England, Kent, Quarter Sessions and Court Files (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: England, Kent, Quarter Sessions and Court Files, 1558-1899 .
- 1 Image Visibility
- 2 Record Description
- 3 Record Content
- 4 How to Use the Record
- 5 Known Issues with This Collection
- 6 Related Websites
- 7 Related Wiki Articles
- 8 Contributions to This Article
- 9 Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The England, Kent, Quarter Sessions and Court Files collection is available to the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The images can be viewed at a FamilySearch Center near you.
For those in the United Kingdom, images may also be viewed by visiting the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, England.
This Collection will include records from 1600 to 1883.
The collection consists of Quarter Sessions and Court Files for the County of Kent. Availability of the records varies by year and locality. This collection is restricted to FamilySearch Members which includes members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Family History Centers, and affiliated organizations.
Only a small percentage of citizens ever appeared before the magistrates of the Quarter Sessions. The records varied in form over time an with the location where the court was held. However, they generally included five main sections:
- Order books. These were the official records of a judge’s decisions.
- Indictments. These recorded the criminal charges against a defendant and usually included such information as the defendant’s name, place of residence, details of the crime, and witnesses to it.
- Minute books. These were notes from the clerk of the peace, who detailed the court proceedings.
- Sessions’ rolls or files. These are records used during the session and usually included such things as petitions, depositions, jury lists, examinations, and other lists.
- Any other documents that were lodged with the clerk of the peace.
For a list of records by date or locality currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- "England, Kent, Quarter Sessions and Court Files, 1558-1899." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Court of Quarter Sessions of the Peace. Kent Archives Office, Maidstone.
Although there are differences from record to record, the main genealogical information can include:
- Places of residence
- Birth places
- Birth dates
- Family members
- Place of marriage
How to Use the Record
To begin your search, it it would be helpful to know the following:
- Name of ancestor
- Court jurisdiction
- Place of residence
- Year of birth
Search the Collection
To search this collection by browsing the images:
To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒ Select the appropriate "Court Jurisdiction"
⇒ Select the appropriate "Record Type"
⇒ Select the appropriate "Year Range, Volume Number" which will take you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.
Use the place and names to locate other records such as civil registration, church records and census records. For information on these records see the following wiki articles:
- England Civil Registration
- England Church Records
- England Census Be aware that census records are taken every ten years. The first to list names was in 1841.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Titles may be clues to property ownership, occupations, rank or status within the community.
- Search by surname in the same court and location. This may help you to identify other family members.
- Sometimes searching by location can help you find the history of a community or a likely occupation, which could provide valuable insight into your ancestor’s life.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Check for an index. Local genealogical and historical societies sometimes have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
General Information About These Records
Quarter Session records can help you identify names, residences, occupations, and family relationships. They may also contain information leading you to the records of other ancestors such as the parents, siblings, and children of the primary person in the court case.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
“Argentina, Buenos Aires, Catholic Church Records, 1635-1981,” images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 28 February, 2012), La Plata > San Ponciano > Matrimonios 1884-1886 > image 71 of 389 images, Artemio Avendano and Clementina Peralta, 1884; citing Parroquia de San Ponciano en la Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina, Matrimonios. San Ponciano, La Plata, Buenos Aires.