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: Charlton St Luke 1754-1963, Deptford St Nicholas C1786-1841 M1784-1837 B1813-73, Greenwich St Alphege C1813-53 M1791-1842 B1748-1914, Lee St Margaret M1791-1812 B1755-1850, Lewisham St Mary 1801-09, Plumstead St Nicholas B1800-1859, Woolwich St Mary C1730-1799, 1813-19 B1730-1799 M1730-1826, Woolwich Dockyard Chapel C1873-1922.
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.
Bexley C1722-1835 M1723-1837 B1723-1847 and Crayford 1706-1874 are being transcribed.
The following are being transcribed: Bromley 1772-1867, Chislehurst C1813-1836, B1813-98, Keston B1690-1812, Knockholt B1813-92, North Cray M1755-1839, and St Mary Cray CB1755-1812.
One parish in Bromley borough that still retains its own parish registers is Chelsfield St Martin. In 2014 we approached Chelsfield PCC for permission to photograph their registers. We are grateful for their generous co-operation, as a result of which the project is complete, and image data 1558-1965 is available for sale on disk. The period 1558-1812 has now been transcribed for FindMyPast. The coverage included the early paper register 1538-1646 of Farnborough (formerly a chapelry of Chelsfield) which is also held at Chelsfield, and this should be made available too.
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.
Work continues on other transcribing from these, i.e. Ash 1736-1994, Darenth 1686-1884, Dartford Holy Trinity C1788-1962 M1763-1984, Northfleet CMB1680-1950, Southfleet St Nicholas CMB1730-1854, Swanscombe C1813-54 M1754-1837 B1813-67, and Wilmington C1684-1844 M1684-1837 B1683-1860.
Meopham, St John C1813-71 has already been published (CD40), other PR's are in progress by Meopham House Group, i.e. C1728-1812 M1747-1928 B1743-1906, also the MIs are being worked on.
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:
See also a Map of record office areas.