David Watkins’s excellent Forest of Dean Family History website continues to add transcriptions of more and more useful records and other information.
David’s latest newsletter gives the following information about what’s happening at the site:
Ruardean Congregational Chapel project completed
“Thanks to May Brace and her team of helpers the Ruardean Congregational Chapel Memorial Inscriptions are now completed. All of the surviving gravestones in the yard have been photographed and transcribed where possible. A new section on the website has been created where you can view the photos of the gravestones and the transcripts. Additionally we’ve added some recent photos of the inside and outside of the Chapel.
“Ralph Bigland started his work about 1750, and worked for some 30 years transcribing the gravestones of many Gloucestershire churchyards, and then produced papers describing each place in detail which were compiled into two volumes titled Historical, Monumental and Genealogical Collections Relative to the County of Gloucester. Graham Davison has kindly transcribed the following graveyards from the Bigland volumes:
“Some time ago Gordon Williams sent us the Hewelsfield pages from the book which were then re-typed by Helen McDonald. All of these transcripts are now available on the Bigland Transcripts page.
Documents and articles
“A number of interesting documents and articles including:
- Rev John Horlick Ruardean Biography
- Burning Fatality Lydbrook 1915
- Sudden Death of Pheobe Ann Ashworth (nee Clark)
- George Hubert Cook Killed by a Calf 1939
- Knights Hill Chapel Schoolroom Building Agreement
Forest of Dean wills index
“For some time now David Drinkwater has been compiling the index of the wills. The information in this database has been extracted from the annual will books held at Gloucestershire Archives. These will books contain handwritten copies (typed from 1923) of wills granted probate at Gloucester between 1858 and 1941. There are approximately 40,000 entries for the whole county, from which about 7,000 have Forest of Dean connections which David has been indexing.
“Glenn and Lynne Robertson are now assisting us with this project and they are extracting the names of other people that appear in the wills. Having the names of these other people in the database of the wills on website is of great value to the researcher, as you will know. It will of course take some time for Glenn and Lynne to compile all the names of these other people. Some of the names have already been added to the database and progressively more names will be added. You can now search the database for the name of the testator or by beneficiary/witness.
Kelly’s Directory 1879 of the Forest of Dean & Surrounding Areas
“These directories give a full description and contain a wealth of information about a village, all the farmers, the tradesmen, important persons such as the Lord of the Manor, vicars, school teachers, post office staff, pub landlord and more. Many thanks to May Brace who has kindly transcribed these directories and made them available.
“We are now getting near to the completion of this project which commenced in 2006. Only a few years of some parishes need completing. Some of the parish records have been or are being compared with the bishop’s transcripts and updated with any additional information which was not in the parish registers.
Forest of Dean inquests
“The number of transcribed inquests keeps on growing, with another four years of records added from August 1916 to August 1920. Maybe one of your relations is amongst them. The Forest of Dean inquest database is an abstract of minute books that have been transcribed from the original records which are held at Gloucestershire Archives.”