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The Bombing of North Warwickshire Villages

75th Anniv of the Bombing of North Warwickshire Villages - June 4th/5th 1941

By Celia Parton

A lot is known about the Bombings of Nuneaton during the Blitz in World War two (the webmasters Great Grandfather was killed during it). What is perhaps less well known is that some north Warwickshire villages also suffered at the hands of the German bombers.  On the night of 4th/5th June 1941, only a few weeks after the Nuneaton bombings, Grendon, Dordon and Kingsbury were all hit by German bombs and 21 persons were killed including 7 children.

On that night the Germans were returning from a raid on Birmingham when they decided to unload their unused bombs. The first one fell on Woodside Cottages in Grendon. These were near to Grendon Wood, at the end of Maypole Lane. Here six people were killed, mother and son, Ada Ellen and Sidney George Gardner, Alfred Albrighton and his aunt Jane Mary Gertrude Albrighton, and tragically and ironically, two evacuees, 13 year old Edith May Kingdon from Dagenham, Essex and 12 year old Lawrence Brown from Erdington in Birmingham.

Another bomb fell on Rose Cottage in Cart’s Lane, Grendon, killing three members of the same family, Eliza Cart, her daughter Nellie Beatrice and her widowed mother, Ann Atkins.

Two more bombs fell in the close vicinity, one in Baddesley Wood where there were no casualties as there were no houses, only a few large trees were uprooted, and another in Shortwoods, Dordon. Here eight more people were killed, four members of the Egan family (father mother and two children) and three members of the Geary family (mother Florence and her two sons Albert Henry and Kenneth). Also killed at the Shortwoods that night was John Thomas Chetwynd who was an Air Raid Warden doing his rounds.

On the same night two houses in Kingsbury were hit causing the death of three adults and a young child. A house called “St Gennys” on Tamworth Road was hit killing Stan Sales and his mother Mary. His wife Amelia, known as May was pulled alive from the debris. Another house two doors down the road was also hit, killing a young man called Jeff Smith who had gone there to visit his girlfriend. He was playing with his girlfriend’s little brother at the time and both Jeff and the little boy were killed.

These are of course on a much smaller scale than the bombings at Nuneaton, and insignificant compared to the damage and loss of life experienced in the big cities of Birmingham and Coventry, but that night stayed forever in the memory of those who witnessed it.

Tamworth St Editha Settlement Certificates CD added to Shop

(£4.80 to members and £6.00 to non-members - click here to buy it)

In a strong metal box locked away in the vestry of St Editha, Tamworth is a collection of mostly Settlement Certificates for people coming into the town to live. This unique CD lists all 281 documents in surname order – entries with an alias are indexed under each name used. These documents range from the 1690s to early 1800s when, to move to a new parish, individuals and families were required to carry a certificate of settlement addressed to the churchwardens and overseers of the parish to which they were moving signed by the churchwardens, overseers, witnesses and justices for the parish where they had a right of settlement. If they fell on hard times, their new parish had the right to return the family to their original parish.

The period of these certificates is largely the 18th century: the agricultural revolution was in full swing and the industrial revolution, too, with the canals coming to Tamworth in the late 1700s. In addition, Acts of Enclosure throughout England enclosed the shared fields of strips dispossessing some cottagers.

It was obvious from the collection that the town of Tamworth required certificates of settlement to be presented to them for people coming to the town from other hamlets within the parish of Tamworth as well as those from outside the parish. This collection therefore has more local content than may otherwise be anticipated: a fascinating and incredibly informative collection of documents. Some of the certificates were full of family detail – man, wife, children, occupation. Rarely are their ages recorded, but on some they are. Some name simply the man confirming – or not – that there is a wife and any family. Some confirm a single woman is pregnant – was she being “encouraged” to move one wonders.

Each document bears many signatures which are naturally difficult to decipher and we apologise for those incorrectly transcribed; however, as many as possible of these have been included, making this collection valuable to all “name hunters”, while the detail of those requiring Settlement is vital to those trying to establish the movements of their family. Only one document shows copy letters providing evidence of subsequent removals: the Healey family had a certificate to move from Tamworth to Yorkshire. It seems that the father then went to Manchester and the son gave evidence. There is a further statement of Ann being removed “via London”. This rare glimpse of the effects of settlement is included on this CD as images: they are difficult to read due to the state of the bleed through the paper, but interesting – and pure gold for anyone with the family in their tree.

Please remember that the year began on Lady Day – 25th March – until 1752 when it was moved to 1st January. Therefore 24 February 1714 would, in modern terms, be 24 February 1715. While working on these documents in the Vestry, attention was drawn to some stained glass set into the window. Photographs are included on the CD. While we have not – yet – managed to have the Latin inscription translated, the arms for Repyngton and Billington are beautiful and worthy of a wider audience.

