Talk:England, Kent, Workhouse Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Content of this collection- update
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This collection is in the process of being published. It contains information from the Kent History and Library Centre in  Maidstone. Currently it contains appears workhouse admissions and discharges.The records in the collection are listed in the Browse

This collection will grow until completed.

The collection description that appears on the "landing page" for each collection may describe the status of the publication of the collection. The landing page is the page that displays when we click on a collection in It shows the title of a collection, the collection description, a Learn more link that which links to the Historical Record wiki articles. If a collection is indexed search boxes will appear. If the collection, like this collection has a browse hiearchy, the browse option appears on the page.The source citation for the collection will also appear at the bottom of the landing page.

Thank you for your interest in the Historical Records articles. The User Guidance Unit is charged with creating the initial articles based on information recorded by the Collection Operations. Collection Operations is the unit which creates collections. The articles are expanded as the collections grow closer to publication and more information is available about the collection. Once published, we can add more specifics to the article abot the collection.

The FamilySearch Historical Record wiki articles are not considered complete when the collections are published. We need help from the wiki community, the record experts, to finish the articles. We are not British record experts.

HoranDM 18:19, 26 July 2012 (UTC) 24 April 2013

In a forum post dated July the following appears:
A list in the source section of the collection information mentions the following areas: Sheppey, Minster, Tunbridge, Lyminge, Sundridge, West Malling, Milton-next-Sittingbourne, Gravesend, Faversham, Eastry, Buckland, Dartford, Bridge, Westwell, Wilesborough, Herne, Chatham and Stood.[sic] = Strood
These localities are listed as sources, but that doesn't mean that all of them will become part of the collection. In addition, the normal publication process for these collections is that a section is added at a time until the publication is complete.
Thanks again for your interest.
Dorothy Horan, User Guidance Supervisor
This at least narrows the potential content to certain possible towns and villages. It does not however enable a local contributor to edit the page as the content of the collection has not been finally determined. It seems to be a case of watch this space... DowneOPC 12:35, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

FamilySearch Historical Records
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The collection list for the digital collections in is titled: Historical Record Collections.

The wiki articles that describe and link to these collections have the suffix (FamilySearch Historical Records) to distinguish them from other wiki articles.

Dorothy Horan

Collection Title[edit source]

Throughout the England pages references have uniformly appeared as Poor Law records; this collection title seems incongruous.

The tab for what were previously referred to as Historical Records on the Family Search website currently appears as "Records" but wiki is using "Historical Records"

Collection Content[edit source]

This needs to specify which Poor Law Union records survive and which are not included either due to loss or within the Kent Poor Law Unions which are held in other archives.

Crescunt 15:47, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

According to Collection Operations the collection does not contain Poor Law Union Records.

The wiki articles that are linked to specific collections are labeled "Historical Records". No other wiki articles use this label.

I do not understand your response Workhouse records refer to one of two types of Poor Law records:

1)Those parish workhouses which existed prior to the formation of the Poor Law Union in parishes or groups of parishes ("Gilbert Unions"or

2) Poor Law Union records

Perhaps "Collection Operations" could identify which records and which parishes this intended collection intends to cover. How can local contributors respond to this page invitation if the content of the collection is obscure? Crescunt 20:59, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Cudham Parish Workhouse at Leaves Green[edit source]

The Bromley Poor Law Union, Kent page contains information about the Cudham Workhouse at Leaves Green and has been linked to this page although in the absence of any information about this future collection of records this may need to be reviewed and edited.

Since Cudham, Kent and Downe, Kent form a united benefice in the Diocese of Rochester and in view of the transcription work underway at Bromley Archives by volunteers on the Bromley Union Creed Registers, the transcribers for Downe would be grateful for further information about FamilySearch intention about records for Cudham Workhouse.

