Latest News from NNWFHS

Non-Conformist Denominations: Applications to License Places of Worship

Non-Conformist Licence Applications

There are several boxes of files at the Lichfield Record Office containing applications made to the diocese for licences to enable non-conformist denominations to worship in places other than a Church of England building.

Although the topic may sound “dry” for family historians, when you learn that these 1,800 documents contain over 6,000 individuals’ names, including women, you will rapidly realise this is a rich source for names.

The series runs from about 1790 to around 1850 with a few outside those years. Applications could be by a single individual – including a householder to licence his or her home – or by trustees for a chapel, but a relevant number contain many signatures - one has over 40 - some include occupations. Occasionally the denomination is known, but the forms often stated simply “protestant dissenters”.

This CD includes applications to the Lichfield Diocese comprising:

Staffordshire 770+

Derbyshire 530+

Warwickshire 350+

Shropshire 150+

There are two files of data: one is a surname/place/reference number file to speed searching for surnames you are interested in; the second details each application including the ancient Church of England parish, the place within that parish, any address, denomination, date of licence being issued, and names included on the document.

Finding your ancestral family involved in non-conformity could explain absence of baptisms from Church of England records, and may help you find other records.

With thanks to Lichfield Record Office for providing access.

Visit Lichfield RO to view the original documents with signatures, etc.

Publication News - June 2015

A Searchable database uploaded to Members' Pages

Non-Conformist Chapel Licences - full of Warwickshire Surnames.

A resource that family historians with any hint of non-conformity in their family tree should thoroughly explore!

In the past, those wishing to designate a room or building for use for worship by any denomination other than the Church of England were required to obtain a licence from the diocese or from quarter sessions.

A recent project at Lichfield Record Office was to index their holding of licences issued by the diocese. The period is generally 1790s-1850s, and the documents cover Staffordshire, Derbyshire, half of Shropshire and much of Warwickshire. It is obvious that far from all groups applied to the hierarchy of the Church of England !

There were over 1800 licence records remaining of which some 350+ were for Warwickshire. The idiosyncratic filing system means that documents for some places are spread over several files! The amazing number of signatures on some makes them a “must see” for family historians: Wolston has more signatures than any other in the entire collection!

On the list are all those named, indexed alphabetically by surname, which occur in the Warwickshire items.

If you want a prior look-up to check the full index entry, then please email Jacqui giving the document number.

There is no charge for this for NNWFHS members.

York Family History Fair - June 2015

NNWFHS has been out and about. On 27th June we visited York Racecourse’s Knavesmire Building for the annual fair.

Our attendance was based on the wide spread of Societies that had attended on previous years: Aberdeen down to south of the Midlands. In addition, we try to attend events that might attract our members who are too far away to get to our meetings: it is good to have opportunity to meet.

On a wonderful summer’s morning the sun was streaming into the building through the glass wall that makes the building so distinctive. We found our table marked ready for us. The problem was the situation: that wonderful three-storey wall of glass with the sun streaming through was immediately behind us – it felt as though we were being roasted! Chris Makepeace (who sells reproduction maps in profusion) was nearby and assured us that by midday we’d be OK. We used our pull-up banners to provide a little shade – it was all we could do.

York is the furthest distance we have travelled for a Fair…but the day was worth the effort. Although we did not recruit any new members, some visitors made a point of taking a joining form with the intention of sending it by post (time will tell!); we did sell a useful number of CDs.

We had interesting queries about places, what is where, and could this be that…it probably wasn’t!! Attendees were generally established family historians, though a few were decidedly vague. As ever, some showed us their trees downloaded from websites…unreferenced, lacking in detail and you just know that something gets copied into every other tree regardless of authenticity. As ever, some had total brickwalls – one was a lady’s own father: “an enigma” she called him!

With something like 60 exhibitors, this event was worth attending! We enjoyed the long day, met some very nice visitors and felt we had spread the word a little further about the existence of NNWFHS.