© NNWFHS 2016

NNWFHS CD Promotion - May 2016

special offer2Have you visited the NNWFHS website Shop recently ? Are you aware of the range of CDs of Parish Register transcriptions we have in the Shop ? Importantly, are you a Member of NNWFHS ?.. if not, it might be worth joining !

This month's special offer is the No Man's Heath CD.

No Man’s Heath is an independent village, located at the confluence of several counties. A journey along the old Tamworth to Measham Road will take you along the edge of the village, past the old Four Counties Inn.

The village is currently, civilly aligned to Warwickshire, however since the closure of the church, aligned ecclesiastically with Derbyshire, those records which have been deposited are held at Staffordshire Record Office.

The CD includes a transcription of the marriage register and a small notebook containing some banns details, both of which are in private hands. With kind permission of the villagers, NNWFHS's access means that the contents of this CD form the only full record of the church baptism, marriage and burial records. It is unique and, if you have forebears in this village or in the surrounding area, a must !

Click here to buy it - you will have to be logged in to get the members discount.

NNWFHS Journal Pages Reorganised and Updated

A new method of displaying our Journals has been introduced for both the Public and Member pages and the Years 2010 and 2011 have been added to the Public page. You may order now download, view and/or change the order of viewing for the Journals. There is also a Searchable Index that will identity articles and authors and in the very near future we will be adding a PDF search facility to allow single word search across all the Journals and the rest of the site.

If you are not a member want to see the Journals from 2012 to 2016 then become a member of NNWFHS, downloading just five of them is the equivalent cost of a Years Membership dues.

Click here to go to the Public Journal Pages.

  • Click here for the Members Journal Pages (you will need to login/be logged in)

 

2016 NNWFHS Calendar of Events - Updated

Here is out calendar for the remainder of 2016. Please feel free to download and save and or print a PDF version here.

Saturday 16th April - Chilvers Coton Hertiage Centre Spring Fair. Celebrating 60 years of twinning with Roanne and Exhibits include WW1 Trench, Victorian Classroom. Refreshements available.

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 Society Fair at Sheffield Wednesday FC, Hillsborough, S6 1SW.

Tuesday 14 June - Research & Help Session: a short talk and discussion on NNWFHS Pit Names project led by John Parton with short talk by Roy Flavel. Plus cuppa & a chat!

Saturday 2 July - Yorkshire Family History Fair – York Racecourse. We hope to be there along with other FHS & commercial stands!

Tuesday 12 July - Victorian Optical Toys: toys that led to the movies - Bob Massey will entertain us with something a tad different! A real treat!

Tuesday 9 August - A Missionary Family - Penny Ann Smith will explain her interest in a fascinating family: local connections, ship-wrecks, cannibalism…and more!

Tuesday 13 September - Research & Help Session: What is where…and how you might access it! Time to ask those questions and pick the brains of others! Plus cuppa and a chat!

Saturday 24 September - Doncaster FHS Fair, at Doncaster School for the Deaf, DN2 6AY

Tuesday 11 October - Outside the Law? Illegitimacy 1700-1987 – Prof. Rebecca Probert. A return visit of one of our favourite speakers. Prepare for surprises. Bring your questions: we all have examples in our trees

Tuesday 8 November - AGM followed by Sue King: A Tale of Two Hannahs – resolving shared names and ages. A problem often encountered—and how Sue resolved her challenge.

END

 

 

 

NNWFHS Members Online Helpdesk Launched

Are you a Member of NNWFHS?, do you have a question about your family history?, are you having issues with a particular line of research?, well help is at hand as we have expanded our "in person" Helpdesk to include an online service for our Membership.

Access to the Helpdesk can be found by logging into the site and clicking on Members Pages and then "Members Online Helpdesk".

menuitem

We look forward to hearing from you!!

NNWFHS Baptisms : Series 2 - 1862 - 1911

We are pleased to announce the imminent launch of the second series of our area baptismal register transcriptions – these will be available at WDYTYA Live, at the NEC, Birmingham [7th- 9th April] or from our Shop.

Each CD contains a full transcription of every entry recorded in the baptismal register between 01 January 1862 and 30 Jun 1911, with additional material as appropriate. CD parish groupings follow those used in Series 1, with the additions of churches that were concecrated after 1861.

We have used 1861 – 1911 Census returns and GRO registrations to fill in gaps and make sense of illegible entries (of which there are many !) and so present a comprehensive record of those children baptised within the NNWFHS area during this period. As of 01 July 1911, the maiden name of the child’s mother is recorded in the GRO Index, so this should allow complete family groupings to be determined; many of these children may now be identified on the 1939 Register.

CD 2 : 1 - Bedworth.

CD 2 : 2 - Ansty, Bulkington, Burton Hastings, Churchover, Monks Kirby, Shilton, Willey, Withybrook & Wolvey.

CD 2 : 3 - Atherstone, Caldecote, Hartshill & Mancetter.

