The Society’s programme of events for the Lent Term 1999 has been charcteristically busy, with the usual four speaker meetings, single outing and culmination in the Forty-Ninth Annual Dinner at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.
The success of the speaker meetings has been reflected in the remarkably high attendances. Mr Timothy Milner (University Committee Member) began the term with a comprehensive and amply illustrated talk on academical dress, followed by an entertaining contribution from Stephen Slater at the next meeting. Dr Toby Wilkinson delivered a memorable Mountbatten Commemorative Lecture with the final speaker meeting, on a genealogical topic, being given by Dr Anthony Joseph whom we also welcome back as a member.
This term’s outing was to the Kindersley Workshop. The Forty-Ninth Annual Dinner was addressed by Mr David White, Rouge Croix Pursuivant; regretably our Patron, H.E. Archbishop Bruno Heim, was unable to attend the Annual Dinner but hopes to be able to join us for the Fiftieth Annual Dinner in less than a year’s time. We are especially grateful to our Honorary Vice-President, Mr Cecil Humphery-Smith, for speaking in Archbishop Heim’s absence.
It remains for me to thank the President, the Committee and the membership for their continued support of C.U.H.&G.S.
The Society’s Library is lodged with the archivist of Sidney Sussex College, Mr Nick Rogers, a past President of the Society. During a recent visit to the Library, Mr Rogers showed us the old 18th century marriage register for Sidney Sussex College chapel, which he thought had never been published.
This old register contained 47 marriages which had taken place between 1729 and 1751, mainly of people from Cambridgeshire and the surrounding counties, who did not appear to have any connection with the College. As these would appear to be ‘lost’ marriages, in a genealogical sense, I thought it might be a worthwhile project to transcribe and index the entries.
Before commencing the project, however, I checked with staff at the County Record Office that this information had not been published previously. They confirmed that was the case and added that, as far as they knew, Queens’ was the only College for which there was a published transcript of its marriage register (Proc. Camb. Antiq. Soc., 40). I have indexed the latter in addition to preparing the Sidney Sussex transcript and index.
The Rev. J.F. Williams, who had transcribed the Queens’ Register, stated in his introduction that:–
“Before the passing of Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act in 1753, it was legal for a marriage, by a duly authorised minister, to be celebrated in a College chapel just as in an ordinary parish church. Apparently all that was required was either a licence from the Bishop’s registrar, or else certificates from the incumbents stating that banns had been published in the parish churches of the parties concerned. After the ceremony the marriage was registered in the ordinary way in a book provided for the purpose …
“…It is noticeable that in every case but one, when in 1753, Mr Roper, Vicar of Melbourne conducted the marriage, the officiating minister was a Fellow of the College, though he might be incumbent of a neighbouring parish and signs as such. In some cases one cannot help feeling that it was for the convenience of the minister that the contracting parties were asked to come to the College chapel to be married, rather than in their own church. For instance, Henry Crownfield, who held the vicarage of Sawston together with his fellowship between 1723 and 1731 officiated at fourteen marriages in the College chapel, and in seven of them the brides were from his own parish of Sawston, where one would have expected the marriages to have taken place. The same thing happened after 1731 when Crownfield was appointed Rector of Little Eversden, still retaining his fellowship. Between then and 1734 he took three marriages in the College chapel, and in each case the bride came from Little Eversden. It is the same in the case of Walter Post, Fellow of the College, 1721–1732, who was appointed Vicar of Oakington in 1727. In half of the marriages at which he officiated in the chapel between 1728 and 1731, the brides came from the parish of Oakington.”
Before proceeding further with the project I cross-checked the marriages at Queens’ and Sidney Sussex Colleges with entries in Boyd’s Marriage Index to Cambridgeshire Parish Registers. Some of the marriages were listed and several were not, regardless of whether the marriage was conducted by licence or after banns.
Taking the parish of Oakinton as an example I then double-checked those marriages where one or both parties came from Oakington, and again some were listed and others were omitted. The interesting point which emerged was that there were occasional differences in dates, by a day or two, and differences in the spelling of the names. I concluded, therefore, that the officiating minister entered the marriage in the chapel register as the marriage occurred, and if he remembered later, would also include it retrospectively in the parish register (i.e. the parish of which he was the incumbent and not the parish in which the College was located). Although several of the marriages were recorded in the parish registers there would appear to be several omissions.
As it was likely that there might be similar registers at some of the other older Colleges, I made enquiries of the remaining pre-1800 foundations. The chart below sets out which Colleges have chapel registers which I have started to transcribe and index. In several cases there were no known 18th century chapel registers. Weddings did take place in College chapels during the 19th and 20th centuries but details were entered in the registers of the local parish churches.
|College||Marriages: dates (numbers)|
|Clare||none (all at St Edwards’s)|
|Gonville and Caius||none (at St Michaels or Great St Mary’s)|
|Peterhouse||none (at Little St Mary’s)|
|St Catharine’s||1734-1752 (6)|
|St John’s||none (at Parish Church)|
|Sidney Sussex||1729-1751 (47)|
|Trinity||none (at All SS)|
The Society’s Lent outing on Saturday, 13th February, 1999, was to the Cardozo Kindersley Workshop at 152, Vctoria Road, Cambridge. The enthusiasm generated by the event was reflected in such a high demand for places that some members were unable to be accommodated. A return visit is planned for the next academic year when those who were disappointed will be given priority.
The Workshop, specialising in letter-cutting into stone, wood, glass and concrete, was established by David Kindersley in 1946. Following his death in 1995, the workshop has been run by his widow, Lida Lopes Cardozo-Kindersley, who was born in Holland where she trained at the Royal Academy in the Hague under Gerrit Noordzij. She joined the Cambridge workshop, initially as an apprentice, then running it with David Kindersley as from 1976.
