Parish Register Newsletter: December 2009

Welcome to the parishregister  December newsletter. Well, I better get in the spirit of things and wish you all a happy Christmas and all the best for 2010. This month has been a bit of a mixed bag really, the low being an early Christmas present I really didn't appreciate, and the high being one I did. I'll elaborate more at the end. So, this month we've got another new CD out, St Dunstan Stepney, and you've got the chance to save a tenner by pre-ordering compendium 6.

Searchable Databases 

To search the site click here

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

Find out more about the Merchant Taylors click here:

New CDs

Last month:

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

To buy this CD please click here vol 66

This month:

Volume 67 St Dunstan Stepney 1837-1848

To buy this CD please click here vol 67

Next 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

That's 10 CDs which normally cost £7.95 each for the bargain pre-order price of £39.99 for this month only. If you don't snap this offer up pretty quick it will be gone this time next month and it will then be £49.99! The CD will be in production at the end of January and will be sent out to all those who have pre-ordered, and paid for it, at the beginning of February.

To order the CD now please click here: Pre-order compendium 6

In transcription

St Matthew Bethnal Green 1799-1819

St Mary Stratford 1771-1812

St Mary Stratford 1813-1831

St George in the East 1877-1893

All Saints Poplar 1789-1805  

Other selected products

Thames & River Medway Series

Volume 10 Covers volumes 41-44 of fiche series

Christ church, Milton-next-Gravesend. 1857-1875 baptisms; St. George, Gravesend. 1837-1876 marriages & burials; Gravesend & Milton cemetery company records 1839-1876; St. Dunstan Stepney 1813-1837 burials only.

Price: £14.95 
To buy this CD please click here Medseries10

Volume 12  Covers volumes 51-54 of the microfiche series

All Saints Rotherhithe 1875-1921 baptisms,marriages;St Mary Ealing 1813-1868 baptisms& burials;St Mary Ealing 1813-1857 marriages;All Saints Rotherhithe 1840-1875 baptisms,marriages & burials;St George Old Brentford 1828-1852 baptisms,marriages & burials.

Price: £14.95 
To buy this CD please click here Medseries12

Volume 6 Covers volumes 25-27 of fiche 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.

Price: £14.95 
To buy this CD please click here Medseries6

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

Apprenticeships Bindings Index 1692-1908 (Vols 1-9)

Complete set Apprenticeship Bindings Vols 1-9
This Adobe Acrobat searchable CD-Rom contains Rob Cottrell’s transcriptions of the Company of Watermen & Lightermen Apprenticeship Bindings - over 65,000 names from 1692 to 1908. Each entry shows the apprentice’s name, date of binding, location, Master or Mistress’s full name and date of freedom (if granted). For example;
5701. LEGON JOHN 09/04/1742 SHADWELL THOMAS LEGON 28/04/1749
Also on the CD you will find information on Doggett’s Coat and Badge Race, including a list of winners, with their binding dates, location and Masters, from 1716 to 1900, and an article by Rob on the History of the Company.
This CD is the starting point for those with waterage ancestry. Once you have established the Binding date of your ancestor, the next step is to apply for his Apprenticeship Affidavit. This will show you his dates of birth and baptism and most importantly, the parish he was born in. This then enables further research.

To purchase one of our most popular products click here: ABI 

Royal Asylum at Penge 1899: Inmates and Subscribers

Royal Asylum for Poor,Aged,Decayed and Maimed Freemen of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames and their Wives or Widows.Penge,Surrey 1899.
This 34 page booklet lists the Patrons,Inmates,Candidates and unsuccessful candidates of the Royal Asylum at Penge. It contains approx. 600 names, many with addresses and also lists the amount of their donations. Queen Victoria for example is noted as having donated £100. My great grandfather by contrast donated 13 shillings.
Many of the names listed are undoubtedly watermen and lightermen, others are the names of lighterage companies.
Also included is an illustration, an appeal to the public, form of bequest and the rules of the charity.
The charity was founded as the Royal Watermen's and Lightermen's Asylum by Mr John Dudin Brown by deed dated 9 March 1839. Built as 48 dwellings in 1840,designed by George Porter, the first stone was laid by Alderman Lucus on 16th May 1840.
They were converted to private homes in 1973 and the residents moved to new bungalows in Hastings.
Scanned book on CD-ROM in Adobe Acrobat format (supplied). Published by Docklands Ancestors Ltd.

To buy this fascinating CD please click here: Penge

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

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

St George in the East Parish Registers Part I 1729-1826 Price: £29.95

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

Southwark Parish Registers  Price: £19.95

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

Isle of Dogs Parish Registers Price: £15.95

Limehouse Parish Registers Price: £15.95

Stepney Parish Registers Price: £15.95

Wapping Parish Registers  Price: £15.95

Book Shop


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


Romford Photographic Memories


Lavishly illustrated with fine quality photographs from the world-famous Francis Frith Collection. Rich in detail this is a fascinating portrait of life and times long since changed.

Series: Photographic Memories
Number of Pages: 96
Cover type: Paperback
Condition: New
Availability: In Stock

Price: £12.99

The City Of London by Brian Girling


Nearly 200 black and white old photographs showing life in London from 1860 to 1960.
This book paints the fascinating pictures of the events and people shaped the city, including the building and wartime destruction wrought by the Blitz. Most of the images date from Edwardian period and slightly after. The images included great printing houses of Fleet Street to humble shops, such as the Temple wig maker's along with the people who worked in them. Contents: Around Fleet Street, The River Thames, St Paul Cathedral and the Churches, City Transport.....

Publication Date:21/01/2009
Conditions: New
Publisher: The History Press

Price: £12.99 

Canning Town Voices(Chalford Oral History) by Howard Bloch


Paperback: 128 pages
Publisher: Tempus Publishing Ltd (30 Nov 1997)
Condition: New
Price: £12.99

Around Lewisham and Deptford in Old Photographs(In Old Photographs) by John Coulter


Lewisham and Deptford have been a single borough since 1965, but they have very different histories. Deptford became an important shipbuilding centre after Henry VIII established a royal dockyard there; this attracted other heavy industry. Lewisham and its surrounding villages were primarily rural, until 19th century improvements in transport encouraged so many new residents that by the 1920s only a small agricultural area remained, to the south of the borough.
Renowned local historian John Coulter's new book describes and illustrates the changing scene in these two contrasting areas. Most of the more than two hundred photographs have never been published in book form before, and will surprise and fascinate anyone who knows this part of south-east London.

Paperback, 144 pages
Publisher: Sutton Publishing (29 Nov 2005)
Condition: New
Availability: In stock

Price: £12.99 

Bermondsey & Rotherhithe Remembered
by Stephen Humphrey.


There are a few areas of London that have changed in recent decades as much as the dockside areas of Bermondsey and Rotherhithe. As the importance of London as a shipping port declined in the post-war years many of the city’s docklands began to see changes. In Bermondsey and Rotherhithe almost the whole of the riverside was once devoted to the uploading and loading of goods of all kinds from ships that arrived from all over the world. To service and maintain the port industries a multitude of workers and their families lived and worked in the often cramped and narrow streets that ran around and between the port buildings.

This book recalls the days when these communities were at the heart of British commerce and industry, and covers particularly the years from between the wars to a decade or two after the Second World War. Drawing on the excellent collection of photographs and memorabilia held in Southwark Local Studies Library, Stephen Humphery reveals the sights and sounds of an industrial heritage is now all but gone and an area that is now the scene of major redevelopment.

This is a must buy book for anyone with a connection with the area.

Publisher: Tempus Publishing, 2004
Format: paperback, 125 pages, lavishly illustrated
Condition: New
Availability: In stock
Price: £12.99

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

Here's a really interesting article on origins of names contributed by Bob Carswell, cheers Bob!

Early surnames originated by a connection to something. Initially, they were only verbalized because records were seldom kept as few could write. In a small village, a person became known as John the Baker or John the Smith, Mary the Fair One, or William, Stephen's son. These were to distinguish them from other people of the same first name in the same village. Often, a name had no duplicate so many did not have a further reference as simply John might be enough. Larger cities were also often defined by their communities and some people never went beyond a four block radius where they lived, worked and socialized. Here again, a person became known locally as Thomas the cartwright, Jennie the maiden or William the thief and so on. They had little need for further names as they had their own circles and seldom overlapped with other circles. Records were shoddy and for the most part only existed around the church records until early formalized census records began. My Leonards that came from County Cork to the London Docks already had an established name, identifying the male line as descended from a man whose first name was Leonard. His son became known initially as John Leonards meaning the son of Leonard, and verbalized as John Leonards (actually meaning Leonard's John or John, son of Leonard) Somewhere along the way the 's' was dropped during a formal spelling recording a birth marriage or death. Since no one but the minister could write, and even then, some were better and more educated than others, Leonard became established as such and even with variations like Lennard, another written verbalization. My great grandmother could not read or write but knew to register the birth of her child in 1884. In doing so, she signed the form with an X. However, in doing so she agreed to the spelling officially recorded at that moment as Lennard whereas her husband and father-in-law had always been known as Leonard rather than by the Lennard spelling. Forced to officially correct his birth certificate in 1939 for official reasons, it took a lawyer, acceptable documentation and other support information from family members to verify that indeed, the spelling of Lennard was incorrect. When he wrote it out in 1884, the minister did the best he could without knowing the correct spelling so simply picked one. He chose Lennard, probably reasoning that it was a surname and not a first name like Leonard since he did not know about name origins.
My Carswell surname has much deeper origins. There have been a lot of different references to it over time, but always identifying it as a place-name. Since it remained in the area of the Borders from long before the beginning of written surnames, it had to have a special reference to the local area. Some think it is connected to a rock formation in the area while others connect it to the Cresswell name of England because it sounds similar. The fact that watercress grew by the well (the place in the brook or lake where the villagers got their water) seemed to identify the name as having a fixed description. However, searching the early names of the Border Reivers, it became apparent to me that one of the largest and most fearless families or clans in the area were in fact the Kerr families. Since the head of the family owned a lot of the land, it is only natural that the name Kerr is attached to a lot of the area but to link the name Carswell to it was difficult until I learned that the name Kerr, which appeared often in early formal proclamations was written as both Kerr, Ker, Carr and Car....hence the 'well' or local water source became known as Kerr's Well or as the surname evolved, Car's Well....hence Carswell. The name would also appear in time as Kerswell, Carswal, Corsewal, Caswell, Kraswell and numerous other names as it evolved. My Y-DNA brothers prove the point as they turn out to be lots of variations established over time as McCartey, Carson, McReynolds, Gentle, and others. You can see the reference to CAR in the first two and the MC connection which is a local Scottish term meaning "son of." The third name identifies the son of Reynold and the last, a personal characteristic or a reference to a status of being a gentleman. All share the same Y-DNA. Other genealogists in the extended family will still disagree with me as they have their own idea of origins but none of us can be absolutely sure as none of us were around back then so one guess based on reliable research is a good as another. Both are still subject to being questioned.
My London roots contain names like Friend (the son of someone's Friend) , Skinner (one who skins animals or works with animal skins), and my English, previous Finnish Swedish name of Degerlund identifies a location name. Family records back to the 1600s in Finland indicate an origin from the area of Norr Degergard so those that moved to Bromarv in Finland lost the continuing changing name from being the son of someone to a fixed name as being from a fixed place outside of Bromarv which identified them as Gustaf from Deger land or Degerlund as in the spoken Swedish tongue of the area.
Catholic families have constant reference to the Saints or other religious items, people or places. This is particularly common in countries that are totally dominated by a connection to the Catholic Church. They usually are the early Catholic countries of the poor countries where the catholic missionaries set up as the local church and administer of all things Catholic, beliefs, rites, fear and so on. Only time and education has brought many Catholics around to think more internationally about the world and feel less controlled by their religion, even though they continue to maintain deep connections to it. Regardless, a name is a name and it identifies each of us as being different from each other of us. Although some names are more common than others like Smith (a common profession at the time of surname establishment) or Jones (an evolution from John as in John's meaning son of John), each goes to identify a person. When common names became a problem the method of further identification occurred by the addition of middle names to identify family lineage. For example, Spanish people will often have a great many middle names especially since their family surname follows the maternal line rather than the paternal line like in most other countries. Scottish naming patterns began as a sign of respect for the parents. The first son was named after the father's father and the first daughter after the mother's mother. The second son was named after the mother's father and the second daughter after the father's mother. Other children were named in fixed patterns and often a dead child's name was repeated out of a sign of respect for that lost child. In large families as usually occurred in the days before wide use of contraception, it was easy to use fixed naming patterns and not leave anyone out. Today, that is more difficult.

Interesting Sites


Maritime history Archives

Record offices holding crew lists

First World World: British Seamen and Civilian Prisoners of War (POW)

Encyclopedia of Genealogy

Here's another really interesting site I've never seen before kindly recommended by Jim, our trusty transcriber. The Encyclopedia of Genealogy serves as a compendium of genealogical tools and techniques. It provides reference information about everything in genealogy except people. Look to the Encyclopedia of Genealogy to provide explanations of how to look up your family tree, explanations of terms found in genealogy research, including obsolete medical and legal terms. It will describe locations where records may be found. It also will describe how to research Italian, German, Polish, French-Canadian, Jewish, Black, Indian and other ancestors. In short, the Encyclopedia of Genealogy will serve as your standard genealogy reference manual.

