Talk:England, Kent, Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Due to the volume of information on this page related to Dioceses and Deaneries I have created a page just for that content and moved the appropriate content to that page.

The title of the page is England, Kent Dioceses and Deaneries


I will give a short answer now and then more later.

I have forwarded your questions about the content of this collection to the person who is coordinating the publication of the collection. I hope to get more details about this from him.

Please add links to this collection from any related wiki articles that you are working with. Links to additional websites are also greatly appreciated.

We did not add collection data to the articles with them. Those tables were constructed in their spare time by people who craft the collections. They are super busy and do not have time to construct them at this time. When a collection has a browse hierachy it is possible for wiki contributors to create tables using that data. They would want to update it as new localities are added to these collections. We have a tiny staff and are also unable to construct these tables.

Please add citatons for results from this collection to this article. We have supplied the examples from other localities hoping that the community would add examples form this collection. We will soon change the header and add a sentence to make this hope more evident.

If you find errors in the collection transcriptions or the original records, report them to FamilySearch using the feedback button. There is a unit assigned to report Known Issues for collections. These do not consist of individual errors, but wholesale ones that affect the collection, or large portions of it. As the problems reported fall into that unit's criteria, they will add a Known Issues section to the Historical Records articles. Problems with the collection are also counted. A few collections have been reworked so far, more will be reworked in the future. 

When we state that we cannot create everything that you would like to see in the articles, we do not want to offend. We are simply stating a fact. Please be willing to share the knowledge that you have obtained with us. Researchers who understand the collections can supply information we do not have. Feel free to add information to the article.

Some portions of each article ask specifically for assistanc, but you may add information to any portions of the article.

However, we request that you do not alter the FamilySearch template which appears at the top of the screen and the source citation coding which appears at the end of the article. The coding in these sections creates links from the collection in to the Historical Records article and back, and enables the source citation to appear in once a collection is selected. These links are quite sensitive and easily broken.

If you are coming to RootsTech we will be doing a couple of demos in the exhibit area and working at the booth on Friday afternoon.

Thank you for your interest in helping us improve these collections. If any of you have time to assist us in creating them as part of our group, contact me. We would love to have more volunteers.

HoranDM 23:59, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

There are two diocesan archives in Kent; The Diocese of Rochester parishes are deposited at the Centre for Kentish Studies at Maidstone; The Diocese of Canterbury deposited records are at the Canterbury Cathedral Archive within Canterbury Cathedral precincts. It would be helpful to identify which diocese and parishes are intended to be included in this publication of records. In addition the Medway Archives image collections have already been included in the appropriate wiki pages; North West Kent Family History Society links to parish history have been completed and work is going forward on deposited material in the London Metropolitan Archive, Greenwich Archives Lewisham Archives and Bromley Local Studies library. Diocese of Chichester parishes have been identified in Kent also since some parishes are part of that diocese although located in the county of Kent.

Contributors are completing pages for both diocese. The present closure (January- July 2012) of the Canterbury Cathedral archive will slow contributions for the East Kent Diocese of Canterbury.

As elsewhere in other FamilySearch Record publications, Wiki contributors would be assisted by a content table for which parishes are intended to be included if these are to be covered prior to publication. Given the size of both diocese in the county this would enable local contributors to support your intended publication of records in future. Both diocese have a group of locally based contributors to this project Hostelry 21:01, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

I infer from the title of this page and the link to the Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone that it is intended to publish images for a number of parishes in West Kent, that is, part of the Diocese of Rochester. If you are inviting contributors to develop this page content it would be helpful if you could be specific about which parishes and to what extent parish registers and the percentage of diocesan Archdeaconry and Bishop's Transcripts are involved in the intended publication. If this is an image only publication it would also be useful if you could indicate any intention to index and given the extent of existing transcription collection within the Centre for Kentish Studies for parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts whether any FamilySearch index created will overlap or duplicate this existing collection?

