Monday, 9 November 2015

New book on Kimble history launched

Yesterday (Friday November 13th) saw the launch of an important new book about the history of the Kimble villages.

The book is by Kimble resident and local historian Roger Howgate and is entitled "Kimble's Journey - The history of England from the Perspective of a Rural Parish". The launch took place at The Swan, Great Kimble, with Roger available to answer questions and sign copies.

Roger commented:
It is important that some of what our forebears experienced is preserved and recorded, otherwise we find ourselves without roots and without a heritage Some might say it is nostalgia, but I think that is mistaken You will find events, people and the culture of a community which is both ordinary and extraordinary There are some amazing individuals in the history of Kimble. and some remarkable events The book has been a personal journey recording both our local and national societal trends and recalling the special moments and events in the life of our community. It could not have been written without all the kind people who have told their stories and delved into their photograph albums.

The book is in large format with over 240 pages.

Roger was also a co-author of “Kimble Faces & Places”, a book published in 2000.  
I look forward to reading the new book and more details will be posted later.

Copies of the book are available direct from Roger.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

The 1939 Register

An important new resource for research has come on line this week - the 1939 Register.

This was taken on 29 September 1939 and provides a snapshot of the civilian population of England and Wales just after the outbreak of the Second World War. The records were used to produce population statistics and identification cards and, once rationing was introduced in January 1940, to issue ration cards. Information was also used to administer conscription. After the war the records continued to be used - it was compulsory to carry identity cards until 1952 and when the National Health Service was created in 1948 the Register became the core of the NHS Register. The Register continued to be updated until 1991, when the records were computerised.

As the 1931 census for England and Wales was destroyed by fire during the Second World War and no census was taken in 1941, the 1939 Register provides the most complete survey of the population of England and Wales between 1921 and 1951.

Access to the 1939 Register has been made possible by an agreement between The National Archives and FindMyPast. It is possible to search the records on the 1939 Register site, but to get complete access to the data including the original document you need to pay. The other alternative is that you can access the records for free at The National Archives at Kew.

The Register was not intended to record members of the armed forces, so these will mostly be excluded. Details of any living people have been hidden.

The following extracts give a sample of the data that you might expect to find in the full records (click on image to enlarge). The blacked out lines "This record is officially closed" is where information is withheld for living people.

(c) Crown Copyright Images courtesy of The National Archives and FindMyPast

These records will be useful for a one-place study. They show details of who was living in a place on the day that the Register was compiled, with details such as date of birth, marital staus and occupation. FindMyPast have geo-tagged the addresses to a contemporary map - which should be useful, though on the samples that I have looked at these are not always accurate.

I will be spending some time looking at these records at The National Archives during the winter months.