Parish Register Newsletter: February 2010


Greetings Subscriber!

Welcome to the parishregister  February newsletter. Well, first of all, look out for my new acquisitions, a Map of Middlesex (1611) by John Norden and John Speed and a balloon view of London 1851. There's a picture and an explanation of them somewhere below this, so I won't dwell on them here. There's also the two new databases freshly uploaded and I've found an interesting site all about the East End and its history.

Searchable Databases 

St John Wapping 1618-1665  3756 entries

St John Wapping 1707-1734  7125 entries

Jim has pulled out all the stops here, the first records in the first one are almost 400 years old! Just imagine if you find an ancestor there, what a result! The 1707-1734 also fills in an irritating gap, as we already have the ones before and after on the site. There are also some funny old entries in amongst them. In the 'first name' column there was a child's name recorded as 'a child'! And later on another was recorded as 'another child'! One poor child was also baptised 'Lettice'! In the address column there were also some classics like; 'upon ye wall', 'nere ye hermitage', 'in ye orchard', and 'found at Mrs Blisset's door'. As for occupations, do you know what a suckspeck did? Or how about a tidewaiter? Others include a Throwster, a Colourman and I wonder what a Hoop bender did?

Up-loaded last month:

St Mary Stratford 1771-1813

St Mary Stratford 1813-1831

To search the site click here

All Saints Poplar 1789-1805  I must once again apologise for another debacle involving All Saints. It appears that once again a film purporting to be All Saints is in fact St Dunstans!! This is why those searching for the All Saints records on the site couldn't find it. As soon as a customer e-mailed saying the search results were the same as an earlier record they had obtained from the St Dunstan database I took the All Saints database off the site. This time Jim transcribed the film, so naturally I let him know what had happened. Eager to get to the bottom of this he set about solving this weird phenomenon! After a while he then e-mailed me his theory, which I must admit sounds very convincing. So here it is;

The St Dunstan Stepney 1770-1798 transcription contains the Poplar entries, but they are mixed with the 'true' St. Dunstan ones.  There are minor differences between the entries in the two registers.
Digging deeper, Poplar All Saints was created out of St Dunstan Stepney in 1821-3 (,_Poplar).  I suspect that the Poplar All Saints 1789-1805 register was copied from the original St Dunstan registers.
Based on my experience of Cornwall and Somerset, when the LDS go in to photograph registers they start at the top of the pile and work downwards, if it has writing on it, it gets photographed.  No attempt is apparently made to sort out what belongs where or discard anything that might be a duplicate, which strictly speaking this isn't, merely a copy of a copy. So, the moral here? Don't judge a book by it's cover, or a film by it's label, or.....nope my brain has turned mushy!

More about St Dunstan

This is Stepney parish Church and dates back to the tenth century. Dunstan (c. 909 – 988), was made Bishop of Worcester then of London and finally Archbishop of Canterbury in 961. He is reputed to have pinched the devil's nose with iron tongs, hence the carving on the right hand side over the doorway into the church. The ship on the left is there because this was the sailor's church, and the red ensign, the flag of the merchant navy, can often be seen flying from its flagpole. In times past, a light used to be lit in its tower to help guide ships into the port of London. This article I found in

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

Find out more about the Merchant Taylors click here:

New CDs

I'm afraid there are no new offerings this month, although I've got an eleven CD compendium of St Dunstan in the pipeline, starting in 1730 and going all the way through to 1848.

Last 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 that's still here; it's stubborn and refuses to be deleted!)

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 Dunstan Stepney 1568-1608 Yes, you've read it correctly, 1568! 

Other selected products

Thames & River Medway Series

New Apprenticeship Bindings 1950-1959

Indexed from the original register at Waterman's Hall, these records take the total coverage of the apprenticeship bindings.

A typical entry reads as follows:

with the first name being the apprentice and the latter his master. The first date is the binding date, the second the freedom date.

CD in Adobe Acrobat format.
Transcribed by Rob Cottrell.

To buy this CD please click here 1950

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 bargain at £7.95!

To buy this CD please click here: Catholic 3

Oh yes, watch this space for another Catholic CD also in the pipeline

Merchant Taylors

The Merchant Taylors 1520-1929 (36000 entries-Exclusive to Docklands Ancestors!)The index gives the name, date of freedom, 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

My Ancestors rowed for Doggett's Coats & 1715-2009 NEW 2nd Edition
This NEW volume has proof of the race starting in 1715, together with the names of previously unknown winners and competitors, including the name of the FIRST WINNER in 1st August 1715. The evidence has been agreed by Watermen's Hall, Fishmongers' Hall and Guildhall Library. It also explores the history of the race, the life of Thomas Doggett and is lavishly illustrated throughout. Compiled from primary sources, this is the most comprehensive work on the man and his race available.
A complete List of every known competitor, INCLUDING those who failed in heats and drawing of lots.

