Helen Eldridge will be speaking about Doreen’s Diary: The life of an indomitable woman in Warwickshire during World War II. The talk about Doreen’s Diary covers both the story of Doreen, her history and how she came to write the letters to her husband, and also how the project came about, etc. The talk is not about the content of the letters she wrote, because they are so eloquent in their own right - and available in book form.
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.
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.
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.
An Index of the names of all the children included on the Series 1 CDs is available on the NNWFHS website, in the Searchable Databases section of the Menu.
Series 2 Baptismal CDs.
We are also able to announce that the first CD of Series 2 of the Baptismal transcriptions, 1862 – 1911 is now being processed and will be in the Shop before too long.
Series 2 will follow the pattern of Series 1 as regards parish groupings. It aims to complete all entries in the baptismal registers up until the end of June 1911, thus covering the 1911 Census period and linking with the inclusion of the maternal maiden name on the GRO Index which begins in July 1911.
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:
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.
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 Jacquigiving the document number.
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 Coleshill Hall Hospital page 10 Nuneaton 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 Waterloo 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!
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 ???.