar

I still seem to have a real mental block when it comes to researching my family history in the county of Kent, England. So many of the branches of my family tree seem to stop abruptly when I cross the border into Kent and I have to admit that my heart sinks when I find an ancestor that comes from Kent.

I have nothing against Kent and it’s people, from what I have seen it is a nice place and I would like to spend more time there. For starters I still need to finish walking the North Downs Way through the county.

There doesn’t seem to be anything uniquely different about family history research in Kent. The same core record types exist as they do anywhere else in England and the research process is the same, but still I have a mental block on research in the county.

Accessibility is a problem, or at least I perceive it to be a problem. It is not particularly easy for me to get to the two main archives at Maidstone and Canterbury, but it is considerably easier than getting to the archives in Gloucester or Carlisle and only a lack of time and money are stopping me from going to those two.

I think the big problem is that I have been rather spoilt by my years of research in Sussex. I now have a pretty good idea of the resources available and where to find them, as well as a reasonable background knowledge of the county. I have also been very much spoilt by the wonderful resources of the Sussex Family History Group.

I am wondering if I need to do some serious research into the county itself. I think it might be worth my time and effort spending a while on the place and not the people, identifying the key records for the places I am interested in and which archive or website has them.

It could be quite a task, but the more I think about the more I think it could be a worthwhile exercise. Still at the back of my mind is the idea that this might just be another way for me to avoid having to do any real family history research in Kent.

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