Parish Register Newsletter: September 2009

Welcome to the parishregister September newsletter. Another month has passed and we're into Autumn, with shorter days, more rain, and it's getting colder and colder..... unless of course you live in OZ or NZ, in which case you're a lucky so and so!!! ......Ok, there's been a few days since I wrote this first bit, and guess what, we're having an Indian summer, it's still 21 degrees and there's been no rain for over a week. As I ran through Victoria Park today there were people sunbathing and having B-B-Qs, oh the unpredictability of English weather! Before we get down to business I have a rather silly question for you: what do you call a sheep covered in plastic? The answer is somewhere in this newsletter, as is a £10 off offer on one of our compendiums!

Searchable Databases 

Merchant Taylors 1530-1928 - to search this 36000 entry database please click here Merchant Taylors after all, what have you got to lose?

To search the site click here

New CDs

The Merchant Taylors 1520-1929 (Exclusive to Docklands Ancestors!)

This is a transcription of the original 36000 index consisting of all 4 volumes in alphabetical order.
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

Volume 64 Christ Church Spitalfields 1729-1763 9734 entries. I had hoped this would be ready for sale by the time this newsletter went out, but I have been thwarted! If you have been waiting I suggest keeping an eye on the site as I'm now hoping it will be with us next week. 

Coming next month:  Volume 65 Christchurch Spitalfields 1763-1795

In transcription

St George in the East 1848-1861

St George in the East 1861-1877  

St John Wapping 1665-1707

St John Wapping 1737-1780

St Dunstan Stepney 1837-1848

Other selected products

Thames & River Medway Series

Volume 6 St Peter, St Paul Swanscombe 1750-1862 baptisms,marriages,burials.
St Mary Rotherhithe 1834-1870 baptisms,marriages;1834-1855 burials.
St Margaret Barking 1813-1851 baptisms,burials;1813-1848 marriages.

This is one of 15 compilation CDs, to buy this one please click here Volume 6 or to see the others in the series click on the title above

East of London FHS Publications

Selected products:

Crow Lane Burial index (Romford) 1871-1953 listing 20,000 entries

This CD is up for grabs at £10 so if this tickles your fancy click here: CLBI

SS. Mary and Joseph, Poplar Roman Catholic Chapel.

Marriages and Baptisms 1818 - 1856

Marriages:- Bride, Groom and may include parents and witnesses.
Baptisms:- Name of baptised, and may include Mother, Father and sponsors

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 22,000 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

Watermen & Lightermen

Selected products:

1628 Admiralty Muster of Watermen James transcribed this document from the National Archives in Kew. On the searchable CD-Rom, there are some 2,393 names of Watermen. Information recorded is forename, surname, age in 1628/9, number of voyages made, location and notes (such as trumpeter, gunner, boatswain).
As you may have noticed, the earliest Company record is dated 1692, so this is a wonderful resource for possibly pushing your history further back in time. A bargain at £5.95! If you would like to snap this up then do the honours and click here: I'll have this

1648 Petition for the King

This document, from the House of Lords, records the names of 2,026 watermen from the last year of the reign of Charles I. It was instigated by the Royal Bargemasters, Nowell Warner and Robert Bursey, and written by the clerk to the Company, Thomas Lowe.

The Petition is the vital link between the earlier 1628 Admiralty Muster and the beginnings of the Company's records in 1692.

Also included on the CD are an index to the names, commentary & analysis by James and image samples of the original 350 year old scroll together with a 1673 list of Watermen in the Tower of London. Another bargain at £5.95! If you want this fabulous CD then click here: Yes please

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 


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 our comprehensive Alan Godfrey maps collection please click here

Docklands Ancestors Parish Register CDs (64 CDs now to choose from)

Docklands Ancestors Parish Register CDs - Compendiums

Special offer! Compendium 5 (Volumes 51 -60), normal price £49.95 (this was obviously a bargain already as the ten separate CDs would cost around £80) now only £29.95, a saving of £20 or £50 which ever way you want to look at it!! Stocks are running out, once they are gone, then it's back to the old price I'm afraid.

If you'd like to take advantage of this amazing, once in a lifetime offer, please click here  special offer

Other compendiums:

Southwark Parish Registers 

St George in the East Parish Registers Part I 1729-1826 This CD is on offer at £10 off this month, that's 7 CDs for just £19.95!!!

Isle of Dogs Parish Registers

Limehouse Parish Registers

Stepney Parish Registers

Wapping Parish Registers 

Book Shop

New Titles:

The Plagues of London

In this absorbing history Stephen Porter uses the voices of stricken Londoners themselves to describe what life was like in the plague-riven capital. Because of the number of its victims, the foulness of the disease, the disruption it caused, the plague has cast a very long shadow, and its reputation is such that it still makes headlines and has the capacity to frighten us. As England's biggest city and international port, London was especially vulnerable and suffered periodic epidemics,some of which killed at least one-fifth of its population....

Other selected Titles

The Coat:The Origin and Times of Doggett's Famous Wager


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.

A Port Through Time by Anne S. A. Millard (Author), Steve Noon (Illustrator)


Ship ahoy! Come and experience the amazing 1,000 year story of a port. From stone-age settlement to modern marina, find out what life was like through the ages, and see how the port has been transformed over time. Incredible panoramic pictures show each stage of the port's history, while fantastic features reveal the important events, people, and places. With close-ups, captions, cross-sections and a canny time traveller who mysteriously appears in every era, there's so much to see on every page, the more you look, the more you'll discover!

Ceremonial Barges on the River Thames


Ceremonial Barges on the River Thames: A History of the Barges of the City of London Livery Companies and of the Crown by Kenneth Nicholls Palmer

Water-borne pageantry on the River Thames once formed an important and colourful part of London life. This book traces the origins of these splendours. It is illustrated with colour photographs and reproductions of paintings and engravings.

