Parish Register Newsletter: January 2010

Welcome to the parishregister  January newsletter. What goodies have we got for you this month? Well, our latest compendium, our sixth, and three new databases are now also on-line and searchable. Also we have two more CDs in the Thames and Medway series, as well as one more apprenticeship bindings index and an update of the Doggett's Coat & Badge CD.

Searchable Databases 

St Mary Stratford 1771-1813

St Mary Stratford 1813-1831

All Saints Poplar 1789-1805 

To search the site click here

More about Stratford:

It may surprise latterday residents of Bow that their town was the original Stratford. How the name came and went is a tale of fords, bridges and a queen getting a ducking in the River Lea.

A thousand years ago, the banks of the Lea were remote. Miles from London, the hamlet that grew up there was even far-flung from its home parish of Stepney.

The settlement became known as Stratford, a name derived from the street or paved way to a ford. But it was far from a safe crossing, with the river often being in flood.

One early victim was Queen Matilda, the wife of Henry I. Legend has it that Matilda fell into the Lea, while crossing the dangerous ‘old ford’, and was nearly swept away by flood waters. So in 1110 she ordered the bridge to be built. The design was most untypical of an English bridge, being in a pronounced bow shape. Now, the two parts of Stratford were distinguished as Stratford Langthorne on the eastern, Essex bank. And Stratford-atte-Bow (‘at the Bow’) on the Middlesex side.

In 1538, the king’s antiquary Leland wrote that Matilda ‘caused two bridges to be built in a place one mile distant from the old ford, of which one was situated over the Lea, at the head of the town of Stratford, nowe called Bowe, because the bridge was arched like unto a bowe, a rare piece of work, for before that time the like had never been seen in England’.

But though villagers now had a safe crossing over the Lea, the marshlands around Stratford flooded as much as ever.

So bad was it that in 1311, the Bishop of London gave the inhabitants of Stratford Bow permission ‘to build a chapel for being so far distant from the parish church and the roads in winter being impassable by reason of the floods’. Edward III granted the villagers a parcel of land, on the proviso that they attend Stepney Church on all great holidays, using their ‘chapel of ease’ at other times. (From


Merchant Taylors 1530-1928 - to search click here Merchant Taylors 

Find out more about the Merchant Taylors click here:

New CDs

Last month:

Volume 67 St Dunstan Stepney 1837-1848

To buy this CD please click here vol 67

This month 

Compendium 6!

Our latest compendium includes the following CDs, (including three not yet released on single CDs):

The parishes included are;
vol 61 St Anne Limehouse 1854-1877
vol 62 St Dunstan Stepney 1835-1837
vol 63 St Mary Whitechapel 1774-1792
vol 64 Christ Church, Spitalfield 1729-1763
vol 65 Christ Church Spitalfield 1763-1795
vol 66 St George in the East 1861-1877
vol 67 St Dunstan Stepney 1837-1848
vol 68 St George in the East 1848-1861
vol 69 St John Wapping 1665-1707

vol 70 St John Wapping 1734-1780 (sorry about the space here; I've struggled away for ages to delete it, now I'm giving up!)

To buy the CD now please click here:comp 6

In transcription

St Matthew Bethnal Green 1799-1819

St George in the East 1877-1893

St John Wapping 1617-1665

St John Wapping 1707-1734

Other selected products

Thames & River Medway Series

New CDs out now!

Vol 83 St Pauls Deptford 1880-1895 Baptisms and Marriages £7.95

To buy this CD please click here Vol 83 

Vol 84 St Philip and St James Upnor 1878-1903 Baptisms and Marriages £4.95

To buy this CD please click here Vol 84 

1950-1959 bindings index  £4.95

To buy this CD please click here Bindings Index

My ancestors rowed for Doggett's Coat & Badge 1715-2009 updated with proof of the the name of the first winner of the wager. A complete list of every known competitor, including those who failed in heats.

To buy this CD please click here Doggett's

Catholic Registers

SS. Mary and Joseph, Poplar Roman Catholic Chapel.

Marriages and Baptisms 1818 - 1856

To buy this CD please click here: Catholic1

Misc Catholic London District Baptism, Marriages and Burials Vol 1

27 indexed transcriptions of Catholic Parish Registers from churches, chapels and missions in the county of Middlesex

To buy this CD please click here: Catholic 2

The Registers of the Sardinian Embassy Chapel, London, 1772 - 1841(Church of SS Anselm and Cecilia in Holborn). This comprises indexed transcriptions of over 22000 baptisms hitherto unpublished, a work which has taken them about 10 years to produce!!In total there are 60000 odd entries on this CD, a bargian at £7.95!

To buy this CD please click here: Catholic 3

Merchant Taylors

The Merchant Taylors 1520-1929 (36000 entries-Exclusive to Docklands Ancestors!) The index gives the name, date of feedom, method of admission (apprenticeship, patrimony, or redemption), name of master if by apprenticeship, date of election to livery, and 'Remarks'. 