FamilySearch may be unaware of the various local groups who are discussing transcription of parts of the large local archive of Bromley Poor Law Union material ( over 1000 items). The Creed Register project is partially published online via Bromley Archives site; permission to transcribe admissions and discharges for selected parishes are taking place with the Archive and Cudham/Downe have already some work on parish material relating to the parish overseers meetings ( this is partially published online). It would therefore assist if some information about the scope of Workhouse material for the parish Workhouse could be offered prior to images being offered. It is also not clear what contractual agreement is being applied to this intended collection based on which archive agreement is being applied. It is possible that your microfilming agreement was with Kent Archives; but material may now be at Bromley Archive since your microfilming took place many years ago. Any information which could be provided would be of interest to the various groups who are actively involved in research and transcription at Bromley Archive and to the Archive itself. Given the local interest in record transcription for online publication by several groups and the Archive; the information offered as a statement of intent on this page is puzzling. DowneOPC 14:33, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

In support case 2555250 project managers are quoted as indicating that only those records held by Kent Archives at the Maidstone Centre and Library are available by contractual agreement for future publication. This is helpful to those of us in Bromley Archives but leaves unanswered the various Maidstone contributors who have previously requested information about the content of the collection. It would be helpful for those local contributors if some indication of which workhouses you are asking for contributions about. See Bromley Poor Law Union, Kent for example of what local research in an archive can contribute to knowledge from archivists and the up to date catalogue ( including recent acquisitions from Maidstone during relocation of the Kent Archives material in the last 7 months). DowneOPC 08:10, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Kent Poor Law Union records are included[edit source]

There are now contradictory statements about this collection.

For those of us who work regularly in the Kent Archives collections and who could contribute to the various Kent Pages including:

England, Kent, Register of Electors (FamilySearch Historical Records)

England, Kent, Wills and Probate (FamilySearch Historical Records)

England, Kent, Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts (FamilySearch Historical Records)

as well as this page we need to be able to identify which  ecclesiastical and civil parishes in this large county FamilySearch is asking for assistance with. We imagine that any reader of these pages could realistically expect a content table for the extent of any published collection of records, gaps in records, state of preservation. There is also another local archive factor to be borne in mind and that is the location of the original records due to the establishment in future of a Family History Centre for Kent Archives and that in parts of the historic county of Kent other archives hold material (Medway, Bromley, Lewisham, Greenwich Archives as well as the Metropolitan Record Office).

Can I point out that this extant page contains illustrations of images from Poor Law Union records and the source citation suggests that certain parish workhouse records prior to formation of the Poor Law Union are included for some parishes whilst other Poor Law Union records from the 1880's are included (see image) . For those of us who will continue to contribute to parish pages for the county and any Kent Parish in the Diocese of Chichester Sussex it would be helpful if FamilySearch could guide us to the parishes you are requesting contribution for. The initial anonymous response to this question from someone referring to "Collection Operations" contradicts the existing content of the page and is inadequate in response to the point raised.If the aim of this page is to engage those of us who have contributed content to hundreds of pages and include a wide variety of experienced genealogists, archivists, members of Family History Society and our new Online Parish Clerks to assist with the content from our local knowledge perhaps you could reconsider responses to contributor requests for further information about each of the intended publications within the County. I would welcome a more detailed response in order to discuss both with colleagues in various organisations I have referred to. The page would be improved by the removal of paragraphs about source citations from other countries which are irrelavent but presumably part of a template when the page is created no matter which country the collection belongs to. As the source citation hints at both a year range and location of deposited records (Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone) the other country examples seem wholly irrelavant. We would like to clarify this point as it affects how we choose to add Workhouse information to relevant parish pages throughout the county. Some parish workhouse information from Bromley Archives, Medway Archives and elsewhere is already included in parish pages and we have research underway to identify others. Your intended publications would therefore inform the time being spent to research in archives. In the absence of such information it is very likely that we would not attempt to contribute in future until you identify the content of your coverage. A group of 10 people are watching these collection pages for reply who have contributed extensively and who also have the potential to consult other colleagues in order to add future content and complement their work in Wikpedia over a decade to improve knowledge of the county cities, towns and churches. Ps1964 14:03, 21 January 2012 (UTC) 

Illustrations on this page
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The Admission and discharge image is for the Isle of Thanet Admission register for a quarter in 1888 Thanet Poor Law Union, Kent

