Kent Family History Society

Deal & District Branch

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February 2016

The theme of this our first meeting of the New Year was the Swing Riots, Peter Ewart being our speaker. We heard a fascinating explanation of how the agricultural labourers of East Kent began a revolt that rapidly spread throughout the county and on through much of the rest of the country. The introduction of threshing machinery threatening the already parlous employment situation, was probably the last straw. Thus began the movement to destroy these machines. The eventual punishment of those caught and tried was an example of the harsh system of justice that prevailed at that time.

March 2016

Dr David Wright gave us a talk on Probate Records. He began by explaining the importance of these records to our family research, suggesting that they are possibly the most important records of all, giving a window into the family relationships; the nature of these relationships and what had been important to the deceased, along with numerous other valuable pointers. Information was given on the material that can be found on-line and where to find it, the difference between probate and grant of administration and intestacy, and the sometimes lengthy period of time that can elapse in resolving an estate. The talk ended with some amusing quotes taken from some old wills.

April 2016

Following our AGM, we had a talk from Lucy-Ann Curling and Clive Boyce entitled 'Which John Curling', describing their research methods when seeking to identify the correct ancestor from others with the same name. It was fascinating to hear that Lucy-Ann and Clive had spent a number of years working on this joint family project whilst never having met in person until that day; all their contact and work having been carried out online. This alliance, bringing different styles and skills to bear on the same problem, gave us food for thought when dealing with our own 'brickwall' situations. 

May 2016

James Rouse was the speaker who gave a talk entitled 'Imperial Capital', describing his grandfather's role in the building of New Delhi. Having decided he wanted to check out the authenticity of a family story, he not only viewed family photos and documents, historical records of the planning and debates behind the project, but also went to India to see for himself. This verbally and pictorially well illustrated talk gave us a fascinating insight into the character of some of the key people involved during this 20 year programme of construction, and the quarrels between the two principle architects designing the new capital. Despite the British use of the key buildings having a relatively short lifespan; many of them still serve a purpose in the Indian government of today.