Latest News from NNWFHS

Find My Past - Offering "Free Access" this Weekend


According to their website Find My Past is making billions of world records FREE to explore. The "Free Access" will be available this coming weekend from 12:00pm GMT on Friday 22nd to 12:00pm (07:00am EST) on Friday 22nd to 12pm GMT (07:00am EST) on Monday 25th January 2016, dive into the newspaper archive, birth, marriage and death records, crime collections, and so much more.
Click here to find out more!

NB. It is not known if this applies to the 1939 Register.

December 2015 Journal Issued

The December 2015 Journal has been issued and will be finding its way to members via their chosen delivery method.  This edition features:

Secretary’s scribbles, page 2
An email to the Secretary, page 3
A request via our Facebook page, page 3
Have you had your DNA analysed?, page 4
A message from your Committee, page 4
Report of Speaker Meeting, page 5
Austrey’s First Mechanical Thresher, page 5
Do not give up – have faith and you will get there, page 9
It’s all on line…. page 11
Church Court Cases on Wills, page 11
A Short History – Manor Park Grammar School, Nuneaton 1950-1977, page 13
Ghosts of Christmas past, page 14
Christmas in the Deakin household – 1957, page 15
Mother’s old scrap book, page 16
Three names on the Maxstoke War Memorial, page 17
The elusive Rev. Dick – the story of Richard Shepperd, page 19
New members’ contact details & surname interests, page 21
Back cover, Victorian Christmas cards.

Remember the journal is only available to Members and for as little as £10 per year members receive four journals and exclusive access to copies of all journals issued since 2009 as part of their membership. In addition they have access to other databases and information put together by the Society that is not made generally available. If you are not already a member Join Now!

2016 NNWFHS Calendar of Events

Here is out calendar for the forthcoming New Year. Please feel free to download and save and or print a PDF version here.

Tuesday 12th January - Welcome the New Year: party evening Bring along a plate of nibbles for sharing - and a drink if wished. Tea/coffee on tap. Plus a Bring & Buy stall. Come and enjoy.

Tuesday 9th February -  Victorian & Edwardian Photographers in Warwickshire with David Fry. How they operated, illustrated with some of David’s collection of images with emphasis on north Warwickshire.

Tuesday 8th March - Research & Help Session: a short talk and discussion on Using Maps for Family History - led by John Parton Help, etc. Plus cuppa and a chat!

Thursday 7th to Saturday 9th April - Who Do You Think You Are? Live: NEC, Birmingham. Visit the NNWFHS table and the many other FHS or commercial stands.

Tuesday 12th April - Mistress Meg with Margaret Henley. Life of a woman caught up in the English Civil War, illustrated with costumes and everyday artefacts.

Saturday 16th April - Chilvers Coton Hertiage Centre Spring Fair

Tuesday 10th May - Suffrage Stories: Warwickshire Women & the Fight for the Vote with Dr Sarah Richardson who will introduce some fascinating local characters who struggled to win the vote for all women.

Saturday 21st May - Sheffield Family History Spciety Fair at Sheffield Wednesday FC, Hillsborough, S6 1SW.

Website Restored

After a long struggle to cure a, yet to be identified, system error, the website has been restored, albeit with a loss off any content and changes made since August 28, 2015.I would though like to reassure you that we ran two full security audits and we know that the site was NOT in anyway compromised by "outside forces" and that issue will most likely be found in a component update that went wrong.

We will be restoring all the missing content and functions over the coming weeks.


Ian Shuter

Website Manager

FFHS Really Useful Information Leaftet

The Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk) has updated its 24 page PDF Really Useful Information Leaflet which offers a great deal more than appears in most leaflets.

You can download your free copy of RUL here. Paper copies will be available for collection at the many events that the Federation will attend during 2015 and also at the meetings of many of the family history societies.

1939 UK Register (Census) To Go Online Sometime This Year

In September 1939, the Government compiled a National Register of the entire civilian population of England and Wales. This was to help in issuing ration books and identity cards as well as administering the call-up for the armed forces. The names, address, sex, age occupation, marital condition and any membership of the armed forces were recorded for each individual.

These detailed records of some 40 million people are held by The National Archives and currently being digitised prior to release on the FindMyPast website. For privacy reasons, information about living people will be kept closed for 100 years from their year of birth, or until proof of death has been confirmed. The contents of the Register will be of particular help in future research as the 1931 census records were destroyed and there was no census in 1941, resulting in a 30-year gap after 1921.

You can sign up to to hear about progress of the project.

The 7,000 volumes that contain these records are being conserved and scanned at the rate of 35,000 pages a week. A short video gives a glimpse of behind the scenes activity in the digitisation exercise.


© FFHS.org.uk

Staffordshire Puts Over 1.2 Million More Records Online

Staffordshire Registers Online

A large amount of extra information from the registers of numerous parishes in Staffordshire has recently been launched on the FindMyPast website.

Scanned and indexed images of pages from a variety of parish registers have been added to the existing online collection for the county. The fresh data covers the following events:

  • Baptisms - 483,000
  • Marriages - 267,000
  • Banns - 185,000
  • Burials - 284,000

Many records from other parishes in the area were already in the database, so the total number of entries to be found in the relevant indexes for Staffordshire now add up to more than 4 million. The earliest records included date back to 1538 and the most recent events took place in 1900, but details are not available from all parishes for the whole of that timespan.

