Hello…. to everyone who’s interested in social and family history and are connected to the area of ERITH.

When surfing the Internet, I am amazed at the genealogists researching the area.

‘Family Strays’ who came to the area for many reasons, including employment & marriage, often settle, divide with many moving on, though still leaving their mark.

Knowing the social history of an area does help, but some of these researchers have no idea of the area, but thanks to cyberspace they learn and research their ancestors from thousands of miles away. A project, involving many generations & family branches.

Genealogy has become ‘Big Business’, and many travel to the area of their ancestors for research /holiday. Other, able to get help from family members still living locally, have a ‘foot in the door’, but many plod on, hitting brick walls, lost in cyberspace until some kind soul helps with a few clues.

ERITH has changed drastically over the last century, and many families are ‘NEW’ to the area. As the area changes, so will the lifestyles, or does it.

I decided to venture into the files I have stored away for later research, and what led me to the interest of family history in that area. Some researchers still hope to find living relatives, or an answer for their elders, not long in this life, and these I have included in the ‘BITS & PIECES’. Many stories are already researched for later Page’s.

If you can help, contact me or check the ‘Surname Index’ for a researcher seeking the information. I will update the Surname list as often as possible.

Brook Street (Cemetery)and St Paulinus at Crayford, would hold many clues, if they were fully indexed. A ground plan would be wonderful for researchers in cyberspace, but if you are visiting a local cemetery or family grave, perhaps you could have a quick look through the cemetery, just in case you could help someone on other side of the world. Maybe they can return the favour.

I have to admit, that here in the Far North of New Zealand where I live now, many pioneers are buried on private land, and although their deaths are recorded at the local council offices, often, no record exist of where the burial actual took place. Australia and the USA however, have wonderful files.

This private land in NZ is often on large farms, known sometimes as ‘Stations’, and farmers are not excited about ‘their’ cemetery being indexed, in case they have a flood of genealogists and tourists, tramping over land, getting hurt or lost as they seek the resting place of their ancestors.

In isolated areas, it was easier to bury close to where the death took place, and Maori Cemetery are usually for their ancestors only. Hukerenui, 30 minutes north of Whangarei on the borders of the Far North, have indexed their tiny cemetery, but mostly, the rural and isolated are un -charted. This index is online

Locally,we have many natives of ERITH . Kathy Lawson. ( June 2003).


I’ve been doing family history for nearly 30 years,

Diligently tracing my illustrious forebears,

From Pigeon Lake to Peterborough, Penrith to Penzance,

My merry band of ancestors has led me a merry dance.

There’s cooks from Kent, and guards from Gwent

And chimney sweeps from Chester.

There’s even one daft fisherman lived all his life in Leicester,

There’s no one rich or famous, no not one well- to- do,

There’s a second cousin twice removed, once played in goal for Crewe.

I’ve haunted record offices from Gillingham to Jarrow,

The little grey cells of my mind would humble Hercule Poirot.

I’ve deciphered bad handwriting that would shame a 3 year old,

And brought the black sheep of the family back into the fold.

My bride of just 3 minutes, I left standing in the church,

As I nipped in the graveyard for a spot of quick research

Eventually I found an uncle, sixty years deceased.

That was far more satisfying that some silly wedding feast,

After three weeks of wedded bliss, my wife became despondent

She named the PUBLIC RECORDS OFFICE as the co-respondent

I didn’t even notice when she packed her bags and went

I was looking for great granddad’s will, who’d died in Stoke On Trent.

But now my 30 year obsession’s lying in the bin

Last Tuesday week, I heard some news that made me pack it all in.

T’was when my darling mother, who is not long for this earth, casually informed me they’d ADOPTED ME AT BIRTH.


If you are researching your family history, and weren't adopted at birth, e.mail me with your contact details, and I will add them to the list below.



Erith Road






Erith and Belevedere



Frank Anstead




Contact Kathy


Crayford Rd, Erith




Contact Kathy


John Stuart Young & others



John Stuart Young & others



John Stuart Young & others.






Erith and Slade Green



Leonard, Edward, Daisy etc



William Pauline



Des Campkin



Worldwide/ several families.

Contact Kathy


David , Harriet & Ann



Emma Pauline



Amelia Matilda




Contact Kathy


Dartford and Northend.



Wilfred . Crayford Rd



William, May, Dolly & Billy



William & Gwendoline Northend.




Contact Kathy



Contact Kathy


Job & Elizabeth

Contact Kathy


Whiting/Colyers Lane

Contact Kathy


Erith and Belevedere



Family/ Northend



Erith and Belvedere




Contact Kathy



Contact Kathy



Contact Kathy





Frank /Crayford Rd/Colyers Lane

Contact Kathy



Contact Kathy


Erith /New York

Contact Kathy



Over the next few months, more Names & contact details will be added.

GENEALOGY Bits and Pieces.


1901- LUSITANIA sailed from Liverpool, arriving at Ellis Island 8th July 1911.


On board was Helen Wood, 26, single, no occupation given, able to read and right, English from the town of ERITH, relative back home her mother , Mrs J Wood, 18 Saulk Road ERITH, KENT, going to Jersey City MJ, but not having a ticket to her destination from Ellis Island.

