Tag Archives: parish

A quick dip into the London Historical Records on Ancestry.co.uk

17 Sep

I only had time for a brief look in the new London Historical Records on Ancestry.co.uk last night, but it has thrown up a few interesting records. All my searches were focused on the family of Thomas KINGHORN my 3x great grandfather.

The marriage of Margaret KINGHORN

I was able to find the marriage entry for Thomas’ daughter Margaret, and confirm that the marriage I had found in the GRO Marriage Index was the correct one. She married Thomas Christopher GREGORY at Saint George, Bloomsbury on the 4th January 1864.

One of the facts that confirmed that this was the correct marriage, apart from her father’s name and occupation, was the fact that one of the witnesses was Margaret’s brother Wybrants. So not only do I have the marriage details for Margaret, I also have another sighting of Wybrants my elusive half 3x great uncle.

Now I can follow the marriage up with census searches to identify what happened to Thomas and Margaret GREGORY during their married life, and I will probably be back into the London parish registers to find their children’s baptisms.

The burial of Eliza KINGHORN x2

I was surprised to find burial records for both Eliza KINGHORNs, Thomas’ second wife and his only daughter by her, in St Marylebone parish in 1851. I had expected to find them in St James Westminster.

The younger Eliza was only 12 days old when she died, and her mother had died when she was only three or four days old and before she had even been baptised. Both died of small pox.

Curiously the abode (Foley Street) given on the burial entry for both mother and daughter is not the same as the address given on the death certificate (10 Great Windmill Street). I have the address in Great Windmill Street from other sources so that has left me puzzled.

I am sure they are the correct individuals, so I can only assume that as they died of small pox they were being cared for (or isolated) elsewhere in Foley Street. That is going to need a bit more investigation.

Missing Westminster parishes

It appears that several of the Westminster parishes that I need to search, such as St Annes Soho and St James Piccadilly, are not available. Whether they ever will be or not I don’t know, I believe the original registers are held by the City of Westminster Archives Centre and not the London Metropolitan Archives. I need to seek some clarification from Ancestry, as well as letting them know there are no source citations for the St George Bloomsbury marriage entries I looked at.

Despite only a brief time spent in the collection it has proved quite fruitful, and I have created myself more work to do in the process!

18 million parish records from Greater London parishes published today on Ancestry.co.uk

16 Sep

This a truly remarkable collection, 18 million parish records dating from 1538 to 1980 from over a 1000 Greater London parishes have today been published on Ancestry.co.uk.

Part of the London Historical Records, 1500s-1900s collection published in partnership with London Metropolitan Archives and the Guildhall Library Manuscripts, this is really going to be a great asset to family history research. I can see that these indexed images are going to open up so much new information that was previously hidden within the sprawling mass that was/is London.

Speaking from personal experience I know how easy it is to lose people in London, but my first search in the new collection turned up three of the six missing baptisms for children of my 3x great grandfather Thomas KINGHORN, including the elusive Wybrants KINGHORN (recorded here as Webrens).

Given time I will no doubt be able to take this further and find the other three baptisms and I am sure marriages and burials will also follow. For now I have not only baptism dates, but birth dates and two new addresses (both in Upper Charlton Street, St Mary-le-bone) for the KINGHORN family.

Just like London itself I can see it is going to take some time to find my way around, and I think I could quite easily get lost in this collection for days on end.

Thinking about place name structure

5 Jul

This afternoon I was thinking about how I record place names in my family history database (Family Historian). I suppose this is actually part of my database cleansing operation, in that I want make sure all place information is in a standard format, but also I want to make sure it is the best way of recording it.

Family Historian uses the GEDCOM standard, and has two fields for storing location data within events and attributes. These are place and address. So using my 2x great grandparents Henry and Dorothy Isabella BATEMAN as an example their location data would be:

ADDRESS : 2 Shenley Villas, Hurst Wickham

PLACE : Hurstpierpoint, Sussex, England

The address field contains a house number/name (or farm name) and a street name (if there was one) within a parish. There may also be an area or district included if there was one within the parish (in this case Hurst Wickham).

One element I need to standardise and check my database for is when the event referred to takes place in a church, such as a baptism, marriage or burial. In this case the address field would contain the name of the church, such as St Peter’s Church. I need to make sure they all have consistent format, capitalisation and punctuation.

The place field contains the Parish, County, State (not really sure if England is a state or not). This is alright for rural parishes, but for urban parishes where a town may contain more than one ecclesiastical parish things start to get untidy, examples of these from Sussex would include Brighton, Lewes and Chichester.

In one of these cases I would record the place as: Town/City (Parish), County, State. So as an example: Lewes (All Saints), Sussex, England. The first element is standardised so that if I generate a report from Family Historian which includes the place then all the town or city will show up first, rather than having some events listed under All Saints Lewes and some under Lewes All Saints.

The other advantage to this system is that it matches the Parish, County, State format when the actual parish is not known. For example when someone gives their place of birth on a census return as Lewes, Sussex. All places beginning with Lewes could be listed together on a report regardless of whether they have an ecclesiastical parish included or not.

Of course there are always going to be places which don’t fit into this format, the main one being the registration districts listed in the GRO BMD indexes. These I simply record with the district name, such as Lewes District or Brighton District. The theory being that these are only temporary records, and one day they will be replaced by more precise data. I am not sure whether I should change the format and record Brighton District as Brighton Registration District, Sussex, England. This is more long-winded, but probably more descriptive and helpful.

I would be interested to here what you think about my place structure in the comments below. Do you have any suggestions for improvement? How do you record registration districts?

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