Folkestone & District
Family History Society

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For ease of viewing the websites mentioned in “Web Watch”, a regular feature of our quarterly journal, the whole article is reproduced below. 

Since websites, their content and their links are prone to frequent change, or even removal, we will only display the articles from the previous four issues of the journal.

Vol 27, No 4:  June 2014

The National Archives –

Another batch of WW1 diaries from WO95 has been added.

Ancestry -

Ancestry have added Medals awarded to Merchant Seaman in WW2 from TNA BT395; the index to Royal Navy Reserve Service Records 1860 to 1955 from TNA BT164 and BT377; the index to Wills of Royal Navy Seamen 1786 to 1882 from ADM48; and records of Electrical Engineers 1871 to 1930. Also numerous parish, non-conformist and voters records and records of WW1 Silver War Badges.

Ancestry have shut down the Old Search, which was preferred by many experienced users. This blog has links to advice on getting the most out of the current Search -

Find My Past -

One of the few good things resulting from the revamp of their database structure and searches is the ability to add new records quickly. 100 new databases are promised in 100 days from mid April. Highlights include a new index to WW1 Army Service Records (TNA WO363) and Pension Records (TNA WO364) which has found 600,000 new names not on the Ancestry version; services deaths from 1945 in Palestine, Cyprus and Malaya; 870,000 Royal Artillery attestations from 1883 to 1942 held at the Royal Artillery Museum at Woolwich; 500,000 Royal Navy and Marine service records from 1899 to 1919 from TNA ADM188, ADM196 and ADM159; and millions of parish records for Devon and Shropshire.

Deceased Online –

New records include new scans and indexes for Spa Fields, Islington ( now the park opposite LMA) with 113,800 names from 1778 to 1849 and for Bunhill Fields, Islington with 71,100 burials from 1704 to 1854 (part of TNA RG4).

The Genealogist -

They had added records for 80,000 WW1 British and allied Prisoners of War. Also 600,000 parish register transcripts including 167,000 for Kent.

Origins -

The National Wills Index now includes Kent Will abstracts for 1328 to 1691. The 1881 census for England and Wales has been added with a new index.

FamilySearch -

New additions include London Electoral Registers 1847 to 1913 (Ancestry have these for 1832 to 1965) and plenty of parish records. Their Wiki on English Research has an amazing amount of information on sources down to parish level. See this blog -

Soldiers' Wills -

230,000 wills for soldiers from England and Wales who died in service between 1850 and 1986 with an inadequate search. ScotlandsPeople has 31,000 wills at whilst 9,000 Irish ones are at

Irish Censuses 1821 to 1851 – the pieces of these censuses that survived the destruction of the Dublin PRO in 1922 have been indexed, over 600,000 names. The records are on Family Search, FMP and the National Archives of Ireland So use whichever has your preferred search.

Land Registry -

They have made the entries from its 1862 register available. Search by the proprietor's name and having found an entry, search by just the title number for details of the land involved.

Vision of Britain -
Much of their map collection is freely downloadable including a complete set of Ordnance Survey First Series one-inch maps from the 19th century, a complete set of OS New Popular Edition one-inch maps from the late 1940s, and a great many administrative boundary maps. Some of the scans were made ten years
ago using low resolution, so quality is a little variable.

Two other useful sites are - and

National Library of Scotland -

6 inch OS maps for the whole of Britain.

Historical Directories – the site run by the University of Leicester is now here -

 Vol 27, No 3:  March 2014

The National Archives –

TNA have put online over 8,000 records from Appeals against WW1 Conscription from MH47 for Middlesex, one of two counties for which records were not destroyed.

Another new resource consists of the first batch of WW1 unit diaries from WO95. A crowdsourcing project has started to index them.

Ancestry -

Ancestry now have the Prerogative Court of Canterbury Wills 1384-1858, already on TNA and The Genealogist but with a new index.

Other new additions include London, Surrey and Yorkshire Electoral Rolls, London Rate Books, and the IGI databases from FamilySearch.

Find My Past -

The main addition is 2.5 million BMD, pension, doctors and Probate records for British India from the British Library.

Also Rate Books for Devon, Lancashire and London.

Deceased Online –

They have added 257,000 burials for Kensal Green cemetery and crematorium in London.

Until now only Pay Per view, annual subscriptions have been introduced. I wonder if this will make the website available in KCC Libraries?

The Genealogist -

New additions include the Army Lists for 1780s and 1790s, and over 1.6 million transcripts of parish records.

Origins -

London Poor Law Abstracts from Guildhall Library have been added, plus the 1901 census for England and Wales.

FamilySearch -

New additions include the BMD indexes for England & Wales from 1837 to 1920.

Also Norfolk Electoral Rolls and parish registers for Essex, Bristol and Norfolk. - UK Births, Marriages and Deaths – UK Genealogical Directories and Lists – UK Military Family History
These three websites with links to resources have continued to grow since their respective launches. now has over 2,400; over 1,900; and over 1,500, concentrating on World War 1.

Children's Society Archives – Case files of children admitted into their care from 1882 in date order, with date of birth, parent(s) and health.

