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Kent

This is a maritime county, and one of the most beautiful districts in this island; it includes within its boundaries numerous objects replete with interest, and towns of high importance, magnitude and beauty. It is situated on the south-east extremity of Great Britain, opposite to France, from which it is distant (at its nearest point, Dover,) about twenty-four miles. Its figure is irregular, but approaches more to the trapezium than to any other. On the north it is bounded by the river Thames; on the east side, and part of the south, it opens to the German ocean and British channel; on the remainder of the south side it is skirted by Sussex, and on the west by Surrey. From east to west (i.e. from the North Foreland to Deptford,) it is about sixty-three miles in length; and in breadth, from the point of Dungeness to the North Foreland, nearly forty miles; while, from the central sides, it is not more than twenty-five wide. The ambit of the county is about one hundred and seventy-four miles; and its area comprises 1,537 square miles, or 983,680 statute acres. In size it ranks as the ninth county in England, and in population as the sixth
-- Pigot & Co.'s Royal National and Commercial Directory and Topography of the county of Kent, September, 1839.
-- Facsimile edition (ISBN 0-9504069-5-3) Michael Winton 1993

If you would like a longer quote, try this one from Bartholemew's.

Information related to all of Kent:

 Search Kentish family history web pages
[Image of England showing where Kent is]

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Archives and Libraries

A good starting point is the web page for the Kent County Council Archive, Local Studies and Museums Service. These pages include the Centre for Kentish Studies in Maidstone and the East Kent Archives Centre in Whitfield, just outside Dover.

For details of Canterbury Cathedral Archives see the Archives web pages on the Canterbury Catherdral site.

For information on the area around the Medway Towns, have a look at Medway Council's CityArk site.

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Bibliography

John Townsend deals in antiquarian books and specialises in genealogy books. His site is organised by county.

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Census

Steve Archer has produced a very useful round-up of the available census records for Kent - and where/from whom they are available.

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Church Records

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Civil Registration

Brett Langston has put online details of Kent's Registration Districts and the towns and villages served by each.

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Description and Travel

This section is still "work in progress" ...

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Directories

Pigot and Co.'s Royal National and Commercial Directory

The flysheet of the 1839 edition continues ...

"... comprising classified lists of all persons in trade, and of the nobility, gentry and clergy, resident in the towns and principal villages in the above counties. An account of every mode of convenance by railway, road and water; Post-Office regulations, &c."

Alec Whitfield has compiled indexes to surnames and place names for the Kent volume of the 1823 and 1839 editions which have been republished and are fairly readily available to researchers.

1823 (available on CD from S&N Genealogy Supplies)
Pigot 1823 (Kent) surname index
Pigot 1823 (Kent) place name index
 
1839 (available on CD from Archive CD Books)
(facsimile edition published 1993 by Michael Winton - ISBN 0-9504069-5-3, now hard to find)
Pigot 1839 (Kent) surname index
Pigot 1839 (Kent) place name index

1840 Janet and Richard Mason have transcribed parts of the Pigot 1840 Directory.

Kelly's Directory

1936 Janet and Richard Mason are in the process of transcribing the 1936 Kelly's Directory for Thanet

Other Historical Directories

There is a terrific selection of local and trade directories spanning the period from 1750 to 1919 on the Historical Directories website.

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Genealogy

Email lists

As a general pointer to email lists covering this (or any other) county have a look at this list.

RootsWeb supports three open lists covering Kent:
  • Kent-Eng is the main RootsWeb list for Kent, covering the whole of the county.
  • The Isle of Thanet has its own very localised RootsWeb list.
  • Sussex-Plus was one of the early RootsWeb lists. As well as Sussex, it originally covered Surrey, Kent and Hampshire too. Now those counties have their own RootsWeb lists and Sussex-Plus contentrates on Sussex itself.
Yahoo Groups has a list, Kent-Gene for Kent genealogy.
 
There are also some closed lists:
Look-up Exchange

Jo Morris maintains this list of people with specific resources in which they are willing to perform look-ups. Note it is not a research exchange scheme.

General area interest
Maureen Rawson's Kent Genealogy pages.
Peter Blanche's East Kent and Genealogy pages.
Barry White's Family History in Thanet and Kent pages.
Janet and Richard Mason's Genealogy pages.

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History

The Kent Archaeological Society has put online Volume 3 of the Victoria County History of Kent. This includes the text of, and the index to, the Kent Domesday survey.

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Historical Geography

This BBC page may help get the distinction between Kentish Men and Men of Kent clear in your mind: http://www.bbc.co.uk/kent/places/features/manofkent_kentishman.shtml

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Military - History, Records

Hazel Basford is researching the Kent VADs (Voluntary Aid Detachments) during WWI and has put a lot of information about these units online at http://www.juroch.demon.co.uk/kentvad.htm

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Newspapers

Chatham News (1885-1987)
This paper has been indexed from 1895 to 1965.
Please note that it only available in Adobe PDF format.
Provided by Graham Parrett of the paper's printers.

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Parish Registers - see Church Records

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Probate Records

Maureen Rawson has collected numerous links to Kent Probate Records.

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Societies

There are several Family History Societies covering Kent, some have very localised interests but the bulk of the county is divided between the Kent FHS and the Nort West Kent FHS.

For contact details please check their web sites as lhttp://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mrawson/probate.htmlisted on the GENUKI Societies page.

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Towns and Parishes

This first list is of a very small selection of (North-East Kent) places for which I have been given some BMD extracts:

Full list of towns and parishes in Kent

Here is a full list of towns and parishes in Kent that has been assembled by Tim Arguile. It includes links to the parishes pages set up by the North West Kent FHS (these include pictures of the parish churches) and other links will be added as time and opportunity permit.

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Last Update:2012-07-29 GENUKI and Malcolm Austen.