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*[http://www.portsmouth-guide.co.uk/local/history/history.htm The Portsmouth Guide: History]<br>
*[http://www.portsmouth-guide.co.uk/local/history/history.htm The Portsmouth Guide: History]<br>
*[https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/spirit-of-portsmouth-webb/1122478426/2676512296354?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Marketplace+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP2782&k_clickid=3x2782 The Spirit of Portsmouth byj Webb]<br>
*[https://www.barnesandnoble.com/p/spirit-of-portsmouth-webb/1122478426/2676512296354?st=PLA&sid=BNB_DRS_Marketplace+Shopping+Books_00000000&2sid=Google_&sourceId=PLGoP2782&k_clickid=3x2782 The Spirit of Portsmouth by J Webb]<br>
*[https://www.amazon.co.uk/Portsmouth-Through-Time-John-Sadden-ebook/dp/B00EQCVC14/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1506291255&sr=8-3&keywords=portsmouth+history+books Portsmouth through time by John Sadden]<br>
*[https://www.amazon.co.uk/Portsmouth-Through-Time-John-Sadden-ebook/dp/B00EQCVC14/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1506291255&sr=8-3&keywords=portsmouth+history+books Portsmouth through time by John Sadden]<br>

Revision as of 22:15, 24 September 2017

England Gotoarrow.png Hampshire Gotoarrow.png Portsmouth

England Gotoarrow.png Portsmouth

Guide to Portsmouth history, family history, and genealogy: parish registers, census records, birth records, marriage records, and death records.

Portsmouth ships.jpg


Flag of the city of Portsmouth
Portsmouth coat of arms
Location of Portsmouth within Hampshire

Portsmouth is a port city and unitary authority in the ceremonial English county of Hampshire and is located 70 miles (110 km) south-west of London and 19 miles (31 km) south-east of Southampton. Portsmouth is mainly built upon on Portsea Island and is the United Kingdom's only island city.

The Romans built Portus Adurni, a fort, at nearby Portchester in the late third century. The city's Old English name "Portesmuða" is derived from port, meaning a haven, and muða, the mouth of a large river or estuary. It was mentioned in an Anglo-Saxon Chronicle entry for the year 501.

The south coast was vulnerable to Danish Viking invasions during the 8th and 9th centuries. In 787, it was assaulted and conquered by Danish pirates, and then during the reign of Æthelwulf, King of Wessex in 838, a Danish fleet landed between Portsmouth and Southampton and the surrounding area was plundered. In response, Æthelwulf sent Wulfherd and the governor of Dorsetshire to confront the Danes at Portsmouth, where most of their ships were docked. They were successful although Wulfherd was killed. In 1001, the Danes returned and pillaged Portsmouth and surrounding locations, threatening the English with extinction. The Danes were massacred by the survivors the following year and rebuilding began, although the town suffered further attacks until 1066.

When Richard the Lion Heart returned from captivity in Austria in May 1194, he summoned a fleet of 100 ships and an army to the port. He granted the town a Royal charter, giving permission for an annual fifteen-day free market fair, weekly markets, and a local court to deal with minor matters, and exempted its inhabitants from paying an annual tax of £18.

Henry V built the first permanent fortifications of Portsmouth. In 1416, a number of French ships blockaded Portsmouth, which housed ships that were set to invade Normandy. Instead, Henry gathered a fleet at Southampton and invaded the Norman coast in August of that year. Recognizing the town's growing importance, he ordered a wooden Round Tower to be built at the mouth of the harbour, which was completed in 1426.

n 1539, Henry VIII built Southsea Castle, financed by the Dissolution of the Monasteries, in anticipation of a French invasion.[39][40] He also invested large sums of money into the town's dockyard, and expanded its boundaries to 8 acres (3.2 ha). Around this time a Tudor defensive boom stretched from the Round Tower to Fort Blockhouse in Gosport, as a protection to Portsmouth Harbor.

Over the years, Portsmouth's fortifications were rebuilt and improved by successive monarchs. In 1563, Portsmouth suffered from an outbreak of a plague, resulting in about 300 deaths out of the town's population of 2000.

In 1805, Admiral Nelson left Portsmouth to command the fleet that defeated the Franco-Spanish at the Battle of Trafalgar. Before departing, Nelson told the crew of the HMS Victory and workers in the dockyard that "England expects every man will do his duty". The Royal Navy's reliance on Portsmouth led to it becoming the most fortified city in the world.

