Tag Archives: london family history centre

Exploring the NICHOLLS and DRAPPER families at the LFHC

19 Mar

The reason I visited the London Family History Centre yesterday (other than to use up the last of my holiday entitlement before the end of the month) was to do some basic investigations into the NICHOLLS and DRAPPER families from Kent.

There were only two films that I wanted to look at, the parish registers  for Blean and Chiddingstone both in Kent. Technically speaking the film for Blean was of the Bishop’s Transcripts and not the actual registers, but at this stage it is not really that important. I am still finding my way in these families, trying to get a feel for what I am dealing with and hoping to find some further proof that I have the correct families.

In Chiddingstone I had expected to find the marriage of Thomas NICHOLLS and Martha DRAPPER (my 4x great-grandparents), Martha’s baptism record (and those of her siblings) and possibly the marriage of her parents. In Blean I was hoping to find a baptism for Ellen NICHOLLS (my 3x great-grandmother) and a burial for Thomas NICHOLLS.

What I actually found was not quite as I had expected, but that is not to say that it was a bad thing. In Blean I found a baptism for Ellen, except it was Eleanor not Ellen, but everything else matched. There was a burial of a Thomas NICHOLLS, but he was an infant (clearly I am going to need to search again for his death).

The biggest surprise to me was to find the likely baptism for Thomas NICHOLLS and his siblings in Blean. I hadn’t really considered why Thomas and Martha were in Blean, but it makes perfect sense that this was where Thomas came from. Likewise Chiddingstone was supposed to be the place where Martha came from.

I could find no trace of Martha’s baptism in Chiddingstone, although some of her sibling’s baptisms were there. There was no sign of her marriage to Thomas or of her parent’s marriage, but I did find the marriage of one of her sisters that is particularly helpful. Jane DRAPPER married James BARNES in Chiddingstone on the 12th October 1841 and one of the witnesses was Thomas NICHOLLS, which further cements the family relationship.

So a few of the records I had hoped for didn’t turn up, but I certainly didn’t go away empty-handed or disappointed. It has helped clarify a few points and disproved  a few others. It was no accident that Thomas and Martha were in Blean and the DRAPPER family may not have been so firmly rooted in Chiddingstone as I had first imagined.

The next step is obvious to me now, I had hoped to find the Thomas NICHOLLS and Martha DRAPPER and save the cost of ordering a certificate, but clearly I am going to need to do that now. That should confirm whether the baptism I found for Thomas in Blean is the correct one and also point to the likely place for Martha’s baptism.

Negotiating the roadworks at the LFHC

18 Mar

Don’t be put off by the obstacles if you are planning on visiting the London Family History Centre.

It is not really as awkward as it looks to get across the road and into the building, but it is more than a little disconcerting as you emerge from the London Underground pedestrian subway to be confronted with barriers and fences.

Today when I visited there was a crossing point and break in the fence just to the right of the subway entrance in front of the Science Museum, but I suspect this changes on a fairly regular basis, so that piece of information may not be a lot of use unless you plan to visit in the next few weeks.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea seem to be the people responsible for the disruption. It is part of the Exhibiton Road Project which according to the project’s website will convert the street to a place “where culture and learning are accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds with a streetscape that makes that ambition a reality.”

The road and pavement are being merged together and re-surfaced and the volume of traffic is being reduced and slowed down, although not completely removed. It sounds like a good idea and probably worth the disruption although it isn’t scheduled for completion until next year.

It seems particularly apt that the London Family History Centre should be part of an area for “culture and learning”, it certainly deserves greater recognition for the work it does and the resources it provides.

Weekly Genealogy Preview (for week 50)

6 Dec

Not much actual research done last week, but I did clear a lot from my stuff to sort folder by scanning pages rather than actually going through them and deciding what to do with them. I didn’t get a lot done on the presentation of my chart for my Christmas Tree Project, so that will be carried over to this coming week as well.