Her passage was paid by a ‘Friend’, Mr Rich H Salt, she was in possession of $50, and she was headed to her ‘Friends’, Richard H Salt, 8 Claremount Ave, Jersey City (handwritten top of the manifest is ‘Discharged to intended husband (+ brother).’

She was described as 5foot 4 inches, ‘Fresh’ complexion, fair hair, grey eyes, and under marks of identification it is noted that she had a scar under her left eye. She was born in ERITH, KENT.

Arriving May 8th 1913, from Southampton on the Majestic was Richard Francis Salt aged 55, married engineer, a Englishman resident in London, his relation back home his wife (given only as Mrs Salt), 312 Brockley Road, London SE, going to NY, NY.

He was going to his son, Mr R. H. Salt, 8 Clarmont Ave, Jersey City. He was 5 foot 8 and a half inches, fair complexion, fair hair blue eyes, and was born Polruan, Cornwall.




A watch was presented to Jabez Sims, and inscribed…… (photo on file).

***Presented to Jabez Sims by the inhabitants of ERITH for his heroic conduct on saving WILLIAM POTTER FOR DROWNING JULY 23RD 1861.****

RHS medal roll files. http://www.Isars.eurobell.co.uk/rolls.htm

ERITH is mentioned in 1937 and 41. 1865, 71, 93 and 97.



Francis Atkinson was born 1857, and died 16/3/1934 ERITH, Kent. (Fathers name James). Amelia Matilda Hutchins born 1863, and died 7/2/1842 Woolwich.

( Fathers name James, mother Amelia nee Weston, married 18/6/1842 St James Southbroom Wiltshire).

Francis and Amelia married 18/6/1877 St James The Great, Bethnal Green,

Middlesex.1881 Census 36 Clarkson St West Ham Essex.

1901 Census 2 Vans Griffen Manorway, Plumstead, Kent.

The Atkinson family are thought to have sold FRUIT & VEG., door to door.

Last local address known is 58 Occupation Rd, Belvedere Kent.

Further information available, contact the researcher, listed on the Surname List.




John Campkin was christened on the 18th August 1816, and married Sally Day, the daughter of William Day, a market porter, at Woolwich on the 28th November 1941.

John had become a gardener, at the time of the 1861 Census, they were living at West Heath House at ERITH.

The house was the home of the Renshaw Family, and had been built between1799 and 1806. John and Sally had their first child in 1843, and named his John.

ERITH Parish Church was undergoing repairs, due to a fire, which caused some parish records to be destroyed.

During the period of the repairs, services were held in an adjacent field.

On the 21st February 1877, this temporary church was destroyed by fire, and many of the earlier records were also destroyed. Fortunately the Vicar, T.W. Hardy in 1880, copied the records from the damaged registers, but many dates and other information was lost.


The last child of John and Sally was Frederick Charles, born the 11th December 1867, when the family was living at Victoria Terrace, Lessness Heath, ERITH

Sally died in 1896, and John a year later, both were buried in the local cemetery.

(I would imagine the church they are referring to, is St Johns, West St).





Frank Mills lived in Maximfield Rd ERITH, after his marriage in 1891. Previously he had lodged with his future father-in-law, William Nightingale at 30 West Street ERITH.

Frank was an iron moulder, and William an iron furnessman, and probably were employed at either Messrs Easton, Anderson & Goolden Ltd, Callenders, Vickers or Maxim Nordfelt. Relatives of this family still live in the ERITH & Dartford area.


Received from Joan,, about her time in ERITH AND NORTHEND.

I was born in 1917, at Colyers Lane ERITH, and I had a sister 7 years older. At the time of my birth, father worked for Vickers Armstrong ERITH.

I went to the ‘Convent of Sacred Hearts’ at Bexley Rd , although my sister had stayed until she was 14 years of age, I went after 2-3 years to Northend School aged about 8 and stayed until around 11 years old.

After 11 you went to another school, and some of my friends parents had decided like mine, to send us to ‘Uplands’ at Bexleyheath. This was thought to be the best transfer, even though a new school had just been built at Crayford.

I have vague recollections that my parents thought Bexleyheath was easier to reach, by getting on a tram to the Clock Tower (Bexleyheath).

I did have a few friends who did go to Crayford.

I stayed at ‘Uplands’ until I was 14, when at that time you could leave school. I went to work at Vickers Armstrong at Crayford. The ERITH factory had been closed by then, and my father had transferred.

I remained there until 1934 when my father died suddenly, I was 17 and my sister had been married 6 months.

My mother decided she and I would return to the Midlands where all her family lived, but my married sister stayed, going to live at Horsa Rd, Northumberland Heath.

I had to leave all my friends, but my mother and I would travel back often to visit my sister and her husband, and sometimes we would stay for a week.

I kept in touch with two friends, and although one later died, I continued writing to the other, and now keep in touch with her daughter at Christmas.