The other image on the page is for Admission and discharge, birth, and death registers for the workhouse at Minster, Kent, 1848-1914

Thus both images which have been added to the existing page are in respect of Poor Law Union workhouses, and as we examined the original records in the two Kent Archives at Maidstone and Canterbury this week to establish this it does appear to us that there is some contradiction between the information from Collection Operations and the initial content of the page. If you are inviting us to contribute to this page on the basis of our local view of the records either in parish workhouse material ( often parish chest records for poor rate) and any surviving pre Poor Law Union material or in surviving Poor Law records we would appreciate a content table of which workhouses and periods this collection will comprise. We are already encountering within Kent Parish pages opportunities to link to this collection for Workhouses locations for the town Workhouses which existed prior to formation of the Poor Law Union in towns. We could disregard this page entirely and presume that FamilySearch would then complete the content prior to or at time of publication of the images; however the page contains an invitation for us to contribute and overlaps our existing research for parishes. The closure for 7 months of the Canterbury Cathedral Archive ( which is where the Minster record image was filmed) means that our view will be of microfilm records for the next 7 months. As a group we are rather disappointed in the lack of information about the content of the collection which accompanies your invitation and therefore disinclined to contribute. To re-itearate we have local access to these records and do not need to await publication by FamilySearch but we do need to know the intended records to be published. If you look at the England, Sussex, Church of England, Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)  you will see that a description of the content has lead to every church in the Diocese of Chichester records deposited in both record offices in the county having information in FamilySearch wiki; many new pages were created to achieve this coverage by local contributors and far exceeeds the intended scope of the FamilySearch Indexing parishes in East and West Sussex. We also identified shortcomings in the Family History Library information about a number of parishes and await the re-engineering of your catalogue to correct these. Crescunt 23:06, 27 January 2012 (UTC)

As a Thanet resident and familiar with several parish workhouse records also I feel unable to contribute to this page because the illustration of Minster records is for a Poor Law Union Workhouse but suggestion here contradicts that and only parish workhouse records are intended for publication. In view of this I will not be contributing to any "historical records" pages unless and until I am clear which places this intended collection refers to. If the creator of the page and those managing the collection publication can clearly identify what they intend perhaps at that point the invitation to local contributors might be meaningful. The present content is unclear and since no answer on which records for which period and places FamilySearch is inviting contributions to this "explanatory" page for the collection has been forthcoming I am unable to either examine the originals locally or add to the page.

When FamilySearch identifies the records involved those of us involved in local archives might be able to contribute. If not identified-we cannot contribute. I can see from other comments here that the administration of a wiki is a long way from experienced local genealogists. If you extend an invitation to me I need to know what you are asking me to contribute based on my knowledge of a record you are considering publishing. I am personally not contributing templates, nor am I concerned with the mechanics of how you produce digital images but to engage me give me the name of workhouse and years you will eventually publish and I will write what I know of the location, state of the surviving record and link that to the existing resources for that record in local libraries or archives or elsewhere in England. I hope that at some point a member of FamilySearch staff will answer by adding a collection content description; I would have naively imagined this would be the starting point for any wiki page for any record collection whether on the FamilySearch website or any other online site. FamilySearch does not seem able to grasp that a content by place and year is the first thing anyone want to establish before referring to a collection of images. Hostelry 14:38, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Collection Content Descriptions[edit source]

Oh dear! Another request for local contributors lacking a clear statement of the collection scope and using a very basic template page. It does feel as a local contributor that the same circle is being repeated by FamilySearch staff and that there is a series of groups of staff at FamilySearch who are not quite communicating with each other on the way they are presenting requests to wiki contributors. If I have daily or weekly access to original source records which FamilySearch intend to publish in future I am probably able to contribute something to assist your wiki development. However if your request to me is so vague I do not know which groups of records you are referring to ( or which archive) I am not going to be able to contribute. The more I see this situation repeated the less likely I am to contribute at all in future. This is stating the obvious but it seems that FamilySearch has some organisational issues to address before asking me for any contribution. I hope that this helps FamilySearch wiki to improve how it approaches potential contributors; please state clearly what you intend to publish and distinguish between parish and Town workhouse locations and subsequent Poor Law Unions. You also need to amend your template to explain Incorporation history and Gilbert Unions history as in certain locations these exist distinctly from the local Poor Law Union workhouses. Chichgirl 15:46, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Unable to contribute[edit source]

