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SIGs > London, South England and Wales

London, South England and Wales

About the London, South England and Wales Group

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The London, South England and Wales Group  covers all of the southern counties of England (ie those counties which are not included in the North of England SIG)(see map on this page), Plus WALES - added in 2016.

We meet quarterly and keep in contact by e-mail in between meetings. Our goal is to increase our understanding of South England and its history, to help us with our research - where our ancestors might be found, what they did, how they lived. We have created a series of County Guides as downloadable PDF or DOC documents for each of the counties we cover (see below). If you are researching in any of these counties we hope you find these guides useful.

We also help each other with queries and problems... we may not be able to solve your problems but we can often come up with ideas to follow up. And we're very sympathetic!

Come along to one of our meetings - you'll be very welcome.

Online resources for Londoners:

In 2009 Ancestry.com released a large number of parish records for London, including images of original baptism and marriage entries, taken from the London Metropolitan Archives. There are four fully searchable databases:

  • Baptisms, marriages and burials (1538-1812)
  • Marriages and Banns (1754-1921)
  • Births and baptisms (1813-1906)
  • Deaths and burials (1813-1980)

For serious London researchers this is a good reason to subscribe to ancestry, but If you decide not to, book a time on the computer at WAGS and have a look! 

Recently, for a Lunchtime discussion group, we prepared a one-page guide to online resources for London researchers. It's here if you'd like a copy.

pdfLondon research online - some useful websites61 KB

Last Updated on Sunday, 20 November 2016 14:04

Contacts & next meeting LSEW

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LSOE SIG << WAGS London South England & Wales Forum

We meet every three months, usually on the third Saturday of March, June, September and December, from 11am to 1pm, at WAGS Unit 4/48 May Street, Bayswater.  At each meeting one or two of our members leads a short discussion on a specific topic. As well, we spend time looking at successes, problems and queries. We're a self-help group, aiming to improve our general knowledge about London, the south of England, and all of Wales, as well as solving members' problems. Between 25 and 40 members attend each quarterly meeting.

All WAGS members are welcome to come along to our meetings and join our mailing list. A gold coin donation at the meeting helps to build up funds to purchase additional resources for the library. Maybe we'll see you at one of our meetings soon.


Mike Murray            con tel (08) 9339 8078

Dr Lesley Silvester       con tel (08) 9339 8078  

Email:                     SIGS Contacts - Convenors - London and South of England SIG

Please note: The email address for the group has changed to london-soe at wags dot org dot au +The url's (web addresses) for the group web pages have also changed, if you have the group links saved in your favourites or bookmarks, you will need to reset them.

Next Meeting/s - Have a look at:




WAGS Event Calendar


Saturday 15 December 2018 -  11 am to 1 pm

World War One Remembered

Peter Hamersley will give us a presentation called "Cambrai 1917: Two
families, One battle, No graves - Lest We Forget".
And we'll close off the year with some comments on Christmas in the
Bring along something to share for our end-of-year lunch.

Look forward to seeing you on Saturday morning!


Last Updated on Tuesday, 04 December 2018 11:46

Recent Meetings LSEW

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March 2018

Tithe Maps and Records

After a short AGM where the usual suspects were elected, (and the possibility of a name change for the group was mooted and discarded), Liana gave us a brief run-down of the recent Sydney Congress attended by a couple of dozen folks from WA. 

Geoff Barber then led us through an exploration of Tithe Records in the UK. You can access extensive Tithe records and detailed maps from 1836 using the Genealogist website (available free at the Family History Research Centre - aka the WAGS library).

December 2017

Finding the right man

Peter confessed to an error in one of his research projects and led us through the process of rectifying it...first, what made him think it was wrong (he had nagging doubts), what convinced him to start again, how did he go about finding the right person. Moral – keep checking the evidence; sometimes coincidences are just that!

And Liana gave a talk on her recent visit to Wales where she literally followed in the footsteps of her convict ancestor, including standing in the dock and being locked up in his cell.

September 2017

Wills and Probate

Lesley enlightened us all on this extremely large and sometimes complex topic. In addition to the presentation there was a handout with some explanations and many useful links. We spent some time using the Principal Probate Registry search index and records at https://www.gov.uk/search-will-probate looking for Wills from 1858 to date. We also canvassed for some future presentation ideas and plan the follow ing: Passenger Lists & Migration, Sussex Tithe Maps, Non-Conformist Records, and “Identifying the Right Man”. 

June 2017

Brick Walls Tumble

In a packed session we managed to tackle about eight brick walls brought along by members. Collectively we solved half of them and gave excellent leads to the others.

As well as using the standard websites and various search techniques, we found that a particularly useful feature in this session was being able to access some mother's maiden names in pre-1912 births at the recently improved GRO site.

March 2017

Welsh Naming Patterns

After a short AGM where the usual suspects were re-elected, Mike gave some information about some of the difficulties of doing genealogy in Wales, specifically, the habit of calling Morris Thomas's son Thomas, Thomas Morris. So boys' surnames were based on their father's first names, eg Thomas [son of] Morris. Then Peter Hamersly told us about his successes in reconstructing his Grandfather's fractured family.

December 2016


Member Marian Crew  enlightened us on her research into her Innkeeping ancestors and the various stories she had uncovered.  Marian’s interesting presentation included photographs she had taken herself on recent visits to the London area. 

September 2016

Cornwall - it's easy

Ian Simons gave an interesting talk about the resources that are available for those lucky enough to have Cornish ancestors. We also formally agreed to absorb Wales into our sphere of interest, which made half a dozen members of the group very happy, and the rest mildly interested.

June 2016

Off the Beaten Track

Mike and Lesley had a look at the treasure trove of family history records you can find in old books and other documents through websites like archives.com and familysearch.org

Peter Hamersley explored 'Tracing Living Relatives' -- he used a case study of an unusually named person and led us through freebmd and electoral rolls to build up quite a story on that individual.

And we had our AGM at this meeting. Co-Convenors Mike and Lesley (last time, folks, we won't be nominating next year) and a small committee of Peter Hamersley and Frank Hutchison


March 2016

Our main presentation was given by Frank Hutchison.  It was the story of John Hobden, Janet Hutchison’s direct ancestor, who was transported to Van Diemen’s Land for stealing ten pounds – making him literally a “Ten Pound Pom”!.  Frank presented a lively story that was very well researched and illustrated.  Presentations such as Frank’s are greatly appreciated and always welcome.  Peter then updated members on various records that have been released since the December  meeting.  This was followed by a demonstration entitled “The Power of your State Library Card” where Peter showed members what resources were available for free once a card has been obtained from the State Library at http://slwa.wa.gov.au/ .  In particular we focused on the free resources available from The National Archives (UK) site using the Discovery Catalogue http://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/ .

To finish, we had a look at how to effectively use the Lost Cousins web site and obtain it’s very informative newsletter on http://www.lostcousins.com .

Last Updated on Friday, 27 April 2018 14:40


The Counties we cover LSEW

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Old PortsmouthWhile the group initially concentrated on the London area, it has extended its reach to include the counties in the southern half of England. The rest of England, i.e. the Northern counties are covered by the North of England Special Interest Group. In 2016, the Group's terriitorial ambitions continued and it quietly absorbed the entire country of Wales. Well, no-one else was interested.

London South England and Wales map

County Guides have been prepared for each of the following English counties as downloadable PDF or DOC documents - the link is shown beside each county name. Check out the ones that interest you.

The English counties of interest to the  group are:

Last Updated on Friday, 25 August 2017 09:55

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