To purchase this CD please click here:  Merchant Taylors

Watermen & Lightermen

Company of Watermen Compilation CD 1

This CD comprises the following titles:

1.Company of Watermen & Lightermen Apprenticeship Bindings Indexes 1692-1949
2.Register of licences granted by Corportation of Trinity House to ex-mariners to ply their trade as watermen working on the River Thames 1829-1864
3. Thames Watermen & Lightermen (also wives and widows) pensioners admitted for relief 1794-1837
4. Watermen & Lightermen reassigned to another master during their apprenticeship period 1688-1908

Price if bought separately: £57.80
Saving: £17.85

To buy this CD please click here Waterman CD

Devastated London - The Bombed City As Seen From A Barrage Balloon


To buy this (folded) map click here: Devastated London

Ecclesiastical Map-County of London 1903 

A Map of the Ecclesiastical Divisions within the County of London 1903. The map shows all Church of England parish boundaries in the London County Council area on a scale of 2 miles to the inch. Facsimile, printed in colour and folded in a case with brief introduction by Simon Morris. Approximate extent: Highgate to Streatham; Hammersmith to Isle of Dogs. Publication no 155 (1999).

 Price: £5.00 To buy this map please click here

London and Its Environs 1813


Price: £3.95 To buy this map and for more information please click here

Rocque's 1745 Survey of London


Price: £7.95 To buy this map and for more information please click here

To view our comprehensive Alan Godfrey maps collection please click here

Docklands Ancestors Parish Register CDs (67 CDs now to choose from)

Compendiums :

Waterman & Parish Register Special Offer Price: £129.93

St George in the East Parish Registers Part I 1729-1826 Price: £29.95

Southwark Parish Registers  Price: £19.95

Isle of Dogs Parish Registers Price: £15.95

Limehouse Parish Registers Price: £15.95

Stepney Parish Registers Price: £15.95

Wapping Parish Registers  Price: £15.95

Book Shop


My Ancestors were Thames Watermen: A Guide to Tracing your Thames Waterman and Lighterman (by James Legon)


        The Worst Street in London by Fiona Rule. Foreword by Peter Ackroyd.

worst street.jpg

Halfway up Commercial Street, one block away from Spitalfields Market, lies an anonymous service road. The average pedestrian wouldn't even notice it existed. But unlikely though it may seem, this characterless, 400ft strip of tarmac was once Dorset Street - the most notorious thoroughfare in the Capital; the worst street in London and the resort of Protestant fire-brands, thieves, con-men, pimps, prostitutes and murderers, most notably Jack the Ripper. Spitalfields as a whole is now a vibrant and fashionable place to live, work and play; the home of artists and artisans, just as it was when the Huguenots settled there. However, as dusk falls, the seemingly indelible, sordid side of this fascinating part of London begins to emerge once again as the unknowing descendants of Mary Kelly, Mary Ann Austin and Kitty Ronan and others begin to ply their trade around the hallowed walls of Christ Church. All signs of Dorset Street, ' the worst street in London', may all but have disappeared from the map but its legacy is too powerful to ever be entirely erased. This book chronicles the rise and fall of this remarkable street, from its promising beginnings at the centre of the 17th Century silk weaving industry through its gradual descent into iniquity, vice and violence to its final demise at the hands of the demolition men. Its remarkable history gives a fascinating insight into an area of London that has, from its initial development, been a cultural melting pot - the place where many thousands of immigrants became Londoners. It also tells the story of a part of London that, until quite recently, was largely left to fend for itself, with truly horrifying results.

To buy this book please click here Worst

Thames Ship Towage 1933-1992 by J. E. Reynolds

Thames Ship Towage 1933-1992 is the fascinating history of ship towage and of the tugs employed on the River Thames since 1933, complete with numerous photographs.
Beginning in 1933, the centenary of towage on the Thames, the book follows the fortunes of the companies on a year by year basis, right through to the boom years of the fifties and sixties, and the decline of the port in the 1980s.
Approximately 166 tugs are featured with full details, and the ultimate fate of each vessel is given. Also described are the tugs frontline activities during the war years, and after the war their long ocean tows as far afield as Australia, China and South America.
This unique book will appeal to all history and shipping enthusiasts, as well as to family historians seeking background on their lighterage ancestors.


To buy this book please click here: Thames

The Coat:The Origin and Times of Doggett's Famous Wager, by Bob Crouch

The story of the origin and times of Doggett's Coat and Badge race, the oldest annual sporting event. It has been rowed on London's River Thames by young watermen since 1715.

This book is about so much more than Doggett's Race though. It is written in the style of a novel and explores the life and times of a waterman on the river Thames. Given the dearth of material written on this subject, and all other books being out of print, it is a most welcome addition to understanding this topic.

Bob Crouch is a former Bargemaster to H.M. The Queen and a 3rd generation waterman. Bob has kindly autographed all of our copies of this book.