At the turn of the 20th century, Portsmouth was considered "the world's greatest naval port" when the British Empire was at its height of power, covering a quarter of Earth's total land area and 458 million people. In 1900, Portsmouth Dockyard employed 8000 men – a figure which more than doubled to 23,000 people during the First World War.

During the Second World War, the city, particularly the port, was bombed extensively by the Luftwaffe in the Portsmouth Blitz. Between July 1940 and May 1944, the city was hit by 67 air raids which destroyed 6625 houses and severely damaged 6549 of them. The air raids caused 930 deaths and wounded almost 3000 people, many of them in the dockyard and military establishments.

Portsmouth was affected by the British Empire's decline in the latter half of the 20th century. Shipbuilding jobs fell from 46% of workforce in 1951 to 14% in 1966, drastically reducing the manpower in the dockyard. In the early 1980s, then Defense Secretary John Nott concluded that of the four home dockyards, both Portsmouth and Chatham would be closed. However, Portsmouth City Council won a concession, and rather than face closure, the dockyard was downgraded to a naval base. Shipping has always been, and will continue to be, a major part of the history and economy of Portsmouth. [1]


Cemeteries (Civil)

Portsmouth has 3 active cemeteries.

Kingston Cemetery:

  • Douglas Road
  • Portsmouth PO1 5RR

Milton Cemetery:

  • Milton Road
  • Milton PO4 8RS

Highland Cemetery

  • Highland Road
  • Southsea PO$ 9AH

Church Records


The Diocese of Portsmouth covers many Anglican Churches in South East Hampshire. It's website follows:

Some representative churches within the city boundaries follow:

St Michael's and All Angels Church

  • Hemsted Road
  • Portsmouth PO6 4AS

Portsmouth Cathedral

  • High Street
  • Portsmouth PO1 2HH,br>

St Mark's

  • 10 - 12 Derby Road
  • Portsmouth PO2 8HR

Saint Nicholas

  • Battenburg Ave
  • Portsmouth PO2 0SW

St Albans

  • 104 Copnor Road
  • Portsmouth PO3 5AL,br>

Non Conformists

Portsmouth also boasts a large Roman Catholic community and has a Catholic Cathedral.

Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist

  • Bishop Crispian Way
  • Portsmouth PO1 3HQ

Other Christian Groups represented in Belfast follow:

  • Baptist
  • Church of Christ
  • Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
  • City Life Church
  • Methodist
  • Portsmouth Vinyard
  • Russian Orthodox
  • Seventh Day Adventist

Non Christian Groups include:

  • Muslim
  • Hare Krishna
  • Hindu
  • Sikh

Civil Registration

Civil registration is the recording of births, marriages, and deaths, in England, and began in 1837. Civil registration records were recorded at the local registration office and the National registration offices.

Local Histories

Maps and Gazetteers



As Northern Ireland's capital city, Belfast is host to the Northern Ireland Assembly at Stormont, the site of the devolved legislature for Northern Ireland. Belfast is divided into four Northern Ireland Assembly and UK parliamentary constituencies: Belfast North, Belfast West, Belfast South and Belfast East. The activities involved in the assembly means that employment is provided to a large part of the population.

In addition to the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Belfast City Council offers many employment opportunities.

Belfast has been the fastest-growing economy of the thirty largest cities in the UK over the past decade. Today, Belfast is Northern Ireland's educational and commercial hub. Over the past 10 years employment has grown by 16.4 per cent, compared with 9.2 per cent for the UK as a whole. Belfast's unemployment rate stood at 4.2%, lower than both the Northern Ireland and the UK average of 5.5%.

The Harland and Wolff shipbuilding firm was created in 1861, and by the time the Titanic was built, in 1912, it had become the largest shipyard in the world. Short Brothers plc is a British aerospace company based in Belfast. It was the first aircraft manufacturing company in the world. The company began its association with Belfast in 1936, with Short & Harland Ltd, a venture jointly owned by Shorts and Harland and Wolff. Now known as Shorts Bombardier it works as an international aircraft manufacturer located near the Port of Belfast. [2]



Web Sites


  1. Wikipedia contributors, "Portsmouth," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portsmouth, accessed 23 September, 2017.
  2. Wikipedia contributors, "Belfast," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belfast, accessed 16 August, 2017.

[[Category:Northern Ireland, Belfast]