Parish Register Newsletter: November 2009

Welcome to the parishregister  November newsletter. 'Well what's in store this month?' I hear you ask. Ok, there's two new databases uploaded; St John Wapping x2 and a new CD out, St George in the East 1861-1877.

You'll never guess what, one of you ticked me off after last month's newsletter! I wonder how many of you noticed the apostrophe in 'London and it's Environs' (no don't look now, it's gone!), well obviously it shouldn't have been there, although there are mitigating circumstances; I cut and pasted it from elsewhere (and wasn't paying attention)! Funnily enough he didn't pick me up on the other spelling mistake in my ramblings section which was just a slip of the finger (yes, I only type with one finger).

Oh yes, finally, I was looking through the St Peter's database, like you do, and was struck by the amount of funny addresses there were; look, see what I mean: River near Dover, Atlas Chemical Works, Next door to Waterman's Arms, Hooper's Telegraph Works, Foundling Child (a pub?), Rajah of Cochin (a restaurant?), Pride of the Isle (another pub?), Regent's dry dock (seven children born in that), and Canal Ironworks!

Ok, enough rambling, that comes at the end!

Searchable Databases 


St John Wapping 1734-1780   8180 entries

St John Wapping 1665-1707   7410 entries

I've just had a look at all the databases and just noticed that this is the oldest set of records we (or rather Jim) has transcribed to date. The two are interesting databases with lots of little gems, like for instance a child christened George Chicken! Also, in the addresses there are entries like 'At Mr Norris's' or 'The head of Red Maid Lane' or the 'Top of Artichoke Lane', and there is the odd sad entry in the notes saying a child was found in the street. Another interesting fact is it appears that some children were baptised before they were born! I thought Jim had made quite a few mistakes until he e-mailed back explaining that they were using the old calendar. If, like me, you are ignorant in this, then for a concise explanation click here: old calendar

Looking through various CDs I've noticed how easy it can be to miss out on finding a relative, let me explain. I've noticed that the person who records the baptism (what are their official name?) often spells a family's surname differently on different occasions, but I can tell that they are in fact children of the same mother and father because the address, occupation and mother and father are the same. However, when you put the surname in the search box it only gives you results for that exact name. It would make sense therefore, to buy the CD rather than carry out multiple searches using near variants on a surname.

Recently uploaded:

St George in the East 1861-1877   6384 entries

St Dunstan Stepney 1837-1848   8679 entries

 To search the site click here

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

Fancy finding out more about the Merchant Taylors, then click here

New CDs

Last month:

Volume 64 Christ Church Spitalfields 1729-1763 9734 entries

To buy this CD please click here Vol 64

Volume 65 Christ Church Spitalfields 1763-1795 9747 entries

To buy this CD please click here Vol 65

This month:

Volume 66 St George in the East 1861-1877  6384 entries

To buy this CD please click here vol 66

Next month:

Volume 67 St Dunstan Stepney 1837-1848

Keep your eye out for news of compendium 6 in next month's December newsletter!

In transcription

St Matthew Bethnal Green 1799-1819

St Mary Stratford 1771-1813, 1813-1831

St George in the East 1877-1893

All Saints Poplar 1789-1805

More about St John Wapping:
WAPPING (St. John the Evangelist), a parish, adjoining the city of London on the east, in the union of Stepney, Tower division of the hundred of Ossulstone, county of Middlesex; containing 4108 inhabitants. This place, originally overflowed by the Thames, was recovered from inundation, and denominated Wapping Wash, in the time of Queen Elizabeth, under whose auspices it was inclosed and defended by walls. In the early part of the reign of Charles II. it comprised one street, which extended from within a quarter of a mile of the Tower, along the Thames, to the entrance of the present St. Katherine's Docks. In the reign of William and Mary it was made a parish, by act of parliament. About the end of the last century, upwards of 60 houses and other buildings were destroyed by fire, and several lives lost, from the explosion of some barrels of gunpowder; the damage sustained on which occasion was estimated at more than £200,000. The parish consists of several streets, paved, and lighted with gas; the main street has been widened in several places within the last few years, and the inhabitants are well supplied with water. The business transacted is chiefly of a maritime and commercial character, and the construction of the London Docks has materially contributed to its growth. The living is a rectory not in charge; net income, £258; patrons, the Principal and Fellows of Brasenose College, Oxford. The church contains a very fine monument by Roubilliac. There is a place of worship for Roman Catholics. A free school was established by subscription, in 1704; and in 1822, its funds were augmented by a bequest of £5000 from Samuel Troutbeck, of Madras, Esq. Thomas Dilworth, author of the spellingbook, and a system of arithmetic, was master of the school. On the abdication of James II., the notorious Judge Jeffreys, who had fled in order to escape the probable effects of popular rage, assumed the disguise of a sailor, and concealed himself for a short time in an obscure part of Wapping, but was at last discovered and committed to the Tower, where he died in a few days.

