Sunday, November 29, 2009

Great Bedfordshire resource

I came across a wonderful resource for some Bedfordshire parishes today. The Bedfordshire Council now has a Community Archives section on their website - content varies depending on the parish but includes maps, historical churches, details of interesting buildings, and perhaps industry information and census extracts. If you have ancestors that spent time just across the county border from Wing you may well find something of interest here. I certainly found some former Wing residents when clicking on random house profiles!

See here for the list of parishes. I'll be linking to the ones close to Wing on my Neighbours page in December.

And now I'm off to read the Leighton Buzzard non-conformist churches pages more closely, as some of our Wing folk did make the trek there each Sunday!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

WWII evacuees

In order to keep safe from expected bombings, many children (and some mothers) were evacuated from cities and other target sites out to the comparatively safe countryside.

If you, or your relatives, were an evacuee who was sent to Wing, or perhaps you lived in Wing and hosted an evacuee, please do email me at and let me know all the details you can remember about the evacuee, the hosts, and their experiences.

One person we'd like to find is Joan - Joan was 9 years old and came from Harlesdon in London. She lived with William and Louisa VARNEY in Albert Terrace, Littleworth, and shared a bedroom with 21-year-old Stella.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Neighbours on Remembrance Day

Ancestry have released the remainder of the records in the WO363 series (the "Burnt Documents" of the service records from WWI). The remainder of the Wing men found in these records will appear on my Wing One Place Study website soon on the WWI military page.

While searching using the residence field only for "Adela" aka Adela Avenue in New Malden where my 2xg-grandfather lived (in the early 1900s he had lived in Wing), it brought home the impact of WWI on the lives of neighbourhoods. As well as my Percy (who isn't in the WO363 series) at #59 Adela Avenue, there was also Isidor BENSON at #19, Ernest Albert COX at #30, Cecil William ELLIOT at #47 and Edward John VINCENT at #65.

Given that only 40% of the service records in this series survive in any form, and this series originally represented only non-commissioned officers and other ranks who survived WWI and did not re-enlist prior to WWII, there would have been plenty of returned serviceman in this street. No doubt there were several other neighbouring households who had a permanent gap in them by the end of the War.

On this Remembrance Day - thanks.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Milling about

I'm definitely back on track with my webpage about the milling industry in Wing. I've finished all the research and writeup about the mills and the millers, now I just need to finish my background research about the process of milling itself, as I only have a very hazy idea about this, and find some suitable illustrations for the page. This last bit always proves challenging - I don't have ready access to Wing or to museums that might house suitable objects I could photograph, so I'm hoping to find a relevant line drawing or two I can extract from one of the milling books I found on Google Books. I've already created a customised map, a first for the website, but there's a fair bit of text so it needs a fair few illustrations beyond the map.

I will also need a visit to the library to confirm a fun fact - apparently when the mill moth first appeared in England it popped up in Buckinghamshire, Stony Stratford to be precise. I have a reference to the volume and page of the Victoria County History of Buckinghamshire in which this is recorded but I have no recollection of actually seeing this, so a trip to the Auckland City Library (who I know has these volumes) is called for, just in case I dreamed the whole thing up!

Sunday, November 01, 2009

November update

Yes, there is a November update! I've been sick, and very tired, this month so have done very little on the genealogical front. This means that the milling page has been delayed by yet another month, but I have uploaded extracts of a couple of wills - for Samuel HOLT and Hugh HOWSE both in the 1730s.

In excellent news for those of us interested in wills held by the Centre of Buckinghamshire Studies, they have added an online purchasing facility to go along with the online index on their website. They are also offering online ordering of births, marriages and deaths. I haven't used this yet myself but it will certainly make life easier for me next time I do want a copy of a will.

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