Parish Register Newsletter: April 2007

Dear Subscriber

Hello and welcome to the April newsletter. Lots of transcribing going on, but that's about all at the moment really. No, I've not be lazeing about in the most welcome sunshine sitting outside the Foresters Arms, ( ok, well not that much anyway ). So, feel free not to put the kettle on this time :)

Online Searchable Databases

Five databases have been completed/uploaded in the last month:

St George in the East 1835-1837.
St Paul Shadwell 1812-1852

St Dunstan Stepney 1745-1770. 85% completed
St George in the East 1837-1848 30% completed
St George in the East 1770-1794 30% completed

About 10,000 entries uploaded this month. I was glad to complete the St George 1835 transcription, as it took up so much time. It won't be long now until St George is completed between 1729 and 1848.
Just to recap for the benefit of new subscribers, our transcription priorities at the moment are filling in the gaps in previously transcribed parishes. After that it will be the remaining parishes in Stepney.

Click here to search the databases now

New Docklands Ancestors Series CDs

ImageTwo new CDs just in stock:
Vol 38 St George in the East 1750-1770
Vol 39 St Dunstan Stepney 1746-1757

Vols 40-44 are going off to the production company this week. If you would like to receive our single parish CDs automatically as they're released, do please let me know.

A new CD called St Paul Shadwell will also be coming out soon, comprising all of our transcriptions of this parish between 1712 and 1881. Similar such CDs will also be published for St John Wapping, St Mary Whitechapel, St Dunstan Stepney and St George in the East, as these parishes are completed.

There will be a lull in CD publication, due to our production company putting their prices up by 25%. I'm currently trying to source another company, as I'm unwilling to put our prices up by 25%, or to sell them at a loss. Any recommendations?

Clickety click here for Vols 38 & 39

Useful link: Charles Booth Poverty Maps

Charles Booth was a leading campaigner against poverty in the 19th century. He's also known as a founder of the Salvation Army. What he did that is of continuing benefit to family historians was to map London by income group. When you can see the area where your ancestor lived and see the socio-economic condition of the surrounding area, it can often provoke avenues of research that might prove fruitful. For example, the map shows that Wapping, where my tribe hail from, is just about at the bottom of the heap. So, not much point in looking in Court & Social records then. Rather, workhouse records would probably be more beneficial for me to spend time and money on.
This site gives free access to the maps themselves, and, er, other stuff.

Click here for Charles Booth Poverty Maps

Compendium CD 3 out now

The third in our series of compendium CDs is out now, about 3 weeks earlier than planned. All those who ordered at the pre-publication price should already have received it.
The CD comprises volumes 31-40 of our individual CDs. They are outstanding value for money, and are the most cost effective way to search our transcriptions.

Click here for Compendium 3

Doggett's Coat & Badge Race, a contemporary account

I was most grateful to Pam Smith for sending me these articles from the 1869 & 1875 Kentish Mercury newspaper. Local newspapers are an excellent source for research. There's a place in Stratford I go to search through the papers on microfilm.

KENTISH MERCURY September 1869


A Scullers’ race with six Watermen’s apprentices of Greenwich, was commenced on Monday for the coat and badge and other prizes, but unfortunately, was not brought to a close, there being a foul and its usual attendants.

The first heat was won by O Cavil (yellow), beating G. Hampshire (pink), and F. Perry (light blue).

The second heat by H. Parsons (red), beating E. Cobb (Green), and C Smith (dark blue).

The third heat by Cobb and Smith beating Hampshire and Perry.

In the fourth heat Cavil, Parsons, Cobb, and Smith started, and at the rounding they fouled, and after a great deal of discussion it was determined that the race should be finished on the following day, that being considered the fairest course to all parties. The contest on Tuesday resulted in Smith winning the principal prize.

Kentish Mercury July 1875


The Greenwich 98th annual regatta, rowed by watermen of the town, was commenced on Monday last, but in consequence of some dispute, was not completed until the following day. The chief prize, a new boat, built by Mr F Thomas, of Greenwich, was drawn up on the pavement near the Buffalo’s Head. Garden Stairs, on Sunday, and was visited by admiring crowds. We understand the boat is somewhat superior to the boats usually rowed for upon such occasions. The fastening being of copper instead of iron. The backboard was painted by Mr Rogers of Church Street, Deptford, the subjects represented being Capt. Boyton ashore and afloat, the Bessemer Steamer, the Alexandra ironclad, the Sultan of Zanzibar, and a South Sea Fishing View.

During Monday the pier front of College and any position from which a view of the race could be obtained was crowded, and at six o’clock after the race with the “best four” the crush on the promenade fronting the college was so great that for fully 15 minutes there was a complete block, to relieve which, it became necessary to open the gates of the College. On Monday night a punt was rowed to a point between the College stairs and the Fisgard, a pole being projected from the boat, with a box at the end, containing an unfortunate pig. The animal was given by Mr Pierce, of London Street. As the pole was well greased, almost all who attempted to secure the pig got well soused, and much fun ensued, but ultimately the prize was gained.