May I also point out that you have within the page two references to citing sources; one relates to the collection two others to entirely different countries. The page needs to be edited to refer only to the specific records which are intended for publication, that is please edit the template to fit the country of publication! May I suggest a content table would enhance the page and enable existing local contributors working within the various archives which may/may not be involved to contribute. You may already see within parish pages reference to local online transcriptions and the identification of IGI batches. There are several instances of existing FamilySearch collection large scale indexing errors within the county where indexers have attributed events for whole microfilm reel to one parish instead of the six parishes itemised on the film reel. I hope that answers to these points would be offered to those of us in the county who are contributing in the face of FamilySearch wiki technical difficulties and indifferent response to feedback about errors in FamilySearch entries in the film catalogue presentation and search experience offered, or the errors in the mythical FamilySearch collections like "England Marriages". Ps1964 04:56, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

I note that FamilySearch has 7 other series of records for future publication from Kent, including Poor Law, parish chest etc. In the equivalent page for Sussex there is an explicit statement:

"These parish registers were acquired from the East and West Sussex Record Offices under multiple projects. The source list contains a total of (263) unique rolls of microfilm - (231) of these rolls of microfilm have never been indexed. The remaining rolls have only partial indexes and should be re-indexed as a part of this project. The contract with the East and West Record Offices limit the publication of images. Because of these restrictions, we are moving this forward as "Publish Index" only project." 

This clearly outlines the terms of the contract to publish onlne images as well as the scope of the project; when further enquiries were made a list of parishes was obtained which contributors then began to complete.

In the case of Kent those of us who have contributed extensively to both Sussex and Kent parish pages need to be clear what the allusion in the source citation of digital files relates to in the number and name of parishes. Since there are plannned transfers of material to the Centre for Kentish Studies to accompany development of the Family History Centre and the FamilySearch microfilming in various stages is historic it will be necessary for a digital image to be linked correctly to the place in which the original record will be deposited in the light of transfer of material from Canterbury Archive to Maidstone in the year or so ahead. Because a Parish register was microfilmed in the past at Canterbury it does not follow that the original record will remain there in 2013, since all staff at Canterbury are employed within the Kent Archive Service and the development of the Archive service is changing in offering record production to the public.

I would like to be clear what contributor content you are seeking in this page along with colleagues; I would also point out that the similar Sussex page contains specific content about the transcript series and in other Diocese there are also explanations of how each Diocese conserved the Archdeacon and Bishop's Transcript series. Durham Bishop's Transcripts: The Howe Manuscript Collection shows the way in which a local contributor familiar with the collection of records can describe the arrangement of a Diocesan archive in detail and link to parishes in other counties which are covered. The Diocese of Norfolk has both Archdeacon and Bishop's Transcript series and these need description.

If it transpires that parishes included in this FamilySearch project are already within the Transcript collection at the Centre for Kentish Studies Maidstone; that is there are existing transcriptions with surname indexes available and in use then his should be clearly identified within each parish page to aid the researcher. This collection is not included in the contract for future publication by FamilySearch but nevertheless is a valuable and widely used aid to research and need to be identified to readers of the FamilySearch Research Wiki. In view of the large number of English county collections scheduled for future publication in creating pages such as this one is it not possible for each of these points to be addressed before local contributions are invited ? It does appear that in every case FamilySearch attempts to re-invent the wheel when asking for assistance from local practitioners in the original record source who work in the archive regularly. Crescunt 13:40, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Request for information about Collection Content[edit source]

As one of the contributors to the England, Sussex, Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records similar page request for contributors to describe the arrangement of Diocesan Archdeacon and Bishop's Transcripts in the Diocesan Record Office for the Diocese of Chichester I am extremely disappointed to see a member of staff from FamilySearch claim that "we do not have the staff necessary" in response to a request for collection content information. In Sussex information was provided which enabled those locally handling the original records on a weekly basis to contribute to the outline page you have here and go on to provide detailed content for each parish. You will also find that local missing parish registers but surviving Diocesan Archives transcripts for parishes are discussed on the discussion page for Diocese of Chichester.The Sussex content is an ongoing task for local contributors but you have received substantial content for the whole content simply by explaining which parishes you intend in future to index due to a contractual agreement.

The same request for the various Diocesan Record Offices involved in Kent has been expressed but the response is very different and unlikely to achieve the co-operation of local contributors.

If you are making a request for local contributors to complete parts of this page please do not alienate us by responses pleading lack of staff. You will find contributions on existing pages for other Diocese which have been provided and are relevant to this collection. If FamilySearch cannot identify the extent of the collection with a content table then it cannot reasonably expect contributors to undertake this for them. We are volunteers willing to contribute our familiarity with local material; if you have created an outline page and requested our help please be good enough to be specific about the records you need help with. There seems little point in asking for help unless you specify what you are seeking help with. Perhaps the staff you refer to should provide this information if as it seems there are various staff groups involved in a request for contributions and the creation of a wiki page in advance of a future collection of your records. You need to express these requests for contributors much more clearly as an organisation than in this case. I find it difficult to imagine any colleague being other than feeling rebuffed by the response offered here. I am also concerned to see that you are not developing the created page by learning from previous page content contributed elsewhere; each Diocesan series of records feels like re-inventing the wheel.