Dockland Apprentice


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.

Maritime Greenwich By David Ramzan

maritime greenwich.jpg

A Bethnal Green Memoir: Recollections of Life in the 1930s-1950s-Memories of growing up in the East End between the wars by Derek Houghton

bethnal green mem.jpg

Bermondsey Boy-Memories of a Forgotten World By Tommy Steele (yes, THE Tommy Steele)

berm boy.jpg

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


One-Off Books (used, all good condition)

A Potted History of Ilford by Norman Gunby.  Copy no: 330 1st edition 1991 paperback (I've checked this book out, all of the copies seem to be signed by the author, so it's nothing extraordinary if you see one for sale 'signed by the author'. Anyway, the first page of this book is missing and I assume this is where he signed it!) To reflect the fact that this page is missing we're selling this book for £6 plus P & P (it is a rare book!)

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.

Lamb-inated-you found it!!!!

Useful Sites


I thought that this month I thought I would give you a reminder of some of the useful sites I have included in previous newsletters, so here goes!

London Gazette (this site had more hits than any other link I have put in)

Booth's Poverty Map

IGI index

The Old Bailey Proceedings Online

Free search of passenger lists

Gunmakers and Allied Trades Index

The Inner Temple Admissions Database

Commonwealth War Graves Commission


National Archives

Tower Hamlets Births Deaths and Marriages

East London History

Index of Kents wills up to 1650

Getting Started on your Family Tree

Another good site is and whilst browsing the site I found an interesting feature on criminals amongst the dockers (I do hope none were my ancestors!) Below is just a short extract to whet your appetite, but I recommend  reading more.

'There were around 33,000 lumpers, as the 18th century dockers were known, and 11,500 of them were known thieves. With no organised force to patrol the river, the assorted band of mudlarks, long apron men, scuffle hunters, light horsemen and heavy horsemen (as the various types of thief were colourfully known) were free to steal without fear of capture.'

Ramblings from the Council Estate

Well, I've done the 10K (6 miles in old money) and I'm proud to say that I did it in a record (for me) time of 46 minutes and 54 seconds. Officially I came in 80th out of 2000 runners (oh no, make that 1999 runners as my intended running partner pulled out at the last minute and my exercise starved other half wouldn't stand in for her) but in reality I think I came in about 50th. Let me explain. About half an hour before start time I had an urge to relieve myself, then again about 15 minutes before, then, believe it or not, just before the gun went off! So as I emerged from one of those porta-loo nightmares I saw all 1999 lined up and ready to go! I then had to wait while all the elite runners, like myself, ran off into the distance, with me stuck behind all the fun runners. A good while later I crossed the line and set off plotting a zig-zag path through all the pedestrian like slow runners. I think adrenalin took over at that stage and I completed the first 5K in a lung busting 22 minutes. This inevitably caught up with me, along with a couple of steep inclines and the second 5K took nearly 25 minutes. So, in summary, if I had started off near the front, I would have crossed the line in front of a few more people. Last word on the subject of relieving myself; last time I ran a half marathon I did it in just over two hours, and guess what, it would have been just under two hours if it hadn't been for an unscheduled stop behind a bush for a quick Jimmy! I've already put my name down for the Sheffield half marathon, I seem to remember mentioning this before, but now I've revised my target time to 1 hour 50 minutes, oh how I love a challenge! If you fancy seeing a few pictures of me before and after the event (I was moving too fast to be captured on camera during the event) click here This my Facebook profile thingy. You'll also find some pictures of me up that rock in Deryshire there.

Don't know what you think of your local council but I've seen a couple of funny things recently. The first was in Tower Hamlets, I think, although it could have been Hackney. Anyway, you know how people have to seperate their rubbish up nowadays into different coloured wheelie bins; well fair enough, but then I saw dustbin men empying two different coloured bins (a brown and a black one) into the same lorry! Er, why go to all that trouble seperating the stuff if they then re-unite them in the lorry???

Even more rediculous; Epping Forest council have, in their wisdom, decided that people can no longer put their garden waste into plastic bags which they collect fortnightly. They have decided to issue every household with a 180 litre bin for all their garden waste, plus a bonus little bin the size of a lady's handbag for their food waste which they then empty into the bigger bin. So, I know a litlle old lady, young Nell, who has a garden the size of a postage stamp who will take a few weeks to fill her bin up, but I also know someone who lives just round the corner who has a garden that takes 1 and half hours to mow and is surrounded by hedges that need regular pruning. Now she produces enough garden waste to fill 4 of these silly bins every week! I'm all for compost heaps but she'll be producing enough to match that European butter mountain we had a while back! She's obviously complained and they've said they'll send an assessor round to, you've guessed it, assess her garden. There are thousands more the same size!!! Although they are sending this person round they also added that they wouldn't be allocating two bins to anyone!!????

I'll leave you with a few true extracts from court cases in America (sorry if you are American, I'm sure you're not all like this)

Attorney: She had three children, right?

Witness: Yes, three boys.

Attorney: And were there any girls?

Witness: Your Honor, I think I need a diffferent attorney, can I get a new attorney?

Here's another:

Attorney: How was your first marriage terminated?

Witness: By death.

Attorney: And by whose death was it terminated?

Witness: Now whose death do you suppose terminated it?

and finally:

 Attorney: Can you describe the individual?

Witness: He was about medium height and had a beard.

Was this a male or female?

Witness: Guess.

All the best

Jonathan and the team

p.s if you missed the cat shadow boxing last month I've left it in, click here cat 

and if you did see it last month, here's another funny cat video (am I getting obsessed?) cat hits dog


-A Passion For Family History-

© Docklands Ancestors Ltd.