The competitors in the regatta the year were

George Hardee, Light blue:
Phillip Webber, pink;
Charles Smith green
Thomas Humphrey’s red
Thomas Goddard, dark blue
And Joseph Williams yellow
The first prize was a new boat, value £27 second £5; third £2 10s; forth, £2; fifth, £1 10s and sixth, £1 5s. The following is a description of the several heats;


C. Smith green------------------1st
G. Hardee, light blue-----------2nd
P. Webber, pink-----------------3rd

A good start was affected, and all kept well together to the lower distance boat, when Smith got away; there was a strong struggle with pink and light blue


T. Goddard, dark blue-----------1st
T. Humphreys, red----------------2nd
J Williams, yellow----------------3rd

Yellow took the lead, but soon after dropped short being quickly passed by dark blue and red. Dark blue won the heat by about eight lengths.

THIRD HEAT worst four

Williams, yellow-------------------1st
Webber, yellow---------------------2nd
Hardee, light blue-------------------3rd
Humphreys, red----------------------4th

This was a very good contest, and well won by yellow.

Thomas Goddard, dark blue-------------1st
Joseph Williams, yellow------------------2nd
Charles Smith, green-----------------------3rd
Phillip Webber, pink-----------------------4th

After several false starts the men dashed off in fine style, and a splendid race ensued all the way up the Essex side of the river, dark blue Goddard leading, closely followed by yellow Williams, and green Smith, pink Webber, being a rather bad third. After rounding, dark blue Goddard improved his position somewhat, and at Greenwich pier a foul occurred between green Smith, and yellow Williams, Yellow got clear with the lead, but had proceeded no further than the college steps when green caught him, and endeavoured to pass him on the outside, which was prevented by yellow placing his scull behind green’s back, and thus locked they drifted as far as the Trafalgar, pink having in consequence gained second place, but no sooner did green and yellow get apart than pink was compelled to content himself with fourth position. A fine trial ensued between green and yellow, the latter heading his opponent, while dark blue, who was some lengths ahead, was rowing an easy winning stroke, and came in about eight lengths ahead of yellow, who at the finish had placed four lengths between himself and green, who preceded pink by about the same distance. After the race some dispute occurred as to the foul,, and the consequence was that the final heat did not come off until the following day, to the disappointment of thousands of spectators.

The manager, Mr Thomas, ordered yellow and green to start again on the next day, the best man of the two to start with dark blue. Green proved to be the best man


C smith, Green-----------------------1st
T. Goddard, dark blue----------------2nd

This heat was rowed on Tuesday evening, the men keeping scull and scull to the upper flag boat, where they got closed. Green then went away, and ultimately won the boat by about eight lengths.

The above decision by Mr. Thomas appeared to give general satisfaction.

Click here for the Waterman page

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More ramblings of an Urban Shed Dweller
Ok, so we've established I've been up to something other than genealogy or the Foresters Arms. You'll recall that I mentioned last month that the Elf Witch ( aka the ex trouble and strife ) was in hospital for the removal of a supposedly benign lump from her breast? Well it turned out that is wasn't benign after all. Needless to say this came as a bit of a shock. Mention of the word cancer tends to provoke thoughts of imminent death, and at best disfigurement in what is a particularly sensitive area for a woman.
So, it's been in and out of hospitals and a lot of kerfuffle. The 2nd op went well, although there were one or two traumatic moments, and she's been given the all clear, but 3 weeks of daily radiation treatment is next up.
The treatment received from the NHS I have to say was 1st class. We also met many wonderfully kind people during the endless waiting arounds. We both had a giggle with the numerous little old ladies who told us that is was so nice to see a couple so much in love. Indeed, we gave up mentioning in the end that we've been divorced for 13 years.
As hospitals were the flavour of the month, my dad, wife and I have all had problems too, so I'm now well acquainted with every hospital in the area, ( and their scandalous parking charges ).

I'm not on broadband at the moment, as AOL, ( America OFF Line that stands for ) and I have parted company. I'd rather be sectioned than ever have to deal with their so called technical support people ever again. This means that doing anything on the internet right now is immensely time consuming and frustrating.

Whilst we're talking technical stuff, please be aware that if you "upgrade" ( please don't make me laugh ), to Windows Vista our website will not be viewable to you. Don't ask me why, we haven't a clue. Maybe my ancestors upset Bill Gates' ancestors. Please direct your emails to Microsoft and not to us.

Finally, it is with great sadness that I have to tell you that Hugh, Pugh, Barney Mc Grew et al, the last surviving goldfish, have all fallen prey to Yvonne's mysterious visting flying herring, which we eventually identified as a heron, albeit one visible in a light spectrum accessible only to her.
Click here for website

Kind regards,
James and the ParishRegister team

The closing quote:

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who stray are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.


-A Passion For Family History-

© Docklands Ancestors Ltd.