A large number of commissions are accepted both from individuals and from public establishments. The work is very diverse ranging from headstones to street signs with many examples in place on famous buildings in Cambridge and elsewhere, including Addenbrooke’s Hospital, the Fitzwilliam Museum, several Cambridge Colleges, the University of Durham, The British Library, St Paul’s Cathedral and the London Zoo. The workshop is especially keen to reflect the tastes and requirements of individuals, each resultant design emerging as a perfect amalgam of many ideas and artistic skills. Of particular interest to members of the Society were those designs which featured heraldry.
The visit began with an illustrated talk, given by Mrs Cardozo-Kindersley, summarising the workshop’s main activities drawing attention to specific items particularly those with heraldic components. There were several queries from the visitors who asked about the tools and the actual methods of working. It was pointed out that whenever possible each commission was executed by hand. There was clearly no scope for mass production techniques but nonethelsss the enterprise remained commercially successful! During a tour of the premises members had opportunities not only to view work in progress but also to try some some stone-carving for themselves. A few enthusiasts thoroughly availed themselves of this option. Complimentary copies of the workshop brochure were available together with photographs of completed commissions.
Those who participated are indebted to Mrs Cardozo-Kindersley for a most fascinating afternoon; everyone expressed their considerable enjoyment of the visit. The Society is also indebted to Mrs Eve Logan (Town Committee Member) for suggesting that such an event be included in the annual programme. The Easter Outing to Sir Conrad Swan’s Heradic Garden at Boxford House will take place on Saturday 29th May, 1999. Numbers will be limited to twenty.
Local History: A Handbook for Beginners, Philip Riden, Merton Priory Press, Cardiff, 1998.199 pp, 138mm x 216mm, pprback. ISBN 1 898937 27 3, £9-95.
This is a new edition of a book by this author first published by B.T. Batsford Ltd in 1983. It has been very thoroughly revised to take account of the widespread relocation of national and local archives which have taken place over the last fifteen years. Furthermore the reading lists for each chapter have been both updated and extended.
Although the subject matter is ostensibly local history, it deals, among many other matters, with source material like records of birth, marriage and death, census returns, wills and administrations, parish registers, etc., which are so important to the family historian. In fact it is now recognised by the latter that a thorough understanding of local and community history is almost an essential prerequisite to effective genealogical research.
The book has seven chapters of which five span the main resources utilised by the local and indeed family historian. The reader is directed towards the main institutions, including libraries and record offices, where he or she will be able to find relevant information. However the need to look at actual landscapes and buildings, in conjunction with maps, is given an important emphasis.
Attention is drawn to the way local history has been evolving, away from its traditional preoccupation with local gentry and clergy, towards a rather broader appreciation of the whole community and the overall range of activities which have taken place in the locale. The role of University extra-mural courses in fostering these new approaches is given due credit.
The point is well made that local studies collections in local libraries have developed into very important local resources and, depending on how well they are managed and catalogued, can be of particular value, especially when it comes to directories, local newspapers, photographs and microfilmed data. Of course for local documents then the archive collections of county and borough record offices are continuing to grow. In general their contents are well organised and very accessible. Also the presence of local material in national collections at, say, the Public Record Office should be taken into account.
The final chapter invites the researcher to write up his or her findings with a view to publication, perhaps as an article or even something more substantial. The author offers practical hints on how to accomplish this. However the main thrust of the book is to encourage the reader to develop a broader understanding of local history and to participate in some rewarding research.
An Introduction to Tracing Your German Ancestors, Peter Towey, The Federation of Family History Societies, Birmingham, 1998. 52pp, A5, paperback. ISBN 1 86006 093 5. £3-25.
This is the first of a new series of booklets, published by the Federation of Family History Societies, devoted to tracing ancestry outside the United Kingdom. Peter Towey, who is Chairman of the Anglo-German Family History Society, has compiled a most valuable guide for family historians with forebears who lived in German-speaking parts of Europe.
The book is made up of two separate parts, the first dealing with records of ancestors who immigrated to Britain, in particular England and Wales, and the second concentrating on German records in continental Europe. The author points out that there was no state simply called Germany prior to 1871 but rather a multiplicity of kingdoms, dukedoms, etc., including Prussia, Bavaria, Saxony, Wurttemberg, Austria, Hesse, Baden, Brunswick and others. The boundaries and alliances between these various states have changed many times over the centuries so locating relevant archives is unlikely to be straightforward.
There has always been some Germanic immigration to Britain but, from the early 18th century onwards, when the Havoverian, King George I, acceded to the English throne, this markedly increased. Apart from ship’s passenger lists, aliens’ certificates and naturalisation records, large numbers of Germans can be located in conventional British archives such as the Census, Church Records, Armed Forces, Merchant Navy, etc. During the two World Wars many Germans were interned so it is possible to find details in the appropriate records although those from 1939–1945 are not yet open to the public. A comprehensive index of German names in British Records is being compiled by the Anglo-German F.H.S. and the number of entries is now approaching a total of 300,000.
In spite of the complexity of the continental archives the booklet does provide some worthwhile guidance on the best way to trace German ancestors in Europe. It points out that a vast number of German records have been microfilmed by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that it is possible to consult the films at the many L.D.S. Family History Centres in the U.K. The author also outlines the principal civil, ecclesiastical and military records which are available. He mentions that, since 1830, the police have maintained details of local residents and that some of this material has been filmed by the L.D.S. There also several indexing projects in progress and there are a number of helpful web sites.
This publication is an important addition to European genealogical literature. Peter Towey is to be congratulated on an outstanding introductory guide.
Derek A. Palgrave
We offer our warm congratulations to: