Docklands Church Records Collection

Dockland AncestorsFindMyPast has added to their Docklands Church Records collection with baptisms for St Dunstan, Stepney 1689-1697, George In the East, Stepney 1893-1901 and St Andrews, Bethnal Green 1843-1876. This will please those folk with family history in this area of London. Genealogy can be quite a task when confronted with a large number of parishes in which your ancestors may have baptised their children, got married or buried their dead.

What is the Docklands Church Records Collection?

The records for the Docklands area of London were compiled by the late James Legon and are now under the care of his brother Jonathan and James’ wife Yvonne. James was an expert on this area of London and also on the Waterman & Lightermen who plied their trade on the river Thames. In 2008 the Legon’s began a partnership with FindMyPast which has allowed these valuable records to become available online. The project is to transcribe all the Church of England parish registers in the Dockland’s area, work is still in progress.

What area is covered by Docklands?

In large cities such as London it is vital that the family historian knows the area in which their ancestors lived and the parishes that comprised that area. Movement from one abode to another was a regular occurrence for the London working class so they may well have been married in one parish, had children baptised in a variety of other parishes and been buried in yet another.

Docklands Map Genealogy

Docklands includes much of the East End of London including Stepney, Whitechapel, Poplar, Wapping, Shadwell, Spitalfields, Ratcliff, Limehouse and the Isle of Dogs. Rotherhithe, Newington and Bermondsey on the opposite side of the Thames are included as are parts of Essex. There is a list of the parishes currently in the collection on the FindMyPast website in the Knowledge Base section.

What can be found in the Dockland Church Records Collection?

The records cover the period 1608 – 1933, but this does vary parish by parish. The collection comprises  baptisms, marriages and burials. The transcripts are a full copy of all the information in the register, so details may be found which would not be discovered else where.

The parishes in this collection mainly comprised working class people, mostly associated with the docks or in industries allied to the docks. The area was a cosmopolitan mix of people so some unusual names may be discovered in the registers.

Where can the Docklands Church Records be Found?

River Thames Family HistoryThere are two places where these records can be found. The first is run by the Logon family where the records may be purchased on CD or they can be searched for a “Pay As You Go” fee. There are also books and maps available for purchase.

The second place to find the records are on where the records are available as part of their subscription offerings. If you have a number of families living in the area then the FindMyPast site will probably be the most economical option.

These records are a wonderful resource for those with ancestors from this area. Without the work that has gone into compiling the transcripts it would be a long task tracking down ancestors who moved from one parish to another.


Canterbury Archive Collection online

Just a couple of hours ago FindMyPast announced the launch online of the Canterbury Collection. This is a major addition to their offerings for Kent and is a significant archive to have as a partner.

What is the Canterbury Archive Collection?

The Canterbury Collection is housed in the Canterbury Cathedral Archives which at the present time is undergoing extensive building works and is closed until the autumn of Canterbury Cathedral Family History2012. The archive holds records relating to the cathedral and city of Canterbury, Kent, the parishes within the historic Archdeaconry of Canterbury, other local institutions and local family archives. A catalogue of their holdings is online at

FindMyPast and the Canterbury Archives announced their partnership earlier this year and it has meant that whilst the archives are closed the material is still available for research. Also, of course, it means that those who are unable to visit Canterbury can now have access to the documents. The documents released today are of the parish registers of the churches within the Archdeaconry, and is of scanned images not transcripts so it is as good as being at the archives. The images at the present time have not been indexed, but it is hoped that indexes will be available later this year.

What can you expect to find in the Canterbury Archive Collection?

A lesson on parish registers can be found at Mad About Genealogy’s sister site Teach Yourself Family History, this lesson explains what details the records will contain at what time period.

How to use the Canterbury Archive Collection.

The collection is available on which is one of the major subscription website. The records will also be available at the Canterbury Cathedral Archives once they reopen in the autumn. It would be wise to phone the archives first to ascertain when the archives will be re-opened and to book a seat in the reading room as space is limited.

Old Books Genealogy

Because the images have not been indexed the “old” way of researching will have to be employed. The parish will need to be identified as the most likely place for the event to have occurred and the time period that it would have happened in. Then it is a case of reading through the register page by page. This won’t be as onerous as it sounds as the registers make fascinating reading.

The time period covered is 1538 – 2005, but of course this period will vary parish to parish depending on when the church was built and if the records have survived.

So if you have ancestors in Canterbury Archdeaconry of Kent then this collection certainly merits time spent researching.


Genealogy Snippets 11 July 2012

Genealogy Snippets are short news items that I think you would want to hear about sooner rather than later.

1. Family Search has just put online 76 million new records, those guys never do things in small numbers !! Amongst the countries covered are Canada, Ireland and New Zealand.

2. The Family History Library in Salt Lake City has added more books to their collection. These items are only available for viewing at the library. For a list of the books click on

3. FindMyPast has just added to it’s Kent collection with 12,832 burials from Greenwich, Kent. Greenwich is on the edges of London so if you are missing someone in London then it would be worthwhile searching in the Kent collection for them. Date range is 1748 – 1793.

4.FindMyPast has also added to its Wales Collection, this time it is for the parish of Llanymawddwy, Mallwyd. Baptisms 1568 – 1894, Marriages 1568 – 1837 and Burials 1813 – 1888.

Think that is all the snippets for today, but I have just seen that Find My Past has just put up a major collection and that deserves a full post.

Sheffield Parish Registers Online

Sheffield Parish RegistersFindMyPast has just put online baptism, marriage and burial transcripts for Sheffield, Yorkshire. The records have been supplied by the Sheffield & District Family History Society and cover the following time periods.

Baptisms     1858 – 1940

Marriages    1848 – 1986

Burials          1767 – 1802

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National Probate Calendar has extended the coverage of the National Probate Calendar to a much wider time period. It did start at 1860 and someone at Ancestry must have heard me wondering why it didn’t start at 1858 when the calendar started because that is now where the coverage starts and it ends in 1966 which is a year before my grandfather died. I would have liked to added the reference into his record, never mind I am very happy to have the new time period to work with and I’m glad that Ancestry seem to be able to read my mind……. now what else shall I think I might like them to put online !!

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