Fishermen and Merchant Seaman imprisoned in WW1 – An index to document MT9/1238 in TNA.

Hertfordshire Names Online -

Includes apprentices, crime, marriages and licences, poor law, tithes and wills.

Reasons to keep microfilm when digitising -

Unusual English words for family members -

Tube map family tree -

London on film: 1927 vs 2013 -

And finally – sound on for this one

Vol 27, No 2:  December 2013

 The National Archives –

TNA have launched a new WW1 portal -

They have also revamped their website and online shop.


Ancestry -

Ancestry have added Birmingham parish registers, Irish Censuses for 1901 and 1911 (already on, WW2 Civilian War Deaths (also on, and the Guinness Archive.

Another new release is Non-Conformist Registers and Overseas Returns, TNA Refs RG4, RG5, RG8 and RG32-36, already on BMD Registers, part of S&N.

Although identical databases, using Ancestry gives different search and fuzzy matching options.


Find My Past -

FMP have added 300,000 new Royal Household records from 1526 to 1924.

Newspapers from the British Library now include Irish titles.

Records of ships lost in WW1 from TNA ADM242 have been added


Deceased Online –

New records include those from Sutton (Surrey), Wiltshire and Cleveland.


The Genealogist -

A major new release is their Image Archive which is free.

Other additions include Criminal Records from TNA HO27 etc, Militia Records for 1781-82, Apprenticeship Records from TNA IR1, more parish register transcripts and directories, and WW1 Rolls of Honour.


Origins -

Origins have added 132,000 records from the Devon Wills Project to list what probate materials were originally recorded and most importantly what documents (original document, copy or abstract) survived enemy action in 1942 and where they can be located.


FamilySearch -

Additions include parish registers and non-conformist records for Derbyshire, Cheshire, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Norfolk.


Official Gazettes -

The London, Edinburgh and Belfast Gazettes have been combined in a new updated website with revised search options.


Audrey Collins blog - when post 1858 wills were at Somerset House -


Richard Heaton's Index to Digitalised British and Irish Newspapers Online -


Oldest in Britain - 

Those over 107 with names and dates of birth.


RAF Cranwell Apprentices -

RAF radio/wireless/radar tradesmen who were at either the Electrical & Wireless School “RAF Flowerdown” between 1922 and 1929, or at “RAF Cranwell” between
1920 and 1952.


Lost Cousins - recent newsletters have useful articles on the calendar -


OS Maps of London at Five feet to the Mile, 1893 to 1896 -


London Medical Reports 1848 to 1972 -

On the Wellcome Library website, you can search by keyword such as name, address or disease.


Old Occupations -


Distribution of surnames in Great Britain, current and historic -


Extract text from images -


Gedcom Analyzer -
What I have wanted for years. A handy tool for analysing occupations, locations, missing census records, data errors, those who might have died in one of the World Wars, ...



Vol 27, No 1:  September 2013

The National Archives –

TNA have released records for 1983 as the first stage of the transition from the 30 year rule to the new 20 year rule.

Records of 7,000 19th century immigrants for 1801 to 1871 from HO1 are available to search and download online.  You can also search ADM48 wills of Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel 1786-1882.


Ancestry -

Ancestry are giving free access to the 1911 census until 14 October.  They now uncovered the Infirmity column and have linked the census to the UK Maps, 1896–1904, supplied by Cassini Historical Maps.

They have released Surrey parish registers for the area outside south London and

records for Civil and Mechanical Engineers.

Another new release is Fleet Marriages and Baptisms, TNA Ref RG7, already on BMD Registers, part of S&N.


Find My Past -

Parish records have been added for Hertfordshire and several other counties.

WW1 - Medal Rolls for 72,000 men in the  Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve have been added, together with 50,000 service records for the Royal Navy Division.  Also London volunteer soldiers records for 1859 to 1955.


Deceased Online –

With TNA they have added 30,000 Military Burial Records from ADM6, ADM73, ADM305 and WO156.  The latter includes Canterbury Garrison for 1808 to 1958.

A major addition is 203,000 burials in Brompton Cemetery, London.  Another cemetery of the “Magnificent Seven” is promised.


The Genealogist -

New additions include Pilots from 1909 to 1936; the Operations Record Book of 617 Squadron - the Dam Busters; 1.5 million railway workers records; 50,000 Jewish records; and 439,000 Royal Navy and Merchant Seamen records covering the years 1851-1911 from BT98, censuses, crew lists and other sources.


Origins -

Origins have added indexes to 50,000 wills for Chichester and Lichfield Consistory Courts.


FamilySearch -

Additions include parish records for Sussex and other counties and Irish wills and Tithe Applotment books.


British Telecom digital archive -

Records from 1846 have been digitised;  probably limited personal details.


Audrey Collins blog on Armed Forces BMDs -


Kent County Council Libraries - British Newspaper Archive.

Only accessible in libraries, but free, unlike the same images on the British Newspaper Archive and FindMyPast.


1818 Map of London -

Also 1846 and 1859 maps of London.


Transcribing tool - 

Genscriber makes it easy to create a CSV file from some downloaded files or by manual input from an image.

A free file type converter -