Despite my familiarity with the records which it appears are in this collection at the Centre for Kentish Studies, Maidstone I will be unable to contribute to this page unless Family Search staff improve the quality of information about the exact scope and precise content of material. Within the archive it is necessary to use either parish material or Poor Law Union material depending on the Workhouse concerned. The current information on this page is inadequate for any further research to add to the existing content; this is reliant on FamilySearch managers providing more detail. I echo concern about the heading of the collection if as the image illustrations indicate this is in fact Poor Law Union material. Village/Parish material for workhouses will need to be illustrated as such and not by Poor Law Union records. This page needs to be precise in what is contained in the collection and why some year gaps are in the records.

I echo colleagues concern about the initial response to this request from local contributors for clarification and as a result I am personally reconsidering any desire to continue to contribute to this wiki project along with other colleagues. We contribute here but are all involved in other family history employment and volunteer roles. If this standard of presentation and response is indicative of FamilySearch I will not be associated with your organisation in future Penshurst 10:18, 31 January 2012 (UTC)

Might I add a suggestion: A staff is putting up these templates on everyone of the 'Historical Record' collections all over the world. It is obvious they are not familiar with the content as the templates are quite rudimentary. If you can see how to explain this collection then do it. If you have to delete sections, move sections, rename sections, or add sections than just do that. Link to existing material instead of repeating it over again. If the template goes off topic just delete the material and start over. Donjgen 07:27, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Staff at FamilySearch who are creating content for FamilySearch Records need to be better co-ordinated if an invitation to those of us who work daily/weekly in archives where the original material are located are  to contribute. In the case of Sussex we were given an exact response on Family Search intentions in future to ask FamilySearch indexing volunteers to create for a limited number of parishes ( identified in the page by links to the parish pages by local contributors) and we look forward to the future project; since local contributors have largely covered an intial information layer for every Ancient and modern church in the county ( well beyond the original wiki page creation and the scope of FamilySearch intentions to index; we also identified that the Sussex information that FamilySearch had about the diocese was inaccurate and that the listing of microfilms needs technical revision- this informed local contributors in many English counties that entire structure of the catalogue in use is suspect for many towns and locations in England due to the much criticised hierarchy that was adopted.

For the group of colleagues in Kent who might be able to assist with this page your responses indicate that page creation is not being lead by genealogists but by admin staff who are unfamiliar with the records referred to and that it has not been possible to identify which records or archives FamilySearch is inviting help with. This inconsistent approach is only going to be resolved if the FamilySearch manager working to publish the collection of records provides those creating the page with a statement of the collection content which outlines the precise location and catalogue reference in the archive and removes from the "template" irrelavent material like source citation examples for other countries and ensures that image illustrations are releavent. If I were one of the colleagues in Kent archives (with which I am familiar and use for Diocese of Chichester parishes in Kent) I would feel wholly unable to contribute to this and other Kent collection pages. The result is that you will not receive local contributor contributions and the page will be written presumably by American contributors at distance from the original record material which is in many case only a portion of the entire material in English archives at The National Archive or elsewhere. This page reveals the gulf in understanding of English genealogists, record agents, staff and volunteers from Family History Societies and many other online websites for local places and FamilySearch staff unfamilair with the records. I found the responses to this page alienate any desire to contribute to this page, and the potential local contributors have achieved no further information to enlighten them. Given the gathering this month of those former contributors and existing contributors to FamilySearch wiki at "Who Do You Think You Are Live" it may help FamilySearch wiki to respond quickly and fully if you are not to alienate the willingness of a large number of local contributors whose perception of this project has plummeted. Dissatisfaction in local Family History Societies in England may remove any English contributor base that the FamilySearch wiki might have expected. Time for a rethink on how you invite contributions for these pages is overdue Chichgirl 12:40, 9 February 2012 (UTC)