Parish Register Newsletter: June 2009

Welcome one and all to the parishregister June newsletter.  Wow, what a response to the London Gazette link I put in last month's newsletter! Over seven hundred of you had a look at the site; I hope it was worth it and you uncovered some useful information.

Searchable Databases 

Uploaded and ready to search: Christchurch Spitalfields 1729-1763 9700 odd entries expertly transcribed by Jim Sheppard at his usual phenomenal rate, cheers Jim!

 To search the site click here

New CDs

The Merchant Taylors 1520-1929 (36000 entries searchable database and CD). This is a transcription of the original Index consisting of all 4 volumes in alphabetical order:
1.  A-D
2.  E-J
3.  K-R
4.  S-Z
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’.The CD is due to be produced within the next couple of weeks, all I need to do now is design the CD cover. It's taken a while to reach this point but now we have the web-pageon the site and the searchable database will also be up and running by mid July. If you would like to pre-order the CD at the introductory price of £24.95 then please click here.

Now in transcription are:

Christchurch Spitalfields 1763-1795 (almost complete)

St George in the East 1848-1861 (two thirds complete)

St George in the East 1861-1877 (almost complete)

St Dunstan Stepney 1837-1848 (two thirds complete)

Other selected products

Ecclesiastical Map-County of London 1903 


Price: £5.00 To buy this map please click here

London and It's Environs 1813


Price: £3.95 To buy this map please click here

Rocque's 1745 Survey of London


Price: £7.95 To buy this map please click here

To view the Alan Godfrey maps please click here

Docklands Ancestors Parish Register CDs (63 CDs now to choose from)

East of London FHS Publications

Docklands Ancestors Parish Register CDs - Compendiums

Special offer! Compendium 5, normal price £49.95 now only £29.95, a saving of £20! If you'd like to take advantage of this amazing, once in a lifetime offer please click here  special offer

Southwark Parish Registers 

Vol 21 St Mary Newington, Southwark 1829-1837
Vol 54 St Mary Newington, Southwark 1837-1842
vol 2 St Mary Newington, Southwark 1902-1922
vol 23 St Mary, Magdalen, Bermondsey 1782-1812
vol 53 St Mary, Magdalen, Bermondsey 1813-1822
vol 25 St Mary, magdalen, Bermondsey 1822-1829

St George in the East Parish Registers Part I 1729-1826

Vol 36 St George 1729-1749
Vol 38 St George 1750-1770
Vol 48 St George 1770-1794
Vol 52 St George 1795-1808
Vol 49 St George 1809-1815
Vol 13 St George 1815-1820
Vol 14 St George 1821-1826

Isle of Dogs Parish Registers

Vol 8 St Luke Millwall 1866-1887
Vol 9 Christ Church, Cubbitt Town 1876-1904
Vol 10 All Saints Poplar 1835-1857
Vol 11 St John Cubbitt Town 1887-1902
Vol 15 All Saints Poplar 1813-1835

Limehouse Parish Registers

Vol 3 St Paul Shadwell 1852-1881
Vol 4 St James Ratcliff 1841-1913
Vol 6 St Anne Limehouse 1833-1854
Vol 7 St Peter Limehouse 1866-1903

Stepney Parish Registers

Vol 12 St Dunstan Stepney 1839-1844
Vol 16 St Thomas Stepney 1840-1876
Vol 17 St Dunstan Stepney 1816-1822
Vol 18 St Mary Whitechapel 1812-1823
Vol 19 St Dunstan Stepney 1822-1826

Wapping Parish Registers 

Vol 1 St Peter, London Docks 1878-1933
Vol 5 St John Wapping 1813-1847
Vol 13 St George in the East 1815-1820
Vol 14 St George in the East 1821-1826

Watermen & Lightermen

More about:

Christ Church Spitalfields (1714–1729)

Christ Church was built under the Act of Parliament of 1711 which required the building of fifty new churches to serve the new populations on the fringes of London. The Act established a Commission that was to determine the brief for the new buildings; its members included Wren, Vanbrugh and Archer. Hawksmoor and Dickinson were appointed as Surveyors to carry out the programme. In 1710 the roof of St Alfege, Greenwich had collapsed, and its parishioners petitioned the Commission to provide money for rebuilding the church; it became the first of the series that Hawksmoor designed. Of the intended fifty churches, when the programme expired in 1731 only twelve had been built, of which six were designed by Hawksmoor. (from

If nothing has tickled your fancy but still would like to look around our shop please click here

