250th anniversary of the discovery of the Kingston Brooch
Clearance at the IHGS at Northgate in Canterbury continues as we prepare to sell one quarter of the building and receive a generous legacy of the William Marsh Harvey antiquarian library. Whatever duplicates there are will be added to our own our enormous collection of extra books for some kind of ongoing grand sale during the summer. Our Diamond Jubilee Awards Day and Celebrations are now fixed for July 31 and preparations are now underway. Zoom tutorials and lectures continue to draw very healthy audiences.
My own consolidated Canterbury Probate Index which brings together grants of probate and administration from all courts for the city parishes is now well advanced. Once sorted it will be interesting to be able at a glance to see all the inhabitants of one parish, the occupants of the various almshouses, or perhaps all the Canterbury silkweavers in one go. The first tranche will cover c.1720-1858.
Having for years dreamt about writing a parish history I have at last settled on Reculver. Judicious purchasing of reference works has reminded me how much background reading to the sources is necessary before undertaking a venture of this nature, although at 67 I hope to have long enough to complete it, DV ! One plus point of course is that unlike most places whose recorded history might begin with Domesday Book at the earliest, here we start with the Roman fort of Regulbium and the important Anglo-Saxon church of St Augustine founded in A.D. 669. Thus there is much to consider between then and the intrusive and unsightly modern caravan site so horribly close to such venerable remains. It is just as well that the site is guarded by English Heritage for otherwise what would be left in a another generation? I have already witnessed partial destruction and losses since my own childhood. Sic transit gloria mundi.
From Newsletter 231: Dr. David Wright, is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and of the Society of Genealogists. He is well known to genealogists for his East Kent Probate Index as well as for his several books on Kent genealogy, including Tracing Your Kent Ancestry which was published in 2016. David has been a genealogical lecturer for many years and is a specialist in Medieval Latin. Alongside his love of genealogy he has a keen interest in the history of Anglo-Saxon and Mediaeval England.
"Having lived (almost) within the shadow of Northgate all my life, and consequently knowing many of the past and present staff as well as numerous former employees who are now distinguished genealogists in their own right, it is with a sense of slight foreboding that I shall formally enter the august portals of the Institute as its Principal on August 3. Not quite fully behind me are careers in philately, the classics, history, genealogy, translating, teaching, writing and lecturing, some of which I shall hope to bring to bear to my daily duties in Canterbury. Genealogy still remains a huge passion after 45 years, and I note with considerable pride the splendid IHGS educational classes and courses currently on offer - all still very much needed, especially as the Internet means our subject is now a little less earthbound than it used to be. Alas, I cannot fool myself that I shall be able to equal Dr Richard Baker's long tenure in the post, but I arrive with a fresh pair of eyes and enthusiasm to see what may lie ahead for the Institute as it enters its diamond jubilee year."
Having lectured in Australia for much of last autumn, 2020 is proving to be a time of consolidation and catching up on domestic projects.
I am currently translating a series of interesting borough charters for the Kentish Cinque Port town of Hythe, all from the twelfth to fourteenth centuries, and typically a rich source of placenames and surnames.
My consolidated Canterbury probate index, 1700-1858, draws together both wills and administrations as well as the relevant PCC wills form the supreme court in London. It will be sorted by surname, address/parish and occupation, and should prove a fruitful source for local researchers. It will appear on my website later this year.
I am delighted to announce that from August I shall take up a new position as Principal at the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies in Canterbury. The Institute is strongly focussed on education and achievement by examination results, of which there is already an impressive run over many years.
In September I shall start teaching classical Latin for beginners at Blean Village Hall near Canterbury. Full details will appear in the U3A summer programme. Do come and learn the basics which will of course be exceptionally useful for looking at many earlier genealogical documents.
My genealogical lectures have attracted good crowds in Brisbane and Canberra, and there is till time to attend the congress in Sydney this weekend or my venues in Melbourne and Adelaide shortly afterwards, details of which are within this website.
I look forward to meeting old and new friends.
David Wright is on his fourth Australian tour and second genealogical lecture circuit, starting in Brisbane (October 1 and 5), proceeding to Canberra (October 7), the Sydney conference (October 11 and 12), Melbourne (October 17, 18 and 20) and Adelaide (October 22 and 23). He is talking on a variety of subjects including parish registers, the workhouse, and genealogical geography and history, as well as giving practical seminars in the interpretation and reading of old documents.
Do please come and have a chat if he may be able to help you with your genealogical problems.
Tuesday 1st October - Brisbane
Tweed Gold Coast Family History Society, South Tweed Sports Club, 4 Minjungbal Drive, Tweed Heads South
Saturday 5th October - Brisbane
Genealogical Society of Queensland, 25 Stackpole St, Wishart, Queensland 4122
Monday 7th October - Canberra
Heraldry and Genealogy Society of Canberra, 41 Templeton St, Cook, A.C.T. 2607
All day seminar:
Friday/Saturday 11,12 October - Sydney
'Exploring The Past' Conference, Ku-ring-gai Historical Society, Knox Grammar School, Pacific Highway, Wahroonga, NSW 2076
Thursday 17th October - Melbourne
Genealogical Society of Victoria, Level 6, 85 Queen St, Melbourne 3000
Friday 18 October - Melbourne
Mount Waverley Library, 41 Miller Crescent, Mount Waverley, Victoria 3149
Sun. 20th October - Melbourne
Family History Connections, 1/41 Railway Rd, Blackburn, Melbourne 3130
Tuesday/Wednesday 22, 23 October - Adelaide
South Australian Genealogy and Heraldry Society, 201 Unley Rd, Unley, S.A.
Do please get in touch for more details and perhaps the possibility of further speaking appointments.
350th Anniversary Conference & Exhibition
Willian Somner, Kentish Scholar
Article by David Wright
Arrangements for the March 2019 William Somner 350th anniversary colloquium at Christ Church, Canterbury, are now well in hand. My full life of him will appear in Archaeologia Cantiana over 2019/2020, but a summary of his remarkable scholarly activities is now available in the latest edition of the Kent Archaeological Society Newsletter for all to see.