A DATABASE OF SNODLAND PARISHIONERS, 1800 and after
Originally issued on CD-ROM this database is now sufficiently advanced to be put online.
Surnames will be found arranged alphabetically as ‘bookmarks’. Click on the ‘Bookmark’ tab at the left to reveal these. Click on the surname to go directly to the firstpage for each one. Each series is arranged alphabetically by Christian name.
NB the Christian name ‘May’ has often migrated to the end of each group because the computer has read it as a month rather than as a name. Some of the variants are due to the samename being spelled by different scribes; others may be due to modern interpretation of difficult handwriting. All files are searchable by keyword.
We are very grateful for much information already provided by family historians. Inevitably there will be mistakes and omissions and we will be very pleased to hear of and receive additions and amendments: contact Dr. Andrew Ashbee [e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org]
This database aims to list all people known to have been alive in Snodland after 1800 and (currently) the census of 1911. It will never be complete of course – and future editions will be produced at later times as more information is forthcoming – but this version has as its base all persons listed as baptized, married or buried from parish and other available registers between those years and all persons listed in the Snodland censuses 1841-1911.
Anything else (and there is plenty) is a bonus. Images of original pages from the All Saints and Christ Church, Lower Birling, registers are now available on the ‘cityark’ website of the Medway Archives and Local Studies Centre.
The registers searched are:
1. The parish registers of All Saints, complete for the period, except that there appears to be a gap in the marriages between 6 August 1809 and 31 July 1814 (at a change of registers). (Also about half-a-dozen entries are illegible on the microfilm and have yet to be ascertained from the originals.)
2. Christ Church, Lower Birling: a chapel of ease to Birling parish church, opened in 1893 and serving the southern end of Snodland parish as well as the adjacent hamlet of Ham Hill (which only became part of Snodland in 1988). Baptisms and burials date from 1893, but no weddings took place here until 1911. Weddings before 1911 have still to be recorded from the parish registers of All Saints, Birling. The database currently incorporates baptisms 1893-1922, weddings, 1911-1917, burials 29 November 1894 to 6 January 1966. [Snodland Historical Society Registers series No. 1 is the burials 1894-1966; 5a-b is the baptisms to 1922]
3. Congregational (formerly ‘Independent’) church. Baptisms 1836-1868 written in ‘The Church Book of the Independents’ and ‘Certificates of Baptisms’ 11 March 1883 to 24 January 1907 (both volumes now deposited at the Medway Archives and Study Centre) [All published as Snodland Historical Society Registers series No. 2]
4. The Church of St John the Evangelist (Swedenborgian), (also known as ‘The New Jerusalem’) established and built by the Hook family, papermaker masters of Snodland Paper Mill, in 1882; closed c.1988. Weddings: 7 July 1883 to 25 July 1937. The Baptism registers begin at 2 February 1913 so are not included. There are some earlier baptisms (names only) recorded on a window-ledge inside the church. [Seen and photographed, but not yet in the database.] [Snodland Historical Society has published the complete extant registers: Baptisms 1913-1988 and Weddings 1883-1988: Registers series, No. 4.]
5. Primitive Methodist Church, Malling Road. Opened in 1873. A single small register book is known (formally held at the United Church), from which all baptisms, weddings and burials recorded before 1938 are incorporated in the database.
6. Snodland Parish Cemetery. Opened in 1896, after which only selected burials were allowed at All Saints Churchyard. All denominations. The database includes all burials listed in the first register: 19 March 1896 to 17 April 1952, together with a few later entries gleaned from a manuscript book drawn up by the cemetery caretaker for receipts by clergy for burial fees, 1952-1977. The latter varies in detail according to the whims of the compilers, so at some stage will be checked against the official register. [Snodland Historical Society Registers series No. 3 is the first register]
7. No registers are known for the Baptist Church formerly in Church Fields. Information from the extant memorials in All Saints churchyard has been included. Entries from several Trade Directories have been noted: Samuel Bagshaw’s directory, 1847; Kelly’s directory, 1855; F. C. Melville’s directory, 1858; Kelly’s directories, 1859; 1867, 1874, 1882, 1887, 1891, 1895, 1899, 1905
EXPLANATION OF FORMAT
Reference. A unique number given to each identified person. In the course of work it sometimes becomes apparent that two entries refer to the same person. In such cases the two entries have been merged and only one number retained. This is the explanation for gaps in any sequence since the deleted numbers will not be re-used.
Surname. As always scribal idiosyncrasies ensure that there are considerable varieties of spellings and often a decision has been taken to use one form. Guidance for some variant forms is given. It is always worth while searching for alternatives. So far as spouses are concerned, they may appear twice: first under their birth name and then under their married name, so both should be searched if possible. More work is needed on this aspect of the database, but look in the ‘Remarks’ column for married women for possible identification of their un-married surname.
Forenames. The main problem here, which also reflects on possible duplicate entries, is that the name by which the person was known was not necessarily the first forename. Sometimes it has been possible to show in capitals which name is most common in the records. There are occasions too when the order of names is changed, or when different forms of the same name occur (for instance ‘Katherine’/‘Kate’, or ‘Fanny’/’Frances’), and of course not all forenames appear in all records.
Born. Estimates of age are usually derived from ages given in censuses or registers and may be a year or so in error. The place of birth is taken from the censuses. (Where information conflicts all variants are shown).
Baptized/Married/Buried. The place of baptism, marriage or burial is coded as follows:
- ‘Snodland AS’ = All Saints, Snodland, High Street – the ancient parish church;
- ‘Snodland CC’ = Christ Church, Lower Birling (now Snodland), Malling Road, where the churchyard is still used for burials;
- ‘Snodland IC’ = Congregational (formerly ‘Independent’ and last the ‘United Church’), High Street;
- ‘Snodland Meth’ = Snodland Primitive Methodist Church, Malling Road (closed
- 1976 and united with the Congregational Church to form ‘The United Church’);
- ‘Snodland NJ’ = New Jerusalem (Swedenborgian) church, High Street (closed c.1988). Entries in the Cemetery register were mostly made by the caretaker and seem to vary quite often from the parish registers regarding the age of the deceased person.
Address. These constantly change, so an attempt is made to include dates (e.g. from censuses) to help monitor the changes.
Career. The same process as above.
Children. These lists are mostly taken from censuses and cannot be taken as complete, especially where the family moved between parishes.
Remarks. Occasional queries and extra information added here.
Sources. Indicates the sources from which the entry is compiled. ‘Cong. Book’ and ‘Cong. List’ refers to ‘The Church Book of the Independents’ (now at the Medway Archives and Study Centre), which includes regular lists of membership. These sometimes incorporate notes of death or removal. ‘Assessment’ refers to the lists of taxes imposed by Churchwardens and Overseers.
A few of the National School logbooks have been photocopied and the copies deposited at Snodland Millennium Museum. Entry of names in these varies greatly according to the practice of the individual staff. Of greatest use is the book of infants c.1868-1898, which incorporates many admissions of pupils. Less useful is the girls’ book c.1878-1896, although this too has many names. Virtually no names are entered in the boys’ book of similar date. This database has incorporated as many of the names as can reasonably be identified from the infants’ and girls’ books (for instance avoiding those where just initials of Christian names occur). It is hoped more will be done in the future as further books are copied and indexed, but the main purpose here is to identify some National School pupils (as distinct from the British Schools). We also now have copies of some early admission registers: Girls: 1883-1928; Boys: 1902-1916; Mixed infants: 1909-1916. We have the admission registers for Snodland Central School (The Holmesdale School) from its opening in 1930 to 2000.