150 years of combined experience in Genealogy and Family History Research
Founded in 1961 in support of the Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, through which all our researchers are fully trained and qualified, Achievements, is the longest established centre for Family History research, and has been tracing Family Trees for over forty-five years.
Our extensive library are housed in these ancient premises in Canterbury's Northgate Street, with Family Tree records ranging from the most up-to-date finding aids, to original collections of Tudor and Medieval manuscripts. These provide Achievement's researchers with a unique advantage. Tracing ancestry has never been more fascinating than it is today, due to the discovery of so many new and exciting records. In many ways we were instrumental in the founding of the Family Tree movement. Before this time, genealogy as it was usually known, could be as dry as dust and involved tracing only the upper classes, and links to titles and Coats of Arms. At Achievements, we trace all levels of family tree, from farm labourers to surgeons, and Indian Army Colonels to criminals. Ancestry tracing has never been so dynamic and so colourful.
With a wide and varied experience of studying British ancestry in the UK, throughout Europe and overseas over more than 60 years, Cecil Humphery-Smith is our Heraldry Expert and a leading expert in the field of genealogy, being rewarded with an OBE in 2004 for his services to the subject. He founded The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies, taking it to Northgate, Canterbury in 1961.
the other staff are mostly history graduates with additional qualifications in genealogy and heraldry.
Search Crisp's London Marriage Licences Index - Genealogy, Family Tree & Family History: Achievements of Canterbury: "Search Crisp's London Marriage Licences Index
An index to some original marriage licences from over a dozen major London parishes. All are abstracted and in many cases the original licences are held. There are almost 10,000 entries for a relatively short period between the mid 1700s and the commencement of General Registration in 1837. Valuable information regarding places of origin and family members can be obtained. This can be vital information given the difficulties inherent in researching London families in the years before Census and General Registration. Searchable by either bride or groom and divided into before or after 1800.
To look up names in Crisps London Marriage License database, type a last name (or part of a name) into the box and press one of the selection buttons. EXACT performs an exact match on the name, PREFIX finds all the names that start with the letters you have typed, and SOUNDEX finds all the names that 'sound like' the string you have typed."
Search Gretna Green Index - Genealogy, Family Tree & Family History: Achievements of Canterbury: "Family histories abound with stories of elopements. Often the destination of couples who wished to marry without parental consent was Gretna Green, just over the border with Scotland in 'debatable land'. After 1753, when English law forbad irregular marriages, a number of people who objected to marrying in a church wed in border centres where the couple's own consent to marriage before witnesses was legal under Scottish Law. Gretna is the most famous of these. Marriages were conducted by self appointed ministers at the border Toll booths along the few roads into Scotland. The 'priests', as they called themselves, often had other jobs giving rise to the stories of being married over an anvil by the village Blacksmith. Held at The Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies (www.ihgs.ac.uk) the index covers entries between 1795 and 1895, with a few earlier references. In all over 4500 entries are recorded for those lost marriages. Ask yourself: 'Did my great-great-great grandmother elope to Gretna?'"