June 2015 Journal Issued

The NNWFHS Quarterly Journal has been released and is winging its way to members via their chosen method of delivery. As ever our Editor, John Parton, has put together an interesting publication full of facts and information about Family History in Nuneaton and North Warwickshire. This edition features:

Secretary's scribbles page 2
Sir Roger Newdigate page 4
Arbury estate CD   page 4
Who Do You Think You Are? page 5
Bates - a shockingly bad case page 6
Dates for your diary page 7
The Ancestry of William Chamberlain of Bedworth page 8
Reports on monthly speaker meetings page 9
Hall Hospital page 10
festival of Arts page 10
Coal Mines - commemorative plate page 10
Perrins Pit page 11
Sports in Nuneaton - your help needed page 11
Bates Gathering at Atherstone page 12
Book reviews page 13
Local Civil Registration Unravelled page 14
Prying Eyes ... of the Church Courts page 16
Queen's Rd Infant School 1935-7 page 17
Hams Hall page 18
200 page 20
New members' contact details & surname interests page 21

Back cover Some of the Halls of North Warwickshire from old postcards

Remember the journal is only available to Members (members click here to view it) and for as little as £10 per year members receive four journals and exclusive access to copies of all journals issued since 2009 as part of their membership. In addition they have access to other databases and information put together by the Society that is not made generally available. If you are not already a member join now!

Publication News – April 2015

The NNWFHS transcription team is pleased to announce the launch of our latest CDs. This will take place at the WDYTYA event at the NEC in Birmingham on 16 – 18 April 2015. The CDs will also be available at the Chilvers Coton Heritage Centre Spring Fayre on 18 April 2015.

Series 1 of the baptismal transcriptions 1813-1861 includes:

1 : 1  Bedworth
1 : 2  Ansty, Bulkington, Burton Hastings, Churchover, Monks Kirby, Shilton, Willey, Withybrook & Wolvey
1 : 3  Atherstone, Caldecote & Mancetter
1 : 4  Ansley, Arley, Astley, Attleborough, Chilvers Coton & Stockingford

Each CD contains well in excess of 7000 entries and each is £12 for non-members and £10 for members.

The Marriage Licence Bonds 1733-1754 CD contains details of surviving Bonds issued for marriages in Warwickshire, Derbyshire, Staffordshire and parts of Shropshire, held in the archives of Lichfield Record Office.  The CD will normally cost £15 for non-members and £10 for members, but we are promoting it with a special “at the show” price of £10.

Extracts for Astley & Chilvers Coton 1684 - 1840s A further CD (£6 for non-members and £4.80 for members) is being launched which contains details taken from the extensive collection of Arbury Estate Papers and Parish Chest material deposited at the Warwickshire Record Office, appertaining to these two villages

  1. 1684 listing of inhabitants of Chilvers Coton
  2. 1781 listing of inhabitants of Chilvers Coton - Census
  3. 1782 listing of inhabitants of Astley - Census
  4. 1841-42 listing of Soup given to Arbury poor at Christmas
  5. 1830s names of persons applying to Arbury for Charity
  6. 1803 list of poor families of Chilvers Coton
  7. 1777 Parliamentary report on Poor House at Chilvers Coton
  8. Poor Law – apprenticeship, indentures, bastardy orders, removal orders, settlement examinations & certificates for Chilvers Coton

Transcribing N. Warks Parish Records - We Need You !

North Warwickshire Parish Register Transcriptions

Ever wondered how all those records got into our CD's and booklets?, well very simply they were transcribed by NNWFHS members from the original records or copies of the originals onto Excel Spreadsheets.

We have now completed two series of transcriptions of Burials [1813-1865] and Marriages [1754-1881] for all the parishes within the North Warwickshire area; work has now begun on the post 1754 Baptismal records. They provide invaluable information for Family Historians and whilst you are transcribing you can gain an interesting insight to the popular names of the time. All of the previously transcribed records are now available for purchase in our online shop.

Since there are many parishes to be completed and each register contains many entries, it would be a great help to the project team if we had a few volunteers to help us. The work is not onerous; it just needs a little concentration. In order to complete a transcription, it requires access to the filmed [Ancestry] or original [Warwickshire Record Office] registers, the ability to type the records into an Excel document [format provided], and a few hours of your time.

If you have an interest in a particular parish which has not already been transcribed, then we can allocate that to you; at the moment most parishes are available, but for how long ???.

Looking forward to hearing from you [please click here to email me].

Carole Eales

Project Manager.


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