Society News

Surname Interests


You can now manage your own surname interests online in the Member Area.


New Message Board

The new Message Board has been implemented in the Member Area.

You can post Requests for Assistance, make Surname Connections with, and send private messages to, other members.

To activate your password click on ‘Reset password’ on the login screen.


AGM Feedback

If you attended the AGM last Saturday, please don’t forget to send us your feedback.

You can view responses received to date here.

We will publish the Chairman’s responses when all feedback has been received.

Society Membership

What happens to lapsed members at an AGM

As outlined in the Summer Edition of Cockney Ancestor 2016, the Society has implemented a new online membership database.

The old database was becoming difficult to administer and also prevented us from offering improved online services to our members.

Last September’s renewal period proved especially taxing.

Many members appeared not to have noticed our pleas to ensure they paid the correct subscription fees or change their standing orders.

The Membership Secretary and Webmaster spend many hours on the telephone and by email resolving the ensuing problems.

These problems have now been resolved although it has to be noted, many members have still not renewed on time!

For information, and as detailed in Cockney Ancestor, members who failed to renew by 31st December 2016 are now deemed to be lapsed members and will therefore need to re-join the Society.

Please bear this in mind if you intend to vote at the forthcoming AGM.

Annual General Meeting 2017


Annual General Meeting


The Museum of London

28th January 2017


Society Day starts at 10:00am

Download a copy of the Agenda

Download a copy of the Annual Accounts 2015-16

School Talks

School 21 in Stratford is delivering a drama/history project on WW2 next term and is very keen to include stories from the local community.

The school would like to get in touch with either WW2 survivors or perhaps family members who can share their stories with their students.

The students are keen to hear authentic stories and about genuine experiences at first hand.

If you would like to participate, please contact our Projects Co-ordinator

CA 151 Summer 2016 Available for Download

Image courtesy of David Groen

The Summer 2016 edition of Cockney Ancestor is available for downloading from the Members’ Message Board.

The Front cover illustration is a studio portrait of two women munition workers proudly showing off their war service badges. More information on the work done by the women working in the munitions factories can be found in David Groen’s article on page 9.

Member Area

As a result of the article in the latest edition of Cockney Ancestor, several tenacious members attempted to login via the Test User Group today.

As the system is not yet live, we do apologise for any frustration those members may have felt at not being able to login.

We are rapidly approaching our annual renewal period and hope members will remember to notify us of their up-to-date email address because your email address will be your login name.

Please bear with us during our most hectic time of year but you will be advised by individual email (assuming we have your email address of course) when you will be given access the Member Area.

This is likely to be sometime towards the end of September when the bulk of our annual renewals has taken place and we have (we hope) your up-to-date details!

Thank you for your patience in the matter.

Appeal for Society Publications

The Society is in the process of converting its past publications into digital format for loading into an online searchable database.

We are missing copies of publications and are appealing for assistance to members who may still have a copy.

If any member has a copy of the following publications, please contact the Projects Co-ordinator

  • Barking & Dagenham - Barking - Census 1851 index series, vol. 1, part 4
  • Barking & Dagenham - Dagenham & Great Ilford - Census 1851 index series, vol. 1, part 3
  • Havering - Colliers Row - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Cranham - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Great Warley - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Harolds Wood - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Havering & Romford - Census 1851 index series, vol. 1, part 2 Havering & Romford
  • Havering - Havering Atte Bower - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: PRO bundles RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Hornchurch - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Noak Hill - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Rainham - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Romford - Census 1861 Workhouse (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Upminster - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Havering - Wennington - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 1, part 1: RG 9/1068,1069 (part) & 1072
  • Newham - East Ham & Little Ilford - Census 1861 (Essex Census) vol. 2 RG 9/1058

AGM Reports 2016

The 2016 Chairman’s Report and AGM Minutes are now available online.

Key points from Minutes

The Chairman outlined the society’s achievements from the past year and the following key points made:

  • The society has to increase revenue and the Executive Committee is looking at ways to achieve this.

  • All members need to be proactive and encouraged members to volunteer for jobs large and small.

  • The Society planned to review the website and asked members to give the Executive Committee feedback on the changes.

  • Chairman thanked the Executive Committee, the branches and the Editorial Committee for their work and support.

  • In accordance with paragraph 9.2 of the Society’s constitution it was proposed that the following subscription rates should apply:

  • Online membership: £10 per annum

  • UK membership: £15

  • Europe: £20

  • Rest of World: £25

  • The motion was agreed with one vote against.

Read the full versions here

St Mary the Virgin Church Wanstead

A project is currently underway to research the individuals commemorated on the plaques and monuments in this church.

It is hoped that work on this will be completed later this year with a booklet available from the church.

Alternatively the information will become available on the EOLFHS website in the near future.

Temporary closure of Tower Hamlets Local History Library & Archives Reading Room

The Reading Room remains closed to the public after a partial collapse of its ornate plaster ceiling. Repair works will begin in April and complete at the end of July 2016.

In the meantime, you can book a research appointment to view material in our ground floor Education Room. We are taking bookings for sessions as follows, beginning Tuesday 3 May until the end of July:

Tuesdays and Wednesdays: 10:00-13:00 and 13:30-16:30
Thursdays: 13:30-16:30 and 17:00-19:30

In addition we are taking appointments for the following Saturdays (10:00-13:00 and 13:30-16:30):

June 4 and 18
July 16

New feature added to Surnames of Interest page

The Surnames of Interest page has been updated to list surnames added or changed over the past 30 days.