Written by Rob Cottrell. Published by Trueflare Ltd. CD in Adobe Acrobate format.
To buy this CD please click here Doggett's

Affidavit Birth Proof Index 1898-1949 (Vol 09)

Vol 9 Affidavit birth Proof Index 1898-1949
Index of Binding Dates with Apprentice Date of Birth And Where Born Or Baptised
From the original register at Waterman's Hall

CD in Adobe Acrobat format
Transcribe By Rob Cottrell
Published by Trueflare Ltd 

To buy this CD please click here:   Affidavit

The Company of Watermen & Lightermen : Reassignment Index 1688-1908.

This CD lists some 12,000 apprentices that were reassigned from their original master to another. In some cases to more than one other master.

The entries were extracted from the Apprenticeship Bindings Indexes that cover the same time period.A typical entry reads as follows:
(Whom I happen to know was his mother).

CD-ROM in Adobe Acrobat format.
Transcribed by Robert Cottrell.
Published by Trueflare Ltd.

To purchase this CD please click on this: Reassignment


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

Map of Middlesex 1611 by by John Norden and John Speed.


This beautiful and highly illustrated map of Middlesex has 2 town plans. One of Westminster and the other of London being separate towns at that time. In the lower 2 corners of this map are drawings of Saint Peters or Westminster Abbey and St Paul's Cathedral with a set of notes on each. St Paul's is shown with the loss of its spire in 1561 before it was restored in the 1630s by Inigo Jones. The print shown is a copy of the original and so is in colour, the print we offer you is in black and white. The print measures 46cms x 58cms. 

To buy this map for £4.95 plus p&p please click here: Middlesex

A Balloon View of London 1851


One of several maps and panoramas of London to come out in 1851, the year of the Great Exhibition. This is an aerial panorama, naming streets and showing many individual buildings. The view is looking southwards and therefore appears "upside-down" compared to most maps. The enormous glass building built in Hyde Park for the Great Exhibition is shown - Cockneys dubbed it the "Crystal Palace" and it's even named as such on the panorama.

The black and white map is an exhilarating view of London looking south over the River Thames, as if taken from a balloon over Hampstead. This plan/view's extent (St John's Wood - Battersea Park - De Beauvoir Town - Greenwich) and large size makes for a superbly detailed image with innumerable streets, buildings and landmarks identifiable. First published on the opening day of the Great Exhibition, the plan proved immensely popular with reissues appearing into the late 1870s. This is an early Stanford edition with the aquatint detail fresh and distinct, and presents a wonderful picture of London prior to the great Victorian expansion.
Size:101x66 cm

We only have two of these maps, so if you want one, don't hang around!

To buy one click here: Balloon

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

Book Shop

Francis Frith's Down the Thames by Martin Andrew.

This evocative collection of archive photographs from the world famous Francis Frith Collection shows the Thames and it’s nearby towns and villages from mid-Victorians times, and depicts the considerable changes they have undergone during the twentieth century.

Travel back in time and revisit the landmarks and places that are so characteristic of The Thames. This book will spark many memories for you and your family and will provide hours of enjoyable reading and reminiscing.

Frith’s historic photographs are renowned the world over for their clarity and fine detail. Unlike many local history books that reproduce old postcards, this book is packed with high-quality photographs carefully chosen from the Frith archive and in in which you will find much fascinating detail. Most have not been published in book form before.  


Dockland Apprentice by David Carpenter.
With 192 pages and 45 illustrations, Dockland Apprentice provides a fascinating insight into what life was like for an apprentice marine engineer within the London Docks during the 1950's. It was an area considered by most Londoners as mysterious and inaccessible, some parts enclosed and hidden from view by enormous walls and others bordered by marshland. The nearest that most people came was the sight of the ship's funnels and cranes that dominated the skyline as they travelled to work on the train.

The Docks were full of colourful and eccentric characters. Working conditions at the time were very different to today and the author describes both from an intimate knowledge.

He was an indentured apprentice and learned the skills necessary for a long and exciting career that involved repair work in one of the foremost shipyards and on many of the magnificent ships that docked in one of the world's busiest ports.