I did go back to ERITH after I married, staying with my sister for a time, before moving to Bexley Road, ERITH. I was there for part of the Blitz, because I was able to see my husband more often. We came back to where I live now in 1947, and I lost my husband in 1963.

I remember Colyers Lane and Northend School. The Headmaster was a Mr Turner and he wasn’t very nice, and always carried a cane with him. There was a Mrs Todman, Mrs Stanley, and a Miss Powell. There was also a male teacher, but can’t recall his name. What a difference Uplands was to Northend. I recall the family names of Pearsill, Porters, Everards ,Coulsons, Hayes and Hitchcock.

There was a big field opposite where we lived, and the house where I was born, was built by Vickers, so were the others around us.

I have a soft spot for Erith, even though I have lived here longer than at ERITH.

***This was sent by a former local, and I do have her contact details.***.


Culmer George Caselton living at Holly House in 1901 and 1907. (Colyers Lane).

Percival Powers married Katie Miles. (Holly Hse, Colyers Lane).

Culmers Caseltons wife Rosa, was formerly also Rosa Mile, and could just be a mistake by the recorder, for Miles.

Looking for details on RUBY POWERS, who’s family lived at Holly House, after the Caseltons/Castletons sold the property in Colyers Lane, we wonder if there could be a connection between these two families, other than one moving out and the other moving in. Culmer lost his wife Rosa with consumption in 1905, and later moved to Surrey, but nothing is known whether Culmer ever married again.

With help of a family member in Wales, we will continue with the family in Auckland, NZ. I have to give a very special Thank You to John Stuart Young in Australia, for his help.

Information that could help in the research of these two families, would be appreciated.

Also of interest to a local researcher, the Power Family, especially RUBY.

Frank Whiting and Ruby Power were sweethearts, but Frank died in the flu outbreak of 1919. Ruby however appears connected to the Caselton or Castleton in two ways. Her mother we believe was a Miles, the same as Culmer Caselton wife Rosa.

Ruby and her family followed the Caseltons into Holly House.

Groombridge in NZ.

Stephen Charles Agate, emigrated to New Zealand in 1872, with his wife and family.

Stephen had a sister Harriet, and received from a Harriet Groombridge, two letters. One written in 1875, from her address ERITH Rd, (near the Prince Albert) Bexley Heath, and the other ERITH ROAD, near the Horse and Groom, also Bexley Heath Kent.

The family in NZ, would love to make contact with anyone from the Agate Family and descendants of Harriet Groombridge.

David, Harriets husband , went hop drying at Shoreham, and it appears the family had come from Shoreham to Bexleyheath. David and Harriet had a daughter named Ann, but no other children are mentioned in the letters. Harriet was born in Cowden Kent in 1827, and her parents were George and Sophia Agate.


Higgs and Hudson of Erith, Kent

David Higgs married Sarah Hudson in ERITH in 1836


Descendants of this family could still be living in the ERITH area, or elsewhere in Kent.

Any information appreciated by Maureen, see Surname list



Emma Hands born ERITH 1863.

Emma and William Daniels.

According to Emma’s marriage certificate to William Daniels, she was born in ERITH in 1863. & married William in 1883, at Streatham.

However, they are back in ERITH , at the time of the 1901 Census.

1901 Census. 64 Northumberland Park, ERITH, Kent.

William Daniels

Coal Porter


born Starch Green Middx.






















dau(grandmother of researcher)


born Canning Town











9 weeks.



Although some of the family later moved to West Ham London, other went to Dale Road in Dartford, with some remaining in the Erith area, and Colyers Lane.

Pauline the genealogist researching the Family Tree, now lives with her family in the NW of England, would love to find any information that allows her to find her great-grandmothers Birth Certificate.

Since no record has yet been found of the actual birth of Emma, is could be that she was born in Belvedere, and not Erith and connected to a local Gypsy Family, so any information would be appreciated. The local brickfields in the area could hold the clue to employment in the Erith area of William and the males in the family, and why they came to the area.

For genealogists everywhere….

Grampa’s Tree.


They think I should cook and clean and be the model wife

I tell them it’s more interesting to study GRANDPA’S life.

They simply do not understand why I hate to go to bed

I’d rather do 200 hundred year of research work instead

Why waste this time I have on earth just snoring and asleep?

When we can learn of ancestors, that sailed upon the deep.

We have priests, rabbis, lawman and soldiers, more than just a few.

And yes there’s many scoundrels, and a bootlegger or two.

How can a person find this life and awful drudge and bore?

When we can live the lives of those folks, who came before.

A hundred years from now of course, no one will ever know

Whether I did laundry, but they’ll see my Tree and Glow………..

‘Cause their dear granny left for them for all posterity,

not clean hankies and the like, but a finished Family Tree.

My home may be untidy, ‘cause I’ve got better things to do….

I’m checking all the records to provide us with a clue.

Old granny’s pulling roots and branches out with glee,

Her clothes ain’t hanging out to dry,

She’s hung up on the tree.

Author unknown.


If you have any genealogy ‘BRICKWALLS’, with ERITH connections, contact me at fawrdane@paradise.net.nz

A problem shared, is a problem halved.

Kathy Lawson (June 2003).