Family History Resources
This page contains contact details for some of the places which might be useful if you're trying to trace your family history in the Medway Towns.
- The Medway Studies Centre - For all sorts of records, including on-line ones.
- Medway Register Office - Records of births, marriages and deaths since 1837.
- Medway Map Service - Find your ancestors houses.
- Medway Cemeteries - Find your ancestors, maybe even on-line!
- Church Records - Records of baptisms, marriages and burials since (in some cases) 1538!
- Local Newspapers - If your ancestors made the news, they'll be in here.
The Medway Studies Centre
The Studies Centre archive contains a huge number of records. Many of them can be accessed online by using their CityArk site. Alternatively they can be contacted at the following address:
Medway Studies Centre
The Studies Centre's address and contact details are at: http://cityark.medway.gov.uk/about/contact/
Medway Register Office
The local register office for births, marriages and deaths since 1837 is in Chatham. The contact details are:
Medway Register Office
Tel: +44 (0)1634 338899 (0930 - 1600 GMT/BST)
Fax: +44 (0)1634 338913
Medway Map Service
Use this service to find addresses, boundaries, roads and so on. It will even mark individual residences for you, so if you know where your ancestors lived, and as long as the road hasn't been redeveloped or renamed, or the houses renumbered, you can see their house.
Medway Council used to allows you to submit crematorium and cemetery enquiries on-line. You could use it to make enquiries about people buried in Medway's cemeteries, and the location of their remains.
The enquiry form allowed questions on the following cemeteries and cremetoria:
- Chatham Cemetery (The old and new parts)
- Medway Crematorium
- Rochester Cemetery
- Strood Cemetery
- Woodlands Cemetery (Gillingham)
If you didn't know which of these your ancestor was buried in, you just chose "Unknown" in the cemetery name list.
After the introduction of this service, the council started charging 10GBP per name for the use of the service, due to the popularity of family history research. Now it appears they`ve taken it offline. If you need to find these details, it`s probably best to ring their main switchboard - maybe they`ll re-open it if enough people call them.
If you're looking for a war grave, try the Commonwealth War Graves Commission's search page. There are war graves in all of the above cemeteries, as well as most churchyards. There are also many in Fort Pitt Military Cemetery in City Road.
Medway Council has digitised most of the local church records, so that they can be accessed online. Some of these go back to the 16th century, so they're a great place to start looking for births, marriages and deaths.
They're available either by going to the CityArk site, and clicking on the "Medway Ancestors" link in the top left of the front page, or by going directly to the page by clicking here.
"The Chatham News Index 1899 - 1965 (excl. 1904 - 1908)" is available from http://www.medwaytowns.org.uk/. It's very useful if you're trying to find out more about local people or places, and will tell you the issues of the paper you need to consult.