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


        The Worst Street in Londonby 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

 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 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


If you're interested in joining a family history society then I've found the site to find one; it's FFHS and here are a selection of the societies they list:

Essex Society for FH

Mrs Ann Church, Windyridge, 32 Parsons Heath, Colchester, Essex, CO4 3HX

East of London FHS

Society Secretary, 23 Louvaine Avenue, Wickford, Essex SS12 ODP

London Westminster & Middlesex FHS

Mrs. Tricia Sutton, 141 Welbeck Road, HARROW, Middlesex HA2 0RY

West Middlesex FHS

Tony Simpson, 32 The Avenue, Bedford Park, Chiswick, London, W4 1HT

Also listed under Middlesex

Woolwich & District FHS

Sue Highley, 121 Crofton Ave, Bexley, Kent, DA5 3AU

Now I love a good freebie and by chance I stumbled on one the other day. I'm sure most of you are already aware of it, but just in case here it is. If you want to look at the 1881 census for free, then pop along to findmypast et voila! 'nuff said.

  You'll have seen all the baptism records we have transcribed up to now, but if you were wondering how many films held at the LMA there are, which include marriages, burials, baptisms and registers of confirmations and banns, then click here:

Guide to Tower Hamlets Parish Registers

Oh yes, one more site kindly suggested by Heather 

The Mersea Island Museum is an independent museum established in 1976 and occupying purpose-built premises in the centre of West Mersea, just to the east of the Parish Church. The traditional local activities of fishing, oystering, wild fowling and boat building are represented. The reconstruction within the museum of a typical weather-boarded fisherman's cottage provides an interior display centred on a Victorian coal-fired kitchen range, with adjoining facilities for washing clothes using old-fashioned manual equipment.

Oh, one more site: 


There is much of interest in this site on all things to do with the East End, I really recommend you have a look, I was going to say a quick look, but I think you'll end up spending quite some time exploring it!

Ramblings from the Council Estate

You know they say every cloud has a silver lining, well I'm not sure if that always applies, but I suppose it's good to look for one. Well, last weekend appeared to be the opposite for me; every silver lining has a cloud. Eh? I hear you ask, well I'm asking myself the same, am I cracking up? Well, let me explain. Last Sunday was my new niece's christening (remember I told you about her last month). Unfortunately this involved a long schlep up to Sheffield (that place I keep getting lost in). As usual I tried my best to eke every mile I could out of every gallon of diesel (which has shot up in price since the last time I filled up) and I booked us into a nice cheap hotel (with wafer thin pillows) to minimise the cost, but all to no avail I'm afraid. A few days after I got back I received a penalty notice for entering a yellow box thingy on a red route, £120 please, or £60 if you cough up quickly. Honest guv, it wasn't my fault! I entered seeing a space the other side, but then a van to my left realised he was going to get stuck in the box so he pulled in front of me and filled in my space! This left me high and dry, banged to rights, caught on camera! Will I appeal? Although I'm in the right, I won't, it's not worth the hassle, and they make it so easy to pay, just go on-line, click, click, click and it's all over, easier and less painful than a visit to the dentist! Oh yes, the christening; another lovely family occasion involving a great curry the night before (although it was so packed that the only way for some of us to go to the loo was to slide underneath the table!), a moving ceremony, a brisk walk between venues which the better half always looks forward to (especially the near vertical hills!), and splendiferous lunch afterwards. Thanks Will and Phil, see you in April for the half marathon! Speaking of which, still in training, although it's been a bit of a struggle what with swine flue, snow, dark evenings and now I've got yet another cold!

Another joke kindly supplied by the cake queen:  

Ross goes to the doctor, beaten black and blue. . . . .

Doctor: "What happened?"

Ross:" Doctor, I don't know what to do. Every time my fiancée Amy comes home drunk she beats me to a pulp...."

Doctor:"I have a real good medicine against that: When Amy comes home drunk, just take a cup of chamomile tea and start gargling with it. Just gargle and gargle".

Two weeks later he comes back to the doctor and looks reborn and fresh again.

Ross: "Doc, that was a brilliant idea. Every time Amy came home drunk I gargled repeatedly with chamomile tea and she never touched me.

Doctor:  "you see how keeping your mouth shut helps." 

Finally, something I guarantee will bring a smile to your face, take a look at this sleep-walking dog!

All the best  

Jonathan and the team


-A Passion For Family History-

© Docklands Ancestors Ltd.