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Explore Your [National] Archive

Explore Your Archive is a joint campaign delivered by The National Archives, Archives and Records Association and Archives Wales across the UK and Ireland.

It aims to showcase the unique potential of archives to excite people, bring communities together, and tell amazing stories.

This year the campaign will run from 14-22 November, there are numerous events being held to showcase the phenomenal archival collections held by organisations across the UK and Ireland, whatever their size and scale, and wherever they are. For more information visit http://exploreyourarchive.org/ or http://www.archiveswales.org.uk/index.php?id=8980






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Bedworth Baptismal Records CD 2 1862 - 1911 Released

Series 2 Baptismal CDs.

Bapt series 2 1 cover for shop

We are also able to announce that the first CD of Series 2 of the Baptismal transcriptions, 1862 – 1911 is in the NNWFHS shop today. £10 to members and £12 to non-members.

Series 2 will follow the pattern of Series 1 as regards parish groupings. It aims to complete all entries in the baptismal registers up until the end of June 1911, thus covering the 1911 Census period and linking with the inclusion of the maternal maiden name on the GRO Index which begins in July 1911.

This first CD covers the Bedworth area and can be directly accessed in the shop below.

Bedworth Baptisms CD 2 - 1862-1911


New School Admissions and POW Records Added to FindMyPast website

New School Admissions Records

The Find My Past website had added 2.9 million School Admission Register records from England, Wales, Ireland and Australia. The new records from 25 archives and over 3,600 schools from across England have been added to the National School Admission Registers & Log-Books 1870-1914 collection. The collection was originally launched in September 2014 and now a further 2.7 million records are available to search.  This project was facilitated by the ARA and The National Archives under the National Digitisation Consortium banner and brings together over 100 archives and schools in the largest collaborative digitisation project that there has ever been. A third and final release of school records will take place in September 2015.

The records comprise fully searchable scanned colour images of the original handwritten admission registers and log-books from the archives. Details contained within the log-books from the period leading up to World War One include attendance records, reasons for absence, visitors to the school and the daily activities of school life. The admission registers provide many useful details for family historians, including your ancestor’s birth date, admission year and the school they attended. You may also be able to discover their parents’ names, father’s occupation, exam results and any illnesses that led to absence from school. Read more here.

Click here to view and search the records - subscription will be required to view them - I have a rolling 6 month account which is much, much cheaper than buying search credits.

New POW Records

To mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II on all fronts on 2 September and the anniversary on 5 September of the liberation of the notorious Changi Prison camp, located on the eastern side of Singapore, Find My Past has published, in association with The National Archives, the records of some of the most infamous POW camps of World War II. The records cover the period 1939-1945 and contain the names, ranks and locations of Prisoners of War, along with the length of time spent in camps, the number of survivors, details of escapees and the nationalities of prisoners. Britons represent the largest number in the collection, followed by Dutch, Americans and Australians. In addition to this type of data, the collection comprises 360,000 images, including pages from personal diaries and photographs. Many official World War II records remain classified, making this an invaluable resource enabling members of the public to research the histories of relatives and those held captive during the war. Read more here.

September 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
Just starting your research page 3
Annual General Meeting page 4
Waterloo 200 - the event page 5
Waterloo - the aftermath page 6
York FHS Fair page 7
Exploring twigs on the tree page 8
The Writing Lives Project page 10
Three men of Seckington page 11
War memorials page 13
Crime and Punishment page 15
The rise & rise of William Garside Phillips & family page 16
Nicholas David Skelton equestrian page 17
Estate sale catalogues - an underused resource page 18
The Toone family of Bedworth page 19
Tracing your Birmingham Ancestors (book review) page 20
A message from the membership secretary page 21
New members and their interests page 21
Buyer beware page 21

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!

FFHS Really Useful Information Leaftet

The Federation of Family History Societies (www.ffhs.org.uk) has updated its 24 page PDF Really Useful Information Leaflet which offers a great deal more than appears in most leaflets.

You can download your free copy of RUL here. Paper copies will be available for collection at the many events that the Federation will attend during 2015 and also at the meetings of many of the family history societies.

Staffordshire Puts Over 1.2 Million More Records Online

Staffordshire Registers Online

A large amount of extra information from the registers of numerous parishes in Staffordshire has recently been launched on the FindMyPast website.

Scanned and indexed images of pages from a variety of parish registers have been added to the existing online collection for the county. The fresh data covers the following events:

  • Baptisms - 483,000
  • Marriages - 267,000
  • Banns - 185,000
  • Burials - 284,000

Many records from other parishes in the area were already in the database, so the total number of entries to be found in the relevant indexes for Staffordshire now add up to more than 4 million. The earliest records included date back to 1538 and the most recent events took place in 1900, but details are not available from all parishes for the whole of that timespan.

Staffordshire is an inland county with borders touching five other counties, so this collection will be of help to researchers whose main focus so far is elsewhere, if their family prove to have migrated into or out of Staffordshire itself.


Publication News - August 2015

Series 2 Baptismal CDs.

We are now able to announce that the first CD of Series 2 of the Baptismal transcriptions is available and will be in the Shop in a day or two. The first CD contains all baptisms at All Saints Church, Bedworth from 1862 to 1911.

Series 2 follows the pattern of Series 1 as regards parish groupings. It aims to complete all entries in the baptismal registers up until the end of June 1911, thus covering the 1911 Census period and linking with the inclusion of the maternal maiden name on the GRO Index which begins in July 1911.

The NNWFHS transcription team continues to add to the range of CDs on offer in the Shop.  Also available is Series 1 which covers all parishes in the NNWFHS area between 1813 and the end of 1861.  The final publications of Series 1 are:

1 : 5 Nuneaton & Weddington. £10 for members and £12 for non-members.
1 : 6 Coleshill, Corley, Curdworth, Fillongley, Great Packington, Little Packington, Maxstoke & Wishaw. £10 for members and £12 for non-members.
1 : 7 Austrey, Baddesley Ensor, Baxterley, Bentley, Grendon, Kingsbury, Lea Marston, Merevale, Middleton, Nether Whitacre, Newton Regis, Over Whitacre, Polesworth, Seckington, Shustoke, Shuttington & Warton. £12 for members and £14 for non-members.

An Index of the names of all the children included on the Series 1 CDs is available on the NNWFHS website, in the Searchable Databases section of the Menu.  When complete, and Index to Series 2 will also be placed on the website.

Nuneaton & Weddington Baptisms CD 1813 - 1861

Coleshill & Area Baptisms CD 1813-1861

Austrey & Area Baptisms CD 1813-1861

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.

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.


  • 2016 New Year Event Wed. 13 Jan, 2016 3:00 am - Wed. 13 Jan, 2016 7:00 am NNWFHS Event Welcome the New Year: party evening. Bring along a plate of nibbles for sharing - and a drink if wished. Tea/coffee on tap. Plus a Bring & Buy stall. Come and enjoy. Click the map for directions.
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