Book Reviews

New Tiltles

East End Murders:From Jack the Ripper to Ronnie Kray By Neil Storey.
True Crime History

Neil Storey has drawn on a vast array of original sources-among them witness statements, coroners' reports and court records-to produce a revealing insight into East End's darkest moments.
As well as the murders of Jack the Ripper, he took nine other cases in detail: Ratcliffe Highway 1811, Henry Wainwright dismembered his mistress and rolled up her body in a carpet in 1874......
to the recent murders on Bow Road cinema in 1934 and finally the shooting of George Cornell at the Blind Beggar Pub in 1966. A ripping read that had me hooked right from the start, and resulted in a few too many late nights! (To buy the book just click on the title) Price: £12.99


Maritime Greenwich By David Ramzan

David Ramzan was born in Greenwich. He is a sought-after artist,has previously written Greenwich:The centre of the world.

For over a thousand years Greenwich was the site of a thriving ship and boatbuilding industry. A variety of ships were built up and down the Thames, but it was in Greenwich where London's shipbuilding evolved when the Royal Docks of Deptford and Woolwich were established by King Henry VIII, who's palace stood between the two at Greenwich.

This beautifully illustrated book presents the illustrious maritime history of Greenwich. The images contains in this publication are from David Ramzan's own personal collection and the Local History Library at the Greenwich Heritage Centre. (To buy the book please click on the title) Price £12.99

maritime greenwich.jpg

One-Off Books

"Right up Your Street" A short History of Wood Street by the Walthamstow Historical Society by J.W.Howes and A.D. Law (£3 plus p & p)

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.

Other selected titles

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

Newham Dockland (Images of England S.)

Dockland Apprentice

Walthamstow ( Images of London )

Tales of London's Docklands

A century of the East End

Around Poplar and Limehouse

Barking and Dagenham (Archive Photographs S.)

East End Neighbourhoods

London Life in the 19th Century: A Human Awful Wonder of God

The Workhouse

Dockland: Illustrated Historical Survey of Life and Work in East London

Canning Town Voices


Useful Sites


Free BMD I expect most of you know about this site but I was amazed to see 16 pages of Legons in the search results, and all at the bargain price of no pounds and no pence!

The East London History Society  A great site all-round, but I was particularly interested in their series of virtual walks around the East End which are based on the Ordnance Survey maps of the 1914 issue.

WW2 People's War The BBC asked the public to contribute their memories of World War Two to a website between June 2003 and January 2006. This archive of 47,000 stories and 15,000 images is the result.

Anglican Churches in Stepney Middlesex 1890

Here is a list of all the Anglican churches of Stepney in 1890/1905, with the dates of the parish formation if known. Original registers if not still with church are mostly deposited in the London Metropolitan Archives. See the London Generations database, and enter appropriate key word (it is a fussy search-engine - for best results enter in last line one word from district name or one word from church dedication).

We have separate lists of Bethnal Green churches and Poplar churcheswhich were at one time within Stepney, as described in the next paragraph.

Charles Booth On-line Archive

I found this site really interesting. The map shows the degrees of poverty in all of the parishes across London ranging from the lowest class (coloured black), 'vicious semi-criminal' to 'upper middle and upper classes' (coloured yellow), in 1898-99 and it also gives you a modern map of the same area.

charles Booth.jpg

The social investigators accompanied police around their beats in London in order to update the existing street-level information for the Maps Descriptive of London Poverty 1898-1899. The policemen were able to supply local knowledge of the area and inhabitants as well as probably providing protection. The reports of the walks record vivid descriptions of the streets of London, inhabitants and often a description of the policemen. The report of each walk is accompanied by a sketch map of the area covered in the walk.

A typical description indicates if the street should be coloured differently on the updated edition of the poverty map, the type of housing, inhabitants if seen, state of the roads, type of occupations and extent of poverty of the inhabitants. Sometimes the descriptions go beyond this and general subjects are recorded. For example, the relationship of publicans and police, crime and drunkenness among men, women and children, descriptions of ethnic communities. General remarks on the walk tend to appear at the end of each report.