From: 'Walwick - Wapping', A Topographical Dictionary of England (1848), pp. 457-461. URL: 

Other selected products

Thames & River Medway Series

Vol 79 St Paul Deptford,1895-1910 Baptism and Marriage

To purchase this CD please click here 

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 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

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

Selected products:

My Ancestor Worked On The River Thames by Rob Cottrell. A guide
to help you find where they worked.

The CD covers both sides of the Thames and gives details of nearly every
wharf, creek, river buoys, watermens stairs, riverside taverns etc, plus
history and interesting facts.

Price: £9.95 To purchase this (Christmas present?) please click here: MyAncestors

Watermen in the Navy c1803-1809 and Watermen Killed in Action, or Invalided from the Service c1803-1809

This is a transcription by James from the Company of Watermen and Lightermen archives, kept at the Guildhall Library. The original was compiled in the early 19th century during the Napoleonic Wars. This was a time when many Watermen were Impressed into the Navy.

Watermen in the Navy lists the surname and forenames of some 525 Watermen, together with both the name of the ship they were serving in and how many guns it had. Additional notation sometimes included such details as their rank or the date they arrived on the ship.

Included also is an index to the ships. These provide a fascinating insight into the Fleet as a whole during the time of Nelson’s Navy.
It lists 233 ships, including 85 ships of the line. Some of these served at the Battle of Trafalgar. 7 of the Watermen in the Navy actually served on HMS Victory. Was your Ancestor one of them?

A typical entry reads as follows:

Hinkley,William, HMS Zealand, 64 guns, July 1808 Impressed at Gravesend and sent onboard.

Watermen Killed in Action, or Invalided from Service covers the same period and the original was compiled by the same clerk. It lists the details of 105 Watermen who were either killed in service, discharged invalided or held in prison in France.
A typical entry reads as follows:

Rogers, John killed 3rd February 1805 onboard HMS Foudroyant.

CD_ROM, in Adobe Acrobat format.
Published by Docklands Ancestors Ltd.

Price: £5.95 To purchase this little gem please click here: Navy

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 Its 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 (66 CDs now to choose from)

Docklands Ancestors Parish Register CDs - Compendiums

Special offer! Compedium 1, which is actually 20 volumes (1-20) is now on sale for an incredible £39.99, that's £10 off the original bargain price, and is equivalent to just £2 for each CD!

To snap up this bargain click here Comp1

Other compendiums:

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

Southwark Parish Registers 

Isle of Dogs Parish Registers

Limehouse Parish Registers

Stepney Parish Registers

Wapping Parish Registers 

Docklands Ancestors Compendium CD2: Vols 21-30

Docklands Ancestors Compendium CD3: Vols 31-40

Docklands Ancestors Compendium CD4: Vols 41-50

Compendium CDs 1-4


Book Shop

Recommendation: a new book called "The Port of London Authority - A Century of Service 1909 - 2009" by Nigel Watson, published by St.Matthew' Press, full of interesting articles and illustrations, available at the Museum in Docklands for £20, it will be £25 when fully released.

Other selected Titles

The Plagues of London                                                    


A Century of the East End (Century of South of England) by Rosemary Taylor and Chris Lloyd 


East End: Four Centuries of London Life by Alan Palmer


East End at War, by Rosemary Taylor and Chris Lloyd


East End Neighbourhoods (Images of London S.) by Brian Girling


East End Murders:From Jack the Ripper to Ronnie Kray By Neil Storey


Bow & Bromley by Bow, by Gary Haines


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.

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


Old London Maps

This site gives you free access to scores of rare and detailed maps, plans and views of medieval, sixteenth, seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century London for the genealogist, family historian, student and the curious. Well worth a look, if you like this sort of thing!

Medieval Maps & Views 

18th c. Maps & Views 

19th c. Maps & Views


Diocese of London Consistory Court Wills index

This index contains 31,000 entries of wills and letters of administration (granting authority to an executor when a person died intestate) compiled from the London Diocesan Court registers (DL/C/354-416). Near complete coverage is provided for the years 1514-1858 (although there are no registers for the years 1521-1539 and 1642-1670). Please note that at this time the Diocese of London included a wide geographical area: not only the square mile of the City, but parts of the ancient counties of Essex and Middlesex, and some parishes in Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.


Tower Hamlets Local History and Archives

I found this, and many other, interesting articles on this site:

St. Katherine’s, and the two adjoining London Docks - which alone cover a space of more than a hundred acres - will contain six hundred ships, and near half a million tons of goods. In the West India Docks, which lie nearer Blackwall, merchandise valued at twenty millions of money has at one time been deposited on the wharfs, in the warehouses, and in the vaults below. The wealth of London lies not in her gaudy shops: beyond the Tower stand her great storehouses. A stranger who passes on the river on his way to Greenwich or Gravesend sees but little of these enormous treasuries – the tops of the tall masts alone point out their "whereabouts." These Docks are surrounded by high strong-built walls, so lofty, that it would be a puzzle to a most expert thief to scale them, on account of the finish of the coping; and if even this were accomplished, a greater difficulty would remain in getting over the bulky goods which are stored within. The walls which encircle the two London Docks were erected at a cost of sixty-five thousand pounds; and no less a sum than four millions was expended in completing this vast establishment.