Have a look here:


Jean Vagg, former EoLFHS Secretary

Those who knew Jean will be saddened to hear that she died on 17th May 2016 the day after her 87th birthday.

In her active years, in addition to being the Society Secretary, Jean was a regular member at the Society's workshop meetings and original meetings held in Stratford, Forest Gate and at Wanstead. She was awarded an honorary life membership in recognition of her work for the Society.

Jean's funeral will be at 2pm at Greenacres Woodland Burial Park, North Weald Epping on Tuesday 31st May 2016.

Stephen Park

Web Site Security

In preparation for new online services to our members, we have increased our security for the web site.

Some of you (depending on your browser ) may notice a small padlock next to our web site name:


This means that all data between yourself and our web site is now encrypted.

This does not affect how you will continue to access or view our web site.

We are aware a very few pages may create a security warning in your browser.

This is because there are links on some of our pages to other web sites whose security is not quite as high as our own and we are working to correct them.

Please be assured that our web site is still completely safe to use and does not hold any of your personal data.



Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives


A fantastic collection of posters advertising shows put on by Poplar Borough Council at its Civic Theatre between 1948 and 1965 are now available in their digital gallery.

The posters can also be searched by name of performer, production or date.

To view the posters simply type in "Poplar Entertainments" into the search box of the digital gallery to bring up all the digitised images:

New Discussion Group

The Society Message Board (hosted at has been experiencing technical problems recently.

As there has been no indication of when the service might be resumed a new Google Discussion Group has been created.

Society members will receive their invitation to join the discussion group in due course or may request an invitation here:

Request your Discussion Group invitation

Your email address is used for logging in.

Poplar Mortuary Index 1911-1983

A mortuary to cater for the whole of the Metropolitan Borough of Poplar was built on the corner of Cottage Street and Poplar High Street in 1910 which replaced the four former mortuaries of Bickmore Street, St. Leonard's Road, Bow Churchyard and Wellington Road (see Poplar Borough Council's Annual Report for 1910-11, pp. 156-161, for a plan and further details of the new mortuary). With the creation of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in 1965, it became the Tower Hamlets Public Mortuary.

The Poplar Mortuary Index was produced by Life Member, Jack Jackson as a personal study over many visits he made to the Tower Hamlets Local History Library. It contains in alphabetical order almost 11,500 records of deceased persons passing through the Mortuary between 1911 until 1983.

Headings used in the POPLAR MORTUARY BOOKS

1. Number.*
2. Date of Admission of Body.*
3. Name and Surname of Deceased.*
4. Age.*
5. Last Abode of Deceased.
6. Signature, Name and Address of Applicant for Admission of Body or by whose order deposited and in what manner brought. 7. Name and Address of Nearest Relative.
8. Place from which Body was brought to Mortuary.
9. Supposed cause of Death.
10. Undertaker's Name.
11. Date of intended Burial.
12. Date of Removal from Mortuary.
13. Signature of Person removing Body from Mortuary, or by whose order and in what manner removed.
14. Place of Burial.*
15. Observations (note as to Inquest etc.)

The index is available here for download from the Members' Area

Recycle 4 Charity

A member contacted me recently about difficulty in using the Recycle4Charity web site.

Recycle4Charity collect used printer cartridges and make a donation to the charity of your choice ~ preferably the East of London Family History Society.

Go to

Step 1) On the home screen click on Register Now

Step 2) Further down, and on the same screen, type the word East in the Choose Your Charity box.

A drop down list of charities beginning with the word East will appear.

Select East of London FH Society - C916

Step 3) Check you've selected the correct charity at the top left of the next screen:

Add your name and address details so they can send you the envelopes for returning to them containing your used ink cartridges.

Step 4) On the next screen choose envelopes (better for home users) rather than boxes.

• Epson or Kodak cartridges
• Damaged cartridges
• Cartridges that have been previously refilled
• Cartridges that have been labelled for another brand like Tesco, PC World or Office Depo
• Cartridges with labels removed or extra holes (signs that refilling has been attempted)

Thorpe Hall School

In the recent winter edition of Cockney Ancestor, member 244 submitted a photograph taken from mid to late 1940s:

Her Grandmother was given the photograph as she knew the little girl on the front row, fourth from left, dressed as the Queen of Hearts.

The school has been identified as Thorpe Hall Primary School, Walthamstow:

If anyone would like the photograph for their collection, please contact the webmaster

In Memoriam

It is with great sadness I have to announce the sudden death of Sharon Aylward (member 11298) on the 13th January 2015.

Sharon was a member of the society since May 2005 and had taken on the role of programme secretary for the Barking & Dagenham Branch from February 2006.

She also helped on the Society Store, reviewed many books for Cockney Ancestor, attended local events, assisted at the WDYTYA shows and for the last 3 or so years helped with the monthly Society Help Desk at Valence House.

She will be greatly missed as a friend and colleague.

Melissa Ford, Chairwoman

Thanks Melissa!

Thanks to our Bookstall Manager Melissa Ford and her volunteers for their sterling efforts at WDYTYA at Olympia last week who signed up a total of 76 new members!


Message of thanks

We received the following by email:

Back in Feb 2012 your moderators helped me break down a 25 year old brick wall !!
I would like to post my thanks on the web site even though I am no longer a member just as a thanks in appreciation.
As a result I have successfully gone back to 1555 and made contact through DNA tests with families in Australia,
John Bond

It's always nice to receive a "thank you"…