Society News

Branch Meetings

Due to the Coronavirus the Annual General Meeting and all Branch Meetings have been suspended until further notice.

Cockney Survey

ITV is bringing back one of Britain's best loved TV shows - Play Your Cards Right with Alan Carr.

Your answers to the following questions will help make up survey polls, which contestants will be guessing as "Higher!" or "Lower!" to try and win.

The survey will take a few minutes to complete and will only require basic personal information to verify your answers.

40th Annual General Meeting

Society Day and Annual General Meeting

Saturday 26 January 2019

10:00 am

The Ecology Pavilion
Mile End Park
Haverfield Road
London E3 5TW

Title for the day is

Workhouses to the NHS

The Ecology Pavilion, Mile End Park, Haverfield Road, London E3 5TW is situated at the Roman Road end of Grove Road, about a mile from Mile End station. Bus 339 goes along Grove Road to the venue.

By tube: Mile End station. This station is in Zone 2 and is on the Hammersmith and City Line, the District Line and the Central Line.

New Data added in Databases

The following data has been added to our Database in the Member Area:

SS Mary & Joseph RC Church, Poplar - Baptisms 1818-1856

St Vincent de Paul & St Patrick (St Francis of Assisi), Stratford - Marriages 1790-1853

Poplar Mortuary Index 1911-1942

Here is a full list of the data now available for searching:


Brunswick Chapel, Whitechapel Rd - Baptisms 1894-1902
Ebenezer Chapel, Watney Street - Baptisms 1880-1910
SS Mary & Joseph RC Church, Poplar - Baptisms 1818-1856
St Vincent de Paul & St Patrick (St Francis of Assisi), Stratford - Baptisms 1771-1812
Weslyan Iron Chapel Mile End - Baptisms 1857-1867
Weslyan Methodist Chapel East India Road Poplar - Baptisms1866-1904


St Vincent de Paul & St Patrick (St Francis of Assisi), Stratford - Marriages 1790-1853


Poplar Mortuary Index 1911-1942
World War II Civilian Casualties

Many thanks to Gary Barnes and his team for transcribing & preparing this data.

Data Protection & Your Privacy

The General Data Protection Regulation

The GDPR is an EU privacy law that became enforceable on May 25, 2018.

It regulates how any organisation that is subject to the Regulation treats or uses the personal data of people located in the EU.

One of the key features for our members is that of consent (which requires a positive opt-in) to allow data about you, such as your email address, to be used and for what purposes.

Your Privacy Settings

You are now required to give us your positive consent to send you emails and the Member Area has been updated to allow you to do this.

When you login to the Member Area your Privacy Settings are displayed:


By clicking on the “Change my Privacy Settings” button you can manage your preferences as shown in the image below:


When you click on the Update Settings button the effect of your settings is also displayed.

It’s important you update your settings by logging in to the Member Area as soon as possible, especially if you want to receive future reminders about your membership expiry!

Log in to the Member Area here:

Full details of our Privacy Policy are shown here:

Member Area Privacy

If you access the Forum (or have published your Surname Interests) then other members may wish to contact you.

The only details shown about you are your initials and first name & second name:


If you contact another member through the Member Area the email will be sent from: and not your own email address.

Online Forum now available

Those members with email addresses will have been notified by email.

The Online Forum is now available.

You can post requests for assistance, make surname connections with other members and more.

Login to the Member Area here

Member Area Passwords

Some members have asked if they can change their passwords to the Member Area to something more ‘memorable’.

Memorable passwords usually comprise of standard words or phrases and can therefore be ‘hacked’ by online malicious password guessing programs.

Your Member Area password is system generated and held in encrypted form on our database and cannot be viewed by anyone other than yourself. Even we do not know what it is.

If you request a new password to the Member Area all you need to do is copy the new password sent to you and paste it into the password box.

Your browser will then remember your new password and it will be filled in automatically the next time you login.

Given the fact we had to send out over email 800 reminders in the past year to members who had forgotten their memorable password the term ‘memorable’ would appear to be a moot point.

Alternatively, if you are a Facebook user you can login using your Facebook details. If you forget your Facebook login details as well then we’re afraid you’re rather on your own.

There is still a rôle in the 21st century for pencil and paper.

Why not make a note of your password in the back of a book?

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.

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:

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"…