  • Priority is to get as much research done as possible on my Christmas Tree Project, mostly in East Sussex and Kent, just filling in missing details for my ancestors.
  • Prepare for a trip to the London Family History Centre. This Saturday will be my last chance to get up there before Christmas and whilst I don’t particularly relish the idea of head up to London a couple of weeks before Christmas I need to make the most of the opportunity.
  • Work on the presentation of my chart. Create the headshot photos and work on the text scheme for the ancestor boxes.
  • Get rid of my stuff to sort folder. I think this week I will actually be able to finish sorting out my paperwork. I have only a few pages left, and most of that is scanning, so I think I will have it finished this week.
  • I should get a birth certificate this week for one of the younger children of Thomas and Rebecca BATEMAN (my 4x great-grandparents). This should give me Rebecca’s maiden name which I think is TOWNSEND, but need to be sure.

Apart from family history I need to start thinking seriously about Christmas, I might start writing cards this week, which if I do will be a record for me, usually it is a lot later than this (just in time for the last posting date).

Weekly Genealogy Preview (for week 49)

29 Nov

Most of the week was pretty quiet, but I made up for it yesterday with almost a whole day devoted to family history. My Christmas Tree Project will be my main priority this week, both searching and working on the presentation of the chart.

  • Continue working on the Christmas Tree project, filling in missing details. This week will mainly be the East Sussex side of my tree, around Framfield, Blackboys and Buxted. I noticed the other day that I am missing lots of death dates for my ancestors from there.
  • I still haven’t prepared a plan for a visit to the London Family History Centre. I put off a visit this weekend to give me more time to prepare, but I am rapidly running out of time.
  • I need to create headshots of my ancestors to appear in my Christmas Tree chart. Cropping the photos I have and linking them into Family Historian. Also create a generic “missing photo” headshot.
  • I also need to work on the text scheme for the chart boxes, trying to make the data I have look neat and tidy, be easy to read and informative.
  • Try and clear some more paper from the stuff to sort folder. There are no large collections left in it now, so it is just a question of picking out one page at a time and deciding what to do with it, before I throw it away.

Searching for the WRIGHT family at the London Family History Centre

14 Oct

Today I was back at the London Family History Centre, trying to fill in a few missing ancestors in my Christmas Tree Project, but most of all trying to put the lid back on the can of worms that I opened there back in May this year.

All in all it was quite a successful day, I think I have added another four or five of my 4x great grandparents, including the parents of Ellen NICHOLLS whose lack of marriage in Lewes, Sussex has been causing me some consternation. Once again though it was the WRIGHT family that has been most surprising.

I have Henry and Sarah (or Sarah Ann) WRIGHT living in Alton, Hampshire from about 1842. Their eight youngest children were baptised and registered in Alton using various surnames: WRIGHT, SHAWNDEN, SHORDEN, WRIGHT SHAWNDEN, SHAWDON WRIGHT and WRIGHT otherwise SHORDEN.

I had taken this as indicating the Henry and Sarah had probably never married, and there was some confusion over whether they should use the father’s name (WRIGHT) or the mother’s name (SHORDEN or some variant thereof).

What I discovered in the Ospringe, Kent parish registers was a baptism on the 1st October 1809 for Henry son of William and Anne SHORNDEN. This was exactly the opposite of what I was expecting, and my many hours of searching the 1841 census for Henry WRIGHT have probably been wasted. Tonight I shall be seeing what comes up for Henry SHORNDEN in the 1841 census.

So this has left me wondering whether Sarah was Sarah WRIGHT, or whether the WRIGHT surname was just plucked out of nowhere for whatever reason. I still couldn’t find a marriage for Henry and Sarah in Ospringe, but I didn’t really expect to. Now I have Henry’s parent’s names (and some siblings for Henry) and hopefully I will be able to find them in the 1841 census (and later), which might enable me to discover more information about the family.

As well as searching for Henry SHORNDEN in the census, I also have a handful of notes that need sorting out, on top of what I still have left from my trip to the Hampshire Record Office last Saturday. Looks like I shall be busy catching up for the next few days.

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