News and Blog

The latest news and information from the Achievements team.

  1. Unusual terms

    Somethings as you research your family tree you come across terms that have fallen out of use, such as a  “Knobstick” wedding. This was the marriage of a pregnant single women to the reputed father due to pressure from the parish officials. The couple would usually be married by licence obtained by the churchwardens or the overseers of the poor. They forced the couple to marry to prevent the child needing parish relief and so save the parish money. The name Knobstick referred to the churchwardens staves of office, which had a knob on the end. The churchwardens, overseers or parish constable attended the event to ensure the marriage went ahead and often acted as witnesses.


  2. Victorian Medical Advances

    Vaccinations have been around longer than you may think. The small pox vaccination, which had been available freely since 1841, was made compulsory in 1853 for children in their first three months of life. The local registrars gave blank vaccination certificates to parents of newly born children, who had to return them within the specified time, signed by a medical man to indicate a successful vaccination, or face a fine. Poor Law guardians set up the public vaccination service and the vaccinations were usually performed by the Poor Law medical officers.  Surviving vaccination certificates can be found in county record offices and can help in family history research. The records show the name and age of the child, the name of a parent (usually the father), the address, parish and name of person issuing the certificate.

  3. Family history day course “The Parish and the Manor”

    It is not too late to enroll on our sister organisation The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies’ day course, “The Parish and the Manor”.  It is running this Saturday 1st October from 10.30 to 4.30, and is held at our headquarters in Canterbury.

    Topics which will be covered include parish records, being churchwardens records, vestry minutes and records of the poor, as well as those documents compiled by the manor and the manorial courts.  This course is a must for any family historian seeking to extend their knowledge of the subject, and find out what records are available and where they can be accessed.

    Further information, including how to book, can be found here.

  4. Want to find out more on manorial records?

    Our sister organisation the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies is running a course to further knowledge about the “Parish and the Manor”, on 1st October 2016.  This will be a full day course, based at our headquarters in Canterbury.  The focus will be on sources associated with the parish, such as churchwardens accounts and records of the poor, as well as manorial records.

    Further information, including price and timings, can be found here.

  5. Weekend course in genealogy

    Interested in finding out more on fleshing our your family tree?  Not sure where to start?  Then the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies Beginners to Intermediate weekend course on genealogy might be for you.  It will cover topics including parish registers, parish record, wills and paleography.

    Taking place at our headquarters in historic Canterbury, this course is running from Friday 8th-Sunday 10th July.  To find out more, including booking information and accommodation provided, click here.



December 2018
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