Researching the past
your knowledge !
a Museum we are involved in research using our archive material to reveal
more about Sittingbourne in past times. One picture or one article written
a hundred or more years ago may present Sittingbourne as a rather tranquil
backwater or as a grimy growing industrial town. Wherein lies the truth?
You can explore this and other
subjects using our documentary archives and, of course, other local
archive sources. You begin with what is called a hypothesis usually in the
form that something is or is not true.
List of books on local
Roman vases excavated
in Sittinbgourne in the 19th century
This provides you with the basis for your research. For
example: “That Sittingbourne in the years 1890 to 1900 was a quiet rural
backwater”. You can examine the evidence for and against and in the
process of considering whether this hypothesis is true or partly true or
even quite untrue we all learn more about Sittingbourne at that time.
One young researcher studied entertainment in
Sittingbourne in the first half of the 20th century.
Her research included interviews with people who
remembered those days. Oral records are a valuable research tool. If only
we had them for Sittingbourne in, say, the 16th century!
perhaps, someone will write a definitive history of Sittingbourne. but
there is a lot more work to be done on our more distant past.
From 1841 to 1901 we have the census returns. They
are closed for 100 years from the date of the census. Before that we have
the Parish Registers going back into the 16th century. They are a record
of who was baptised, married or buried but from this information we can
examine population growth, infant mortality, family groupings and much
more to help build a picture of Sittingbourne in the days before mass
Meads Mill, Milton
Gore Court Park
Hale family lived in Tunstall centuries ago and their family papers are in
numerous boxes in the Canterbury Archive waiting to be studied . During
the English Civil Wars of the 1640s members of the family were on opposite
sides or were hedging their bets.
This is but a brief look at some possible areas of
research. The list is almost endless and with experience the fascination
Our aim is to present Sittingbourne past and to
encourage further research Together we can work to achieve those aims.
Please do not hesitate to contact us with your
thoughts and ideas. We are here to help.