Ramblings from the Council Estate

So, it's four weeks or so to Christmas, so what you need is a good walk! If you remember a couple of months ago I plugged my brother's website Will4Adventure You don't? Well I did, honest. I had dinner with him at Yvonne's a few weeks back and he said thanks for the plug as he had someone on one of his walks recommended by a subscriber to this newsletter, and get this, that someone is a Legon (or was as she's married now). So 'fess up, who was it? And, it got better for William (said brother) as she enjoyed the walk so much she's booked something else, rock climbing or something. So, if you check out his site you'll see he does a number of free walks, I think just before Christmas, or after, or both.

More strange tales from the land of Essex County Council. You know I told you they've issued everyone with a nice green wheelie bin, which if you've got a big garden is far, far too small and insignificant; well, I've helped one resident to get rid of her excess grass cuttings by taking Yvonne's bin round, filling it up, then taking back to Yvonne's for them to empty. This went well for a week, then the next week I arrived only to find the bin hadn't been emptied. This stumped me until Yvonne put me in the know. You'll never guess why they left it, so I suppose I better put you out of your misery; it was turned round the wrong way!!!!

Believe it or not I was walking to school, along the canal, the other day feeling sorry for the poor (not literally) civil servants who inhabit (not literally) a large building someone in central London trying to think of innovations in education to foist on us poor (literally) unsuspecting teachers. So, an imaginary conversation (in my head-obviously) went like this.

'What shall we think of next?'

'Well how about we tell them to teach topics, make life more interesting for the kids.' (Obviously this civil servant had just left school)

'Isn't that what they used to do, then we scrapped it and introduced the National Curriculum?'

'Oh, but that was donkeys years ago, they'll have forgotten that.'

'Oh OK, what else then?'

'Erm, how about we get them to teach phonics, scrap that silly real books business.'

'Isn't that how they were taught years ago, then we scrapped it, and brought in the real books, reading for meaning stuff?'

'Oh, but, that was years ago, they'd have forgotten that by now.'

'Oh, OK, what else?'

'Erm, I think we should get tough on schools, and if they're not towing the line, we'll close them down!'

'Oh, didn't we do that when Labour came to power, has that made any difference?'

'Not sure, but it sounds good!'

'Is that it for now?'

'Oh, just one more idea. Let's give individual tuition to every child who is below average, that will go down a treat!'

'Ok, so if the average child is in the middle of the class, then half the class is below average, in the average school. So, say we give them a few hours every week, and pay the tutor £25 per hour (before tax) and there are a few million below average children that will cost....sod it my calculators bust! Anyway, like you say, it sounds good.'

(Oh yes, my school was one they closed down!)

I had a stressful day at school on Friday; I had to judge a hat competition! Every child in every class from Nursery to Y6 had made a hat for maths week. As I stuck my head in the head's office on the way to the staffroom she called me in and asked if I minded judging the thing with three other parents. Always wishing to oblige I immediately said that it would be a pleasure. Well, what a mistake! As soon as I walked into the hall my heart sunk when I saw so many expectant parents (no they weren't pregnant). Then a quick glance at a couple of hats on the Reception children's heads further compounded my fears. Most of their hats were what you would expect from 5 year olds; roughly cut out shapes glued haphazardly around the rims, but then three kids had magnificent structures sat on their bonces, one looking like the Eiffel Tower! As I passed her I asked if she had made it, and you know how honest children are, well she answered, 'No mummy did.' The same happened to the other two, 'Mummy made it!' So, one by one the classes stood up at the front. Each time I had a quick look and said my piece, but the other three judges, my, did they take it seriously; each time they got into a huddle and debated for hours! Each time I went along with their choices until it came to the Reception class. This time I stood my ground and told them they couldn't vote for the 'best' ones. They could see I was serious and gave way! Then it was time for the head to call out the winners. To be honest when it was time to call out the winners for the Reception class I couldn't bare to look at either the children or the parents and as soon as the last winner had been announced I crept out the hall and took refuge in the staffroom. Now I know how they feel on the X Factor!

Oh one more thing before I go. I bet I caught you out this month, getting the newsletter out almost a week ahead of schedule. Well, there's a really good reason for this. Yvonne (that's two mentions in one newsletter!) is, wait for it, going on holiday. How dare she, you may ask, what if I order something, I expect her to be hot-footing it down to the post office five minutes later. Well, she's off around the time of the usual newsletter, so she suggested an early newsletter so that she can send off all your orders before she goes; how considerate! Bet you can't guess where she's going? (Answers on a postcard....)

What’s orange and sounds like a parrot? A carrot.

Jonathan and the team

Before you go have a look at this, especially if you're planning, or attending a wedding some time soon:

wedding entrances

p.s If you are in this country and it's before 9 p.m I suggest tuning in to Garrow's Law:Tales from the Old Bailey on BBC1, a fascinating insight into how 'justice' was administered, although it is the last of 4 (perhaps you can watch it on BBCi)


-A Passion For Family History-

© Docklands Ancestors Ltd.