This Findmypast Friday marks the release of over 584,000 records of Quaker births, marriages and deaths, Workhouse records from the London borough of Southwark, Australian Soldier Settlement records from New South Wales and Wills from the state of Queensland.
The Society of Friends (Quaker) Births 1578-1841 contain over 234,000 records. Quakers have always had a reputation for keeping meticulous records and started to keep register books from the late 1650s. Births were recorded rather than baptisms as Quakers were not baptised into the faith. Each record contains both a transcript and an image of the original documents. Post 1776 birth records contain the date of birth, place of birth including the locality, parish and county, the parents’ names, often including the occupation of the father, the child’s name and the names of witnesses.
The Society of Friends (Quaker) Marriages 1578-1841 contain over 90,000 records. Their reputation for meticulous record keeping enabled them to gain exemption from the Clandestine Marriage Act of 1753 which made the keeping of banns registers mandatory and instructed that all marriages must take place in a Church of England parish. Each record contains a transcript and an image of original material. Post 1776 marriage records include the names and often occupation of the father of both bride and groom as well as the signatures of all witnesses present – frequently quite a long list with family of the bride and groom listed separately. These later records will also sometimes record the form of words spoken by the bride and groom in their vows.
The Society of Friends (Quaker) Burials 1578-1841 contain over 250,000 records. Quaker burial records are highly unusual but can be very informative. As Quakers believed in the priesthood of all believers and did not conduct sacramental ceremonies, the records take the form of a contract with the person who was to make the grave (the undertaker). Burial records charged the grave maker to dig a grave for the deceased and bury them before or on a certain date. The next of kin would sign the agreement as would the grave maker. Each record contains a transcript and an image of original material.
Surrey, Southwark St George the Martyr Workhouse records
The Southwark St George the Martyr Workhouse records 1729-1826 consist of a mixture of over 21,000 guardian minutes and records of overseer’s payments. The Board of Guardians comprised elected representatives from the parish ratepayers who were responsible for the operations of the workhouse. Minute books detailed the day-to-day running of the institution. Names found within the minutes include inmates and staff such as teachers, nurses, etc. In 1836, Saint George the Martyr was aligned with Saint Saviour’s and Saint Mary Newington to create Saint Saviour’s Poor Law Union. Each record includes a transcript of details taken from the original records.
The New South Wales, Returned Soldiers Settlement Loan Files 1906-1960 are transcribed from an index consisting of over 7,000 individual files relating to ex-servicemen’s applications for financial assistance as part of a soldier settlement scheme following the First World War. During World War One, the Australian government cooperated with the various state governments to recognise soldiers returning from the war front for their service and provide them with support in the form of land for farming. Many settlers needed further financial support due to the high costs of materials and applied for loans from the Commonwealth Government.
Containing over 4,500 records, the New South Wales, Closer Settlement and Returned Soldiers Transfer Files 1907-1936 & 1951 contain information about land purchased under the Closer Settlement Acts of 1901 and 1904, the Closer Settlement (Amendment) Acts of 1906 and 1907 and The Returned Soldiers Settlement Act 1916.
Containing over 514,000 records, the Queensland Wills Index 1857-1940 was compiled from ecclesiastical files from three former Supreme Court districts of Queensland: the Northern District, based in Townsville; the Central District, based in Rockhampton; and the Southern District, based in Brisbane. The records list the details of not only those who died in Queensland, but also those who registered their will in this state but may have been or lived elsewhere at the time of their death.
Remember to check our dedicated Findmypast Fridays page every week to keep up to date with the latest new additions.