If you would like a copy of this book click here: coat

A Dictionary of Old Trades, Titles and Occupations By Colin Waters

a_dictionary.jpg Colin Waters explains the function of nearly 4000 old trades, titles and occupations, and contains over 70 illustrations. Especially relevant to all those interested in family, social and local history.

To buy this book click here: Dictionary

One-Off Books (used, all good condition)

Step By-Step Guide to Tracing Your Ancestors by D.M.Field (£3.50 plus p & p)

The City London's Square Mile by Alan Jenkins (£4 plus p & p)

The chapels in the Tower of London (The chapel Royal of St. Peter ad Vincula and the Chapel of St.John The Evangelist by The Reverend John F.M.Llewellyn (£3 plus p & p)

These second-hand titles are not on the site so if you would like to buy one please e-mail Yvonne at (first come first served!) and payment is by cheque only.

Just a quick reminder about our research services, which is Esme's department. If you'd like more details on research then click here: research

Interesting Sites


The Serving Soldier Featuring a selection of First World War posters pictures of the trenches of the Eastern front and a fascinating section on Bikes and Brooklands  I really enjoyed touring this interesting site and very much recommend it to you too.

Other sites I've come across recently include the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives, the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham Archives, and City of Westminster Archives Centre which holds extensive collections relating to family, local, business and community history. Among our resources are: books, pamphlets, directories, newspapers, journals, maps & plans, over 60,000 prints, drawings & photographs, local government records from 1460, electoral registers, census returns, parish registers, and business archives. Access to their search room is free of charge and no appointment is required.

Oh yes, and if you're a complete novice to this searching for your ancestors lark, check out the IGI on family search, you should find loads of relatives there!

Ramblings from the Council Estate

Something strange is afoot! 'er indoors, my other half, has strangely disappeared and been replaced by a Stepford wife! The normal version was always quite happy buying the odd cake from M&S or Tesco, but all of a sudden she's been replaced by someone who spends Sunday afternoon baking cakes, good ones at that! Now she's trawling the internet for new recipes and off down to Robert Dyas scooping up cake trays, whisks and the like!  

Oh yes, something strange is happening at school too; I've had a rash of little children who hardly reach my knee signing up to learn to play chess! Honestly,  two four year olds turned up the other day; I assumed they were left overs from the reception class, so I said 'Ah, have your parents not picked you up yet?' 'No', they replied, 'We're here for chess club', in tiny little voices. This will be a challenge I thought, but, to my real surprise, by the time the club had finished an hour later they had learnt the names of the pieces and how they moved (remember the knight is a really tricky little critter!).

If you remember from last month, young brother William, has just had a baby, kindly supplied by his wife Phil. Well they came down from up north (say that in a Northern accent) to mark his birthday a couple of weeks ago and brought Jocelyn, or Miss Brown as I like to call her, with them. Well, what a beautiful girl she is! She doesn't do much, obviously, but just to hold her in my arms for 20 minutes or so was such a thrill!.....until she cried of course, then it was time to pass her on.

The following may strike a chorde for all those born in the 1930's 1940's, 50's, 60's and early 70's !

First, we survived being born to mothers who smoked and/or drank while they carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, raw egg products, loads of bacon and processed meat, tuna from a can, and didn't get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.

Then after that trauma, our baby cots were covered with bright coloured lead-based paints.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks we took hitchhiking.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.

Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds , KFC, Subway or Nandos.

Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn't open on the weekends, somehow we didn't starve to death!

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.

We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy  Toffees, Gobstoppers, Bubble Gum and some bangers to blow up frogs with.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren't overweight because......


We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.

We would spend hours building our go-carts out of old prams and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and dens and played in river beds with matchbox cars.

We did not have Playstations, Nintendo Wii , X-boxes, no video games at all, no 999 channels on SKY ,
no video/dvd  films, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms..........WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no lawsuits from these accidents.

Only girls had pierced ears!

We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.

You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns at Easter time...

We were given air guns and catapults for our 10th birthdays,

We rode bikes or walked to a friend's house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!

Mum didn't have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!

Rugby and cricket had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn't had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!! Getting into the team was based on merit!

Our teachers used to hit us with canes and gym shoes and bullies always ruled the playground at school.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law!

Our parents didn't invent stupid names for their kids like 'Kiora' and 'Blade' and 'Ridge' and 'Vanilla'

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

Here's a joke kindly supplied by Ms Stepford!

Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson were going camping. They pitched their tent under the stars and went to sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night Holmes woke Watson up and said: “Watson, look up at the stars, and tell me what you see.”

Watson replied: “I see millions and millions of stars.”

Holmes said: “and what do you deduce from that?”

Watson replied: “Well, if there are millions of stars, and if even a few of those have planets, it’s quite likely there are some planets like earth out there. And if there are a few planets like earth out there, there might also be life.”

And Holmes said: “Watson, you idiot, it means that somebody stole our tent.”

All the very best

Jonathan and the team


-A Passion For Family History-

© Docklands Ancestors Ltd.