Staffordshire is an inland county with borders touching five other counties, so this collection will be of help to researchers whose main focus so far is elsewhere, if their family prove to have migrated into or out of Staffordshire itself.


Non-Conformist Denominations: Applications to License Places of Worship

Non-Conformist Licence Applications

There are several boxes of files at the Lichfield Record Office containing applications made to the diocese for licences to enable non-conformist denominations to worship in places other than a Church of England building.

Although the topic may sound “dry” for family historians, when you learn that these 1,800 documents contain over 6,000 individuals’ names, including women, you will rapidly realise this is a rich source for names.

The series runs from about 1790 to around 1850 with a few outside those years. Applications could be by a single individual – including a householder to licence his or her home – or by trustees for a chapel, but a relevant number contain many signatures - one has over 40 - some include occupations. Occasionally the denomination is known, but the forms often stated simply “protestant dissenters”.

This CD includes applications to the Lichfield Diocese comprising:

Staffordshire 770+

Derbyshire 530+

Warwickshire 350+

Shropshire 150+

There are two files of data: one is a surname/place/reference number file to speed searching for surnames you are interested in; the second details each application including the ancient Church of England parish, the place within that parish, any address, denomination, date of licence being issued, and names included on the document.

Finding your ancestral family involved in non-conformity could explain absence of baptisms from Church of England records, and may help you find other records.

With thanks to Lichfield Record Office for providing access.

Visit Lichfield RO to view the original documents with signatures, etc.

Publication News - June 2015

A Searchable database uploaded to Members' Pages

Non-Conformist Chapel Licences - full of Warwickshire Surnames.

A resource that family historians with any hint of non-conformity in their family tree should thoroughly explore!

In the past, those wishing to designate a room or building for use for worship by any denomination other than the Church of England were required to obtain a licence from the diocese or from quarter sessions.

A recent project at Lichfield Record Office was to index their holding of licences issued by the diocese. The period is generally 1790s-1850s, and the documents cover Staffordshire, Derbyshire, half of Shropshire and much of Warwickshire. It is obvious that far from all groups applied to the hierarchy of the Church of England !

There were over 1800 licence records remaining of which some 350+ were for Warwickshire. The idiosyncratic filing system means that documents for some places are spread over several files! The amazing number of signatures on some makes them a “must see” for family historians: Wolston has more signatures than any other in the entire collection!

On the list are all those named, indexed alphabetically by surname, which occur in the Warwickshire items.

If you want a prior look-up to check the full index entry, then please email Jacqui giving the document number.

There is no charge for this for NNWFHS members.

June 2015 Journal Issued

The NNWFHS Quarterly Journal has been released and is winging its way to members via their chosen method of delivery. As ever our Editor, John Parton, has put together an interesting publication full of facts and information about Family History in Nuneaton and North Warwickshire. This edition features:

Secretary's scribbles page 2
Sir Roger Newdigate page 4
Arbury estate CD   page 4
Who Do You Think You Are? page 5
Bates - a shockingly bad case page 6
Dates for your diary page 7
The Ancestry of William Chamberlain of Bedworth page 8
Reports on monthly speaker meetings page 9
Hall Hospital page 10
festival of Arts page 10
Coal Mines - commemorative plate page 10
Perrins Pit page 11
Sports in Nuneaton - your help needed page 11
Bates Gathering at Atherstone page 12
Book reviews page 13
Local Civil Registration Unravelled page 14
Prying Eyes ... of the Church Courts page 16
Queen's Rd Infant School 1935-7 page 17
Hams Hall page 18
200 page 20
New members' contact details & surname interests page 21

Back cover Some of the Halls of North Warwickshire from old postcards

Remember the journal is only available to Members (members click here to view it) and for as little as £10 per year members receive four journals and exclusive access to copies of all journals issued since 2009 as part of their membership. In addition they have access to other databases and information put together by the Society that is not made generally available. If you are not already a member join now!

Transcribing N. Warks Parish Records - We Need You !

North Warwickshire Parish Register Transcriptions

Ever wondered how all those records got into our CD's and booklets?, well very simply they were transcribed by NNWFHS members from the original records or copies of the originals onto Excel Spreadsheets.

We have now completed two series of transcriptions of Burials [1813-1865] and Marriages [1754-1881] for all the parishes within the North Warwickshire area; work has now begun on the post 1754 Baptismal records. They provide invaluable information for Family Historians and whilst you are transcribing you can gain an interesting insight to the popular names of the time. All of the previously transcribed records are now available for purchase in our online shop.

Since there are many parishes to be completed and each register contains many entries, it would be a great help to the project team if we had a few volunteers to help us. The work is not onerous; it just needs a little concentration. In order to complete a transcription, it requires access to the filmed [Ancestry] or original [Warwickshire Record Office] registers, the ability to type the records into an Excel document [format provided], and a few hours of your time.

If you have an interest in a particular parish which has not already been transcribed, then we can allocate that to you; at the moment most parishes are available, but for how long ???.

Looking forward to hearing from you [please click here to email me].

Carole Eales

Project Manager.


NNWFHS Meetings & Events

  • February Speaker Meeting Tue. 9 Feb, 2016 7:15 pm - Wed. 10 Feb, 2016 7:00 pm Speaker Meetings The February Speaker Meeting : David Fry -   Victorian and Edwardian Photographers in Warwickshire     David will explain how they operated, illustrated with some of his collection of images with emphasis on north Warwickshire.   7.15pm for 7.30pm start at the Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre.

NNWFHS Calendar

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NNWFHS Website Award


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