CD 2 : 4 - Ansley, Arley, Astley, Attleborough, Chilvers Coton & Stockingford.

CD 2 : 5 - Nuneaton (St. Nicolas), Nuneaton (St. Mary) & Weddington.

CD 2 : 6 - Coleshill, Corley, Curdworth, Fillongley, Maxstoke, Packington Magna, Packington Parva & Wishaw.

CD 2 : 7 – Austrey, Baddesley Ensor, Baxterley, Bentley, Grendon, Kingsbury, Lea Marston, Merevale, Middleton, Nether Whitacre, Newton Regis, Over Whitacre, Polesworth, Seckington, Shustoke, Shuttington & Warton … is currently being completed and we hope to make it available in June 2016.

An Index to all Surnames is available on the NNWFHS website for the period 1813 – 1911.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have contributed to the transcription project; without them, none of this would have been possible. Anyone wishing to join the team would be most welcome !

Bonus CD Collections - Just £6 each

Excitingly Useful Collections – a bargain at £6 [Member price £4.80], plus p&p !

2013-14 [January 2014]

Directories: Atherstone 1830; Bedworth 1912; Nuneaton 1830.

Maps: Warks (part) 1722; Warks (part) 1787; Warks (part) 1820; Warks (entire) 1895; Staffs (entire) 1895; Leics & Rutland 1895.

Nuneaton diary of John Astley 1810 – 1845; Voyage of The Light Brigade – 132 emigrants to Queensland 1863; Sweyn Stevens’ Charitable Gift Hartshill Recipients list 1774 to 1850; Middleton Estate Sales Catalogue 1924; Old Journals October 2009 to July 2013.  Click here to purchase.

2014-15 [January 2015]

Astley Census 1782; Mr Warwick’s Charity 1777; James Roper’s Diary; Map of Warwickshire 1777; Map of NWR London to Birmingham; Map of working coal mines 1950; Postcards by Sidwell of Meriden; Postcards by Spencer of Meriden; Black’s Guide to Nuneaton and surrounds; Black’s Guide to Atherstone and surrounds; Black’s Guide to Coleshill and surrounds.  Click here to purchase.

2015-16 [December 2015]

Maps : NNWFHS area map showing ecclesiastical parishes and civil registration districts; NNWFHS area map showing Tithe apportionment plans; Borough of Tamworth 1841.

Atherstone Yards: photographs of some of the Yards; alphabetical list of Yards (many yards were known by different names at different periods).

Chronological schedule of Methodism within the Coventry area.

The Great War: Atherstone men who were killed during the Great War; Those who died listed alphabetically by year; Photographs of the men.

Nuneaton Infants Schools Registers - In memory of the late Alva King who transcribed much material for the Society - including these school registers. transcribed admission registers Nuneaton Infants schools 1864-1901; Nuneaton Infants School Log Book 1864-1895. Click here to purchase.

 

 

 

 

 

AD 1767 - Suspected Papists

The British Parliament ordered the collection of information about known – or reputed – Roman Catholics on various occasions between 1680 and 1781. The information collected survives in the Parliamentary Archives, which can be searched at www.portcullis.parliament.uk/ In most surveys individual names were not recorded – except 1767. The collection was made by dioceses.

This CD contains details of over 4000 suspected papists in the Diocese of Lichfield: Staffordshire - over 2,500 [some 400 in Brewood]; Derbyshire - almost 600; most of Warwickshire - nearly 700; north Shropshire - nearly 700.

Thanks are due to Lichfield Record Office who allowed access to this material.

The returns include, for most parishes, the names of adults in each household, with [sometimes] details of their children and, importantly for research purposes, the number of years resident in the parish. Finding your family surname listed as suspected Roman Catholics may open up a new line of exploration.

The CD will be available for purchase [post free] at WDYTYA Live ! 7 – 9 April or from the NNWFHS Shop. If you would like to reserve a copy, contact Jacqui.

The cost, Public price £8 : Member price £6.40 : [plus p&p]

March 2016 Journal Issued

The March 2016 Journal has been issued and will be finding its way to members via their chosen delivery method.  This edition features:

Front cover: St Editha's Tamworth
Secretary's scribbles Page 2
Tamworth explored 3
Ernest Alured Waller & Family 5
A moment of inspiration & a flash of lightning 8
Bucks FHS open day 9
Snippets from the registers 9
Private Sidney Hargrave 10
Always read the register 11
Online hosting of trees - Ancestry & Family Tree Maker 12
Book review - Nuneaton Pubs 12
Old Baddesley & Grendon families 13
Victorian & Edwardian photographers in N Warwickshire 14
John Darlison (1776 - 1843) 15
New members 16
Reginald George Percy Spencer, WWI 17
What can you find about my Dad? 19
Surplus birth & death cerificates 21
Back cover: Le Touret Memorial & Military Cemetery & Atherstone Ball Game

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!

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.

 

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