I've mentioned the National Archives site in a number of newsletters but I still can't get my head round how much information they have stored in their vaults. One subscriber e-mailed me recently and shared with me an amazing 'story' she uncovered regarding one of her family, Albert Aylward. He was born in Bermondsey and was the third born of 13 children. Life was difficult and the area in which he grew up was impoverished and work was hard to find. The family had a long history of working on the Londondocks and it is here that  Albert, known as Bert, became active in attempting to gain better pay and conditions for the dockers. He was acutely aware of the injustice of the class divide and the power that employers wielded over their workers.  It was this injustice that spurred him into joining the Communist Party. Whether he was purely political or became involved on the fringes of espionage is still unclear.  Albert  Aylward edited a political publication called STRUGGLE , and wrote articles for the Communist publication “The Daily Worker” and in December  1930 wrote an article for The London Docker called “What I saw in Russia” The National Archives at Kew hold documents relating to his activities as monitored by the Special Branch and MI6 spanning the years 1930-1949. The file is comprehensive with transcripts of “tapped” telephone conversations and reports on meetings infiltrated by Special Branch. Below is just one of the files that has been transcribed.  To fully appreciate the level of covert operations one would need to view the whole of the file held at Kew.

Metropolitan Police Special Branch 26th February 1944   With further reference to Albert Edward AYLWARD, communist, subject if S.B. file 301/MP/1868:-   Albert Edward AYLWARD National Registration No. AFJW/91/1, has resided at 44 Dartmouth Court, Blackheath Hill, S.E.10 since 10.8.1942.  From the National Registration records it would appear that he has not lived with his wife for several years and her present whereabouts is not known.   He has an Uncle, named Albert Edward AYLWARD, born 1894 who in 1937 was residing at 50 Blockhouse Street, CanterburyRoad, S.E.15.  The latter’s son, also Albert Edward AYLWARD, born 1920, inthat year applied for employment at Woolwich Arsenal and was the subject of M.I.5 correspondence, dated 15.9.1937   The subject of this report is employed as a docker at Surrey Commercial Docks under the control of the National Dock Labour Corporation, Trinity House E.C.   He is a member of the National Amalgamated Stevedores & Dockers’ Union, of which he was reported to be the secretary during last year.   Although normally employed by the London Docks, he has at various times been transferred to a number of other ports where extra labour was needed.   Special Branch file 402/41/685 refers to enquiries made regarding Albert Edward AYLWARD and three others after their return to Londonfrom Salford Docks, where it was stated that Communist Party members had exercised considerable influence during a dispute.

Ramblings from the Council Estate

As I mentioned last month we went to see Blood Brothers at the end of May, and wow, what a show! Never having been overcome with excitement for musicals I must admit I hopped on the bus to the theatre thinking more about the cup final I was missing than the the show I was about to see. Nevertheless, I had taped the footie and was confident I could avoid finding out the score on the way home. Once we settled into our 6th row seats my anticipation began to rise...and boy did I enjoy it. It wasn't all songs; loads of dialogue and the acting was great. The story was about two twin boys and... no I better not spoil it for any of you who might want to see it one day. My other half was so impressed with the show that she taken her son to see it as I'm typing this very paragraph. Oh yes, I managed to get home without knowing the score, although I did have to stick two digits in my ears as we went past a pub in Liverpool Street, and then again when a supporter and his mate sat right behind me on the bus. So once home, I settled down to watch the match, ah what bliss.....until twenty minutes into the game! The screen went blank and up popped an episode of East Enders! I sat there, disbelieving, in a state of shock. Ho, hum, I thought, not a disaster, I'll watch the 'extended highlights' later on. Before these came on I started watching a programme on Hitler. After an hour or so I picked up the TV mag only to find that the programme overlapped the footie, but only by 15 minutes and I had seen the first twenty minutes, remember? So once the fascinating programme on The Fuehrer finished I quickly turned over, only to discover the extended highlights were nearing the end, with half the programme still to go! Some things just aren't meant to be eh?

Not sure how many of you live in London, but we got held to ransom by the tube drivers the other week. Neither of us take the tube generally but we knew that the buses would be jam-packed. This obviously greatly vexed my other half as she had the prospect of a marathon walk ahead of her should the worst materialise and she couldn't join the other sardines on the bus. Come the day, it was swings and roundabouts for her; she got the first bus, but the second at Liverpool Street was packed and she had to resign herself to walking, the poor lass, as they say up north. Normally crossing the road from our flat to the bus stop opposite brings her out in a sweat and results in blisters, well she will where those 5 inch heels, so you can imagine what it did to her system having to walk the best part of a mile!

Oh yes, before I leave you with a joke, if you want to see a Sneezing Panda, obviously click on the link!

Q. What lies on its back, one hundred feet in the air?

A. A dead centipede.


All the best

Jonathan and the team


-A Passion For Family History-

© Docklands Ancestors Ltd.