Family History


The Family History section is the heart and soul of The driving force behind this has been the desire of so many researchers around the world who are actively working with their Whitstable roots.

This has produced a lively online community of people who are all related to each other through the marriages between the families during the 18th and 19th century when Whitstable was a very insular and close knit community. It gives Oystertown great pleasure in being able to provide a forum and focus for the modern day equivalent of this group of people. We cannot call over the garden wall to each other, or help pull a boat up onto the beach, but we’re all here ready to help where we can, pooling and sharing information on our ancestors.

As you travel around this site you will find that the real focus is on people. You may come across an old report or story and wonder what significance it has to people when only a couple are mentioned. The reason is quite simple, because the further you go back in time the more likely it is that you are related to those people and then the story becomes so much more than just a few words – it becomes your very own oyster.

On that basis everything about the history of Whitstable becomes a source of more information. Hence we actively seek out and publish everything we are able to, therefore adding to your knowledge and experience of the town throughout the ages. At some time, amongst absorbing all of of this and tracing your Whitstable ancestors, you will suddenly realise that you are able to put yourself in their shoes, look around at the familiar sites and understand what life was like here for them in their time.

By then of course you’ve been bitten by the bug. You’ll be planning visits to the town, walking around the harbour, tracing the houses your ancestors lived in and joining in with local events like a native.

Within this section we’ll try to get you started, talk you through the first steps and supply you with some data that will get you used to what you will be dealing with as you go into more depth. We’ll warn you of the pitfalls and problems with transcribed data, whilst at the same time continuing to build the site with more snippets from the past up to current years.

Oystertown Family history resources.

Getting Started.We chose a small road in Whitstable in 1881 and looked at the census. Then we picked the family living in the first house and found out everything we could about them. How George Shinglestone headed the Whitstable Family File.
Census dates
& Whitstable
population figures.
It is often useful to know the exact date of each census taken as the differences could explain that odd change in age by one year. It also helps you to place your people at an exact location on an exact date. Included are the figures we are accruing of the population counts for Whitstable taken at census time.
Whitstable Family History FileThis is the growing database of Whitstable ancestors being built from contributions by researchers world-wide. Here we are gradually cross-linking the families that lived and worked together as a close knit community in the past.
Whitstable Parish RecordsBefore official registration started in England in 1837 the churches looked after records of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials. Although these records are not complete they can often help previous to this date.
Whitstable War MemorialHere we name and honour the men and woman listed on the War Memorial. Ongoing work is being carried out to find out more about these people, to trace and photograph their headstones, and where possible, link them to the Whitstable Family History File. A page covering the 2003 Remembrance Day service is in this section.
Whitstable Memorial InscriptionsOften a headstone has information that can lead you to the next stage. We have now many hundred of pictures from the four Whitstable graveyards. We are gradually listing these and building location details to help you find them. For obvious reasons this tends to be a summer job.
Whitstable NicknamesWith so many people of the same forename working together is was the Whitstable practice to give everyone a nickname. Some were hereditary, some uncomplimentory. Here we list those names as we tried to find out who they belonged to.
Your Family History StoryWe can all learn from each other. Sometimes we discover things from the past that we would like to share with others. This section is for you to tell your story, or that of your ancestors, so that we can all enjoy it.

What else?

In every section of Oystertown there is something that is relevant to your Whitstable family history. It may be a Birth, Marriage or Death announcement from an old Whitstable Times newspaper issue, a story about a ship your ancestor sailed on, or a reference in a gazette. It’s always worthwhile using the search box from time to time to see if any more references to your names have been added.

This site relies on hard work and contributions of information to keep it expanding, so if you have something that we don’t then please consider letting us use it for the benefit of others.