Chichgirl 15:18, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Unable to contribute[edit source]

As a weekly visitor to the Archive at Maidstone and familiar with the West Kent Diocese of Rochester parishes which I imagine are included I feel unable to contribute to this article as FamilySearch are clearly not intending to identify the parishes concerned or the Archdeaconry and Bishop's Transcripts series prior to the stages of publication. It is for FamilySearch and the Centre for Kentish Studies to prepare an article prior to publication if I read the response correctly. I am also busy and committed to research and volunteer projects at Maidstone. I imagine that the colleagues who have contributed to FamilySearch wiki will be in the same position as we are familiar with both Kent Archives and meet each other regularly. I feel unable to contribute to any page which has Historical Records in the title as the responses offered here hold no prospect of researching any meaningful process. The lack of a contents page for any presentation of images and FamilySearch reliance on publication and later correction to errors using another system of user identifying needed corrections excludes any local familiarity with the material in the collection. Given the scale of errors in previous collections of images for other diocesan records at the FamilySearch site I wish the Centre for Kentish Studies staff well in the inevitable work load of complaints! Penshurst 15:26, 13 February 2012 (UTC)

Diocese and Deanery[edit source]

Phil and I have undertaken some research to identify within  the deanery structure for each diocese as the heading of this collection refers to Bishop's Transcripts and there are probably sub pages on the history of Deanery collection and the archival history of each diocese which need to be linked to explain the Transcript record history and handling and later deposit with Kent Archives. FamilySearch wiki already has an excellent local contributor page to explain Durham Bishop's Transcripts: The Howe Manuscript Collection from a colleague who used to contribute to FamilySearch wiki.

I have contributed the basic structure which may include some spellings from the diocesan records which are archaic. This we feel provides a platform for Family Search to edit the list and denote whether a parish is in the first, second, third etc phase of the publication schedule and this would enable local contributors to then link to the collection in future. However it does appear that those bringing a collection to publication need to be prepared to revise the wiki content to indicate that online FamilySearch Records are available. In other diocesan publications the reliance on local contributors to do this means that collections more than a year old do not reflect the current collections online in parish pages but identify why microfilming only covers a percentage of the diocese, The Diocese of Norwich pages were incrementally published but wiki pages have not been updated.

We are offering this as a way forward to try to retain the group of Kent and Sussex contributors throughout the next year as the publication method FamilySearch are describing is certain to prevent future contribution. I personally believe that both the FamilySearch publication process and the "Historical Records" pages of the wiki could be better co-ordinated than in the past and at present if local archivists and genealogists are to be invited to develop content. The track record of your other diocesan record publications suggests that FamilySearch are placing on their web site large diocesan record collections without considering the implications for the other branch of it's site FamilySearch wiki. FamilySearch is unique in this approach as Archive image collections e.g. Medway Archives are only published with complete catalogue prepared in advance. Lincolnshire Archives images for the entire county and diocese fully involved volunteers ahead of publicised online to the extent that indexation of each image is possible. Ps1964 10:36, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

I have created the deaneries for Rochester Diocese and will add parishes this month. It seems likely that these are a substantial part of the parishes to be published in this collection but many parish records are deposited in other Archives; these will be identified. Is it now possible for the page to be edited to reflect the phased publication parishes to enable link to this page? This would have the advantage that FamilySearch will not have the task at publication of revising pages to create link to the images in each phase of increasing the collection or the FamilySearch wiki being left in need of updated pages for years following publication of images. The other need is to identify later parish development in the Medway towns, Sevenoaks, Bromley, Lewisham, Greenwich and subsequent London-Dartford church and parish building along the Thames side parishes.

I concur with Paul's comments above; FamilySearch is unique in the rather chaotic process in use in bringing Records online and this group of contributors have already established that it has a large problem in the way it presents Family History Library film numbers in two versions of a catalogue which does not match current archive catalogues in England.

The size of the ceremonial county and number of parishes in both diocese is large and the ambition to publish images may be far too unrealistic for FamilySearch wiki contributors; the Norfolk pages illustrate this very clearly.