Oh yes, if you plan on visiting the archives at Kew, they have new opening times. 

They will be open for five days a week - Tuesday to Saturday - from 4 January 2010.

We will increase our opening hours and document ordering times on these days.

Ramblings from the Council Estate

So, what were my two early Christmas presents? Well what do you normally reply when asked 'do you want the good news first, or the bad?' I always prefer to get the bad news out of the way first, things can only get better after that. Well the 'present' I didn't want was swine flu! If you've had it also, you'll know how unpleasant it is; headache, stomach ache, loss of appetite and feeling incredibly weak. I started feeling unwell, believe it or not, on the day of one of my staff parties, but I decided to go anyway; I was actually looking forward to belting out some Frank Sinatra at the Karaoke. I managed to do that but after a couple of songs I almost completely lost my voice, and, unusually I was off the booze and only wanted to drink water! I went home unusually early with the longest bout of hiccups I've ever had! (not one of the symptoms of pig flu). The next day I felt grotty, but got up and did eat a couple of meals. However, the next day, and especially the day after I felt weaker and weaker, and whatever medication I took made no difference at all; all I could do by now was lie in bed and have a few spoons of soup. After consulting the world wide web my other half established that I had nearly all the symptoms of swine flu and she was able to order Tamiflu and could pick it up for me the next day. Thankfully a couple of days later all the symptoms started to subside and after nine days I was over it. I think I know where I picked it up from; one of the shepherds! No, we don't have them generally in Hackney, but around this time of year they're rampant! Well, there were four of them in our infant nativity play. On the Tuesday they were all fit and well and performed their hearts out in the dress rehearsal. However, three of them had disappeared for the final performance two days later, they had all gone down with the cursed swine flu. So that's my theory, and I'm sticking to it!

So, the early Christmas present?....a baby girl, Jocelyn. No, not mine, I'm her uncle! Legon minor, William, is her dad, and Philippa is her mum. I've lost track of time, but she must be two weeks old now. I'll have the priviledge of meeting her in a couple of weeks time when the three of them come down from Sheffield to celebrate Will's 40th!

Apart from these two presents we just had a good  ol' traditional Christmas, with a few exceptions! We didn't bother with decorations, and of course no tree (the real ones leave debris in the carpets for months), oh yes, we had chicken not Turkey (if it was that good I'd be eating at other times too), didn't bother with crackers, forgot to watch the Queen's speech and didn't have anyone around, and didn't visit anyone. However, although my other half doesn't like Christmas pud, she was so kind and bought me a little miniature one, unfortunately I haven't got round to eating it yet! I thought I'd phone mum on Christmas day, but I got that wrong! They are twelve hours ahead in New Zealand, not behind, so I phoned her on Boxing day!

Still in a silly Christmassy mood, fancy a laugh? Then click here and see some more funny animals! Here!

The Kiss

A cabbie picks up a Nun. She gets  into the cab, and notices that the VERY handsome cab driver won't stop  staring at her. She asks him why he is  staring. 
He replies: "I have a question to ask, but I  don't want to offend you"

She answers, " My son, you cannot offend me.  When you're as old as I am and have been a nun as long as I have, you get a  chance to see and hear just about everything. I' m sure that there's  nothing you could say or ask that I would find  offensive."

"Well, I've always had a fantasy to have a nun  kiss me." 

She responds, "Well, let's see what we can do  about that -
1) you have to be single and
2) you must be  Catholic."

The cab driver is very excited and says, "Yes,  I'm single and Catholic!"

"OK" the nun says. "Pull into the next alley."

The nun fulfils his fantasy with a kiss that would make a hooker blush.

But when they get back on the road, the cab  driver starts crying. 

"My dear child," said the nun, why are you  crying?"

"Forgive me but I've sinned. I lied and I must  confess, I'm married and I'm  Jewish."

The nun says, "That's OK. My name is Steve and I'm  going to a Halloween party!" 

Here's wishing you all a great 2010 and good luck in your searches for those oh so illusive relatives!


Jonathan and the team


-A Passion For Family History-

© Docklands Ancestors Ltd.