During the 1900s and 1910s large numbers of young men emigrated from the slums of English cities to start new lives in Canada, New Zealand, and Australia.

When in 1914, War broke out, these men enlisted with their local regiments, and returned to Europe to fight for King and Country.

While 2/3 of the WW1 army service records of English regiments were destroyed in the blitz in WW2. The service records of Australian, Canadian and New Zealand regiments have survived complete and intact, and have now been digitised online, where they are free to view.

The website Canadian Great War Project provides a wealth of sources on all soldiers who served with Canadian regiments. Both those who died, and those who survived.

The National Archives of Australia have released all their regimental records on their website.

The New Zealand National Archives have also produced all regimental records on their website

Society Conference Programme

Catholic Family History Society

Conference with AGM 1st October 2016

The Priory Rooms Conference Centre

40 Bull Street

Birmingham B4 6AF


10.00 – 10.30 am Registration and coffee

11.00 am Maggie Loughran, professional genealogy speaker and writer

Wills before 1858, especially those of Roman Catholics.

Bring your own interests in wills for discussion.

12.30pm Buffet lunch

2pm AGM

2.30pm Dr Nick Baker, archivist at Princethorpe College, Warwickshire

Locating the archives of religious orders, followed by your

questions and contributions.

4.00pm Tea

Full access for people with restricted mobility and also parking
Family History Help Desk available: bring your research enquiries
Opportunity to meet other members and friends
Opportunity to talk to the speakers
Material for family or local history
Travel, local parking, hotel and local studies information on request
For details about the venue see
Tickets: £15, to include lunch and all refreshments, from


A member of the Federation of Family History SocietiesSociety

Heritage Open Days 2016



Heritage Open Days 2016 will be taking place between September 8-11. Catholic sites open to the public include:


South West

Lulworth Castle & Park, Wareham, Dorset

St Edmund’s Church, Calne, Wiltshire

St Peter’s Church, Devizes, Wiltshire

St Peter’s Church, Gloucester

Meet the Marian Franciscan’s of St Mary’s, Gosport, Hampshire

Eyre Chapel, Bath, Somerset


South East

Notre Dame High School, Norwich, Norfolk

St Edmund’s Church, Bury St Edmund’s, Suffolk

St James Church, Reading, Berkshire

St Columba’s Church, Chesham, Buckinghamshire

St James the Less & St Helen’s Church, Colchester

St Joseph & the English Martyrs Church, Bishop Stortford, Hertfordshire

St Joseph’s Church, Dorking, Surrey

St Raphael’s Church, Kingston upon Thames, Surrey


East Midlands

St Mary on the Sea Church, Grimsby, Lincolnshire


West Midlands

Coughton Court, Alcester, Warwickshire

Polish Catholic Mission, Leamington Spa. Warwickshire

St Peter’s Church, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire

Princethorpe Benedictine College, Rugby, Warwickshire

St Anne’s Church, Wappenbury, Warwickshire

St Chad’s Cathedral, Birmingham

Birmingham Oratory

Ss Peter & Paul Church, Wolverhampton

Holy Trinity Church, Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire

St Joseph’s Church, Burslem, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire

Sacred Heart Church, Tunstall, Staffordshire


North West

St Werburg’s Church, Chester, Cheshire

St Ann’s Church, Ashton under Lyne

St Chad’s Church, The Manchester Oratory, Cheetham Hill, Manchester

St Wulstan’s Church & School, Fleetwood, Lancashire

St Clare’s Church, Sefton Park, Liverpool

Ss Peter & Paul Church, New Brighton, Merseyside

Holy Apostles & Martyrs Church, Wallasey, Merseyside


North East

St Cuthbert’s Church, Old Elvet, Co Durham

Ushaw College, Co Durham

St Hilda’s Church, Whitby, North Yorkshire

St Ninian’s Church, Baxtergate, Whitby, North Yorkshire

Biddlestone RC Chapel, Netherton, Northumberland

St Cuthbert’s Church, Bradford, Yorkshire

Middleton Calvary, Illey, West Yorkshire

St Hilda’s Church, Leeds

St Saviours Church, Leeds

St Joseph’s Church, Pontefract

St Columba’s Church, Wallsend, Tyne & Wear




For more information about any of these events check the websitehods-logo

Visit to Caversham, Thursday 22nd September 2016 — English Catholic History Association

10.30 Arrival and tea, coffee and biscuits or homemade cake 11.00 Talk Aspects of Pilgrimage by Lindsay Mullaney, followed by questions 12.15 Mass 13.00 Lunch (bring your own sandwiches; tea and coffee provided). There will be an opportunity to look round the Church and the Shrine 14.00 Talk Medieval Pilgrimage to Reading by John Mullaney, […]

via Visit to Caversham, Thursday 22nd September 2016 — English Catholic History Association

St Nicholas Owen: Priest-hole Maker by Tony Reynolds — English Catholic History Association

St Nicholas Owen was arguably one of the most fearless and courageous of the Catholic martyrs of the Reformation. He learnt joinery as a trade and put his skills to use in fashioning the most ingenious priest-holes in England during penal times. Finally he was caught and tortured, giving nothing away to his tormentors. He […]

via St Nicholas Owen: Priest-hole Maker by Tony Reynolds — English Catholic History Association

St Mary’s Along the Thames: exhibition at Cricklade, 10-11 September 2016 — English Catholic History Association

St Mary’s Catholic Church in Cricklade is presenting an exhibition of photos, posters, maps and copies of historic and archaeological documents entitled “St Mary’s along the Thames“ – on the national Heritage Open Days weekend: Saturday 10 September, 10am – 4pm and Sunday 11 September 11am – 4pm. The displays tell us about the 100+ sites […]

via St Mary’s Along the Thames: exhibition at Cricklade, 10-11 September 2016 — English Catholic History Association

New Book – Rookwood Family Papers



Boydell and Brewer publishing house are pleased to announce the release of Francis Young’s new book, Rookwood Family Papers 1606-1761. Members of the CFHS will receive a 25% discount if they order before the end of the year, for the promotion code contact Sylvia Dibbs


A selection of documents left by the Suffolk Catholic family, the Rookwoods, brings them vividly to life.

The Rookwoods of Coldham Hall in the parish of Stanningfield, Suffolk, were Roman Catholic recusants whose notoriety rests on Ambrose Rookwood’s involvement in the Gunpowder Plot. In 1606 the owner of Coldham was hanged, drawn and quartered for treason for supplying the plotters with horses. A century later another Ambrose Rookwood suffered the same fate for conspiring to assassinate William III. Tainted by treason, the Rookwood family nevertheless managed to hold on to their estates in Suffolk and Essex, in spite of their Royalist sympathies in the Civil War, the recklessness of individual family members, and later adherence to the Jacobite cause – and even to thrive. As a result, the family left behind a lasting legacy in the form of the Catholic mission founded by Elizabeth Rookwood and her son in Bury St Edmunds.

The documents in this volume tell a remarkable story of resilience, survival and reinvention. They also testify to the Rookwoods’ profound Catholic faith, their patronage of the Jesuits, and their cultural and literary interests. An extensive introduction sets the Rookwoods in their historical and local context..

Francis Young is the author of, among other titles, The Gages of Hengrave and Suffolk Catholicism, 1640-1767 (2015). He is Head of Sixth Form at a public school in East Anglia.Rookwood