The Society undertakes a range of transcription and scanning projects, including Parish Registers, Cemetery Registers, Census Returns and Memorial Inscriptions (MI's), working in close co-operation with the various archives offices and local authorities. These projects generally result in CD publications which we hope will both help with your own research and contribute to the Society's income.
Work continues on our Parish Register Digital Scanning Project, publishing facsimile images of the registers on CD. We also tackle various other records for the parishes in our area of interest. Details are given below.
We have a number of volunteers working at transcribing various parish registers and other records. Their efforts are outstanding and we have much to thank them for. Working in their own homes, often from poor copies of old documents they produce a large amount of data in a digital format. Also our thanks must go to those volunteers who check the output from the transcribers, a most important task.
An increasing amount of project work also takes place at the Society Library on a Wednesday.
I do need another editor to assist me in producing the final versions. If any volunteer is interested in helping with this important task and would like to get more information, please contact me. Due to the large amounts of paper involved it really does need to be someone who lives in the area. Offers please to Projects Coordinator Bob Woodward (right), email address below.
Below is a summary of work in progress and recently completed. See also Publications News.
Parish and Cemetery Registers
Greenwich and Lewisham Boroughs
For historical reasons London Metropolitan Archives holds the registers of some of the parishes that now lie within Greenwich and Lewisham boroughs. Some years ago we negotiated with LMA to enable us to publish those records they hold that lie within our area - 113 reels of microfilm covering over 400 registers. In 2008 we produced image scans from these, i.e. for Deptford St Nicholas and Deptford St Paul, Greenwich St Alphege, Woolwich St Mary and Lewisham St Mary - see the Publications pages.
A number of these registers have been or will be transcribed: Deptford St Nicholas CM1802-25+, Greenwich St Alphege C1813-53, Plumstead (St Nicholas burials), Lee St Margaret M1791-1812 B1755-1850.
However it is becoming more difficult to gain access to further records. We had hoped to include the registers for the mid and late Victorian parishes in this area but following their agreement with Ancestry, the LMA will no longer give us access to the films.
Some time ago the Society approached Lewisham Local Studies & Archives Centre with a view to publishing facsimiles of Lee and Lewisham parish registers. These had never been filmed before and were therefore not available except as original documents. After discussion with the Archives, we had offered to fund the filming and scanning of these registers at no cost to the Council. Unfortunately this has not so far borne fruit, but we're hoping to revive the discussions.
We're also currently investigating the position with regard to an existing transcript of Eltham St John registers.
Crayford M1706-53 is being transcribed.
The following are being transcribed: Beckenham B1813-64, Bromley 1771-1862, Chislehurst B1813-98, Farnborough B1813-73, Keston B1690-1890, Knockholt CB1813-51 and St Mary Cray B1787-1810.
One parish in Bromley borough that still retains its own parish registers is Chelsfield St Martin. We recently approached Chelsfield PCC for permission to photograph their registers, which cover 1558-c1985. We are grateful for their generous co-operation, as a result of which the project is well advanced. We hope to make the image data available for sale on disk soon. The coverage includes the early paper register 1538-1646 of Farnborough (formerly a chapelry of Chelsfield) which is also held at Chelsfield.
Parish registers of the 27 Archdeaconry of Rochester churches that lie in the north west Kent area have already been scanned and published on CD-Rom as images. Some of these are being transcribed and the work is progressing well. Dartford Holy Trinity burials 1788-1926 have been published (CD17).
Work continues on other transcribing from these, i.e. Ash 1736-1994, Darenth CM1754-1856, Longfield 1558-1907, North Cray C1783-1879 B1783-1918, Southfleet St Nicholas CMB1730-1854, Stone baptisms, Swanscombe 1754-1867, and Wilmington CMB1683-1793.
Meopham, St John - a transcript of baptisms 1813-71 has already been published (CD40). Other PR's are in progress by Meopham House Group, also the MIs are being worked on.
Meopham, Mount Zion Baptist Church - we have permission from the church to copy & publish the surviving records (mainly burials, 1835 to date) MI's in the chapel burial ground are also being transcribed by Meopham House Group and the work is well advanced.
We have been given a transcript of Westerham St Mary compiled by a local historian, covering roughly c1560-1940s+. This has now been published (CD64). There is also a history of Westerham which is also being prepared for publication.
Kent History & Library Centre
Registers of some thirty parishes within our area are held by the KHLC at Maidstone. Some time ago when the record office was at County Hall we made an approach to ask them to co-operate with the Society by allowing us to scan their Registers with a view to publication. However, they have apparently decided to put parish scans on-line for access at KHLC.
National Burial Index
The Society donated burials for Charlton St Luke and Northfleet Cemetery to the 3rd Edition of the NBI, published in 2010. See also the NBI page.
We have been in touch with the Woolwich & District FHS with a view to making more widely available their existing transcripts of MI's for Eltham St John the Baptist and Charlton St Thomas.
MI's at the churchyard of Chevening St Botolph were partially recorded some years ago. We have a few recording notebooks, but the project awaits a detailed plot plan (started in 2011), and work of the sections that were not previously tackled.
We have also been taking part in the national War Graves Photographic Project.
See also the section on Meopham under the Parish Registers section.
Work on census returns has now stopped due to the wide availability of data on-line. For more information on the transcribing work that the Society carried out in the past see Census Indexing Coverage.
We are working on various sets of records:
A burial index for Joyce Green Hospital (Dartford) has been transcribed and typed and is now being checked.
See also a Map of record office areas.