Crescunt 12:30, 14 February 2012 (UTC) 

Phil, The Norfolk parish registers, Archdeacon's Transcripts and Bishop's Transcripts are an indication of Family Search phased publication process. The church records section of every parish in the diocese needs revision since initially only parish registers were online. The microfilming is only  approx 75% of the parishes; later (after the wiki had been contributed by local contributors) the Archdeacon's Transcripts/Bishop's Transcripts were published but the wiki does not refer to the publication and FamilySearch has not co-ordinated to update the publication. Local contributors are leaving the "Church  Records" well alone both in terms of online image up dates, microfilm content ( because no one understands why with Norfolk Record Office permission only partial filming was attempted), The Family History Library microfilm description is often incorrect and inaccurate and the "way Points" are incorrect for the images displayed. It is also not possible to copy the list of parishes from the collection "Way Point" list and any attempt to identify parish and compare with Archive research is too laborious. Unless those managing the collection list which parishes are in each phase no local contributor is going to attempt unless they are contributing for a single place or church/parish.

Add to that the geographical unfamiliarity with the diocese found in FamilySearch creation of the mythical "Norfolkshire" and you have the recipe for alienating a pool of local genealogists who have created Wikipedia pages for a decade for the churches, civil parishes for both county and diocese. The adoption of England, Norfolk or England, Kent for Record collections obscures the diocesan parish and Transcript series in the various archives but is clearly geared to follow the hierarchy so often complained of in the Family History Library. In Norwich the single archive helps; in Kent the spread of archives from the Metropolitan to Canterbury makes a page headed "England, Kent" a mystery from the outset. Congratulations to Paul for his success in dragging the parishes of Canterbury out of East Anglia (Ipswich) and placing them in the correct city and county which encapsulates the geographically challenged American Genealogical approach to English records all too familiar in FamilySearch. Good luck but the Norfolk experience suggests that the dash to bring microfilm images online is a priority, quality of presentation and FamilySearch wiki is not. It is probably going to take years to "take down and correct the way points": (source FamilySearch Historical records Support) and the initial Bishop's Transcript presentation for the Diocese of Durham reflects how many years this may be. FamilySearch is not popular in Norfolk! I do hope that it improves in attempting to bring Diocese of Rochester and Canterbury images online. Good Luck! Ginnel 08:54, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

This page heading fails to reflect the Archdeacon's Transcript series or to explain it's collection and distinction from the Bishop's Transcript series. Is Family Search aware of the need to separate transcript series from parish registers? The more I look at the confusion in this page heading and intention to publish records I realise the organisational failure to communicate between groups in FamilySearch and question the request for mere mortals like myself to contribute any knowledge of the records which are referred to from handling them in the Diocese of Canterbury! Hostelry 09:17, 22 February 2012 (UTC) I am rapidly heading to joining the group of former contributors to FamilySearch wiki unless someone can make a clear and precise statement of intent and couple that with expectation of a public appeal to contribute. Failure to do so is not merely alienating individuals but whole county family history society memberships from FamilySearch.

Charing Deanery[edit source]

I have used internal links to parish pages for the Edward Hasted parishes and added a paragraph to explain parish pages contain subsequent deanery re-organisation and how to locate details of modern deanery and united benefice information at a Church near You website. This article will need a linked article to explain the Diocesan transcript collection history for each diocese similar to the Durham Bishop's Transcripts: The Howe Manuscript Collection detail. Are FamilySearch or the Centre for Kentish Studies contributing this or is the expectation that local contributors provide?

The general invitation comes from an admin template and bears no relation to the two diocesan histories of collection of transcripts, the arrangements for storage and subsequent deposit and catalogue or gaps, damage etc. In the course of linking to parishes unhelpfully parishes on the Kent border had been incorrectly placed in Sussex see Hawkhurst, Kent Genealogy ( my family Home) and the FamilySearch "crumb trail" looks to be showing red for parish pages which to a genealogist suggests technical issues which need resolution. Hope this treatment and links to this page in parish pages will help but for Canterbury diocese the Transcript collection organisation and presentation would benefit from being separated from the parish registers in my opinion. Sopsteele 08:13, 18 February 2012 (UTC)

Kent History and Library Centre
[edit source]

With the closure of the Centre for Kentish Studies and the Canterbury Cathedral Archive it would be helpful if those managing FamilySearch publications could provide an "up front" statement to indicate the source of microfilming and years and summarise the deposited record history which will be housed during 2012 at the Kent History and Library Centre and Canterbury Cathedral Archive.

The current presentation in the Family History Library Catalogue simply records the microfilm content ( and sometimes this is poor); in presenting a collection of images it is now necessary to offer more detail about the re-organisation of Kent Archives service and offer the new Centre contact details. The content referring until now to the Centre for Kentish Studies within parish pages will require amendment to reflect the new location and contact details.Penshurst 06:59, 8 March 2012 (UTC)