Plumstead History and Family History

Welcome to the main page for Plumstead History and Family History. From here you can link to various other pages containing information on Plumstead history. Some of them are our own pages, but we also include links to other handy websites. We very much welcome input from all those interested in Plumstead history or from those researching Plumstead ancestors.
We have placed the map centred on Plumstead (above) for those who do not know the area. Compare, though, with the map of Plumstead (further down the page) of around 1720.

An invaluable book for researching Plumstead History is Records of the Woolwich District, vol II, first published in 1890 and recently republished by FamLoc. Click on the image below for the Plumstead History Books page:

Plumstead History: Records of the Woolwich District vol II

Plumstead is in the Royal Borough of Greenwich in South-East london. It shares the post code SE18 with Woolwich. The local records office for Plumstead history is:

Greenwich Heritage Centre
Artillery Square
Royal Arsenal
Woolwich, SE18 4DX
Tel: 0208 854 2452
Greenwich Heritage Centre Website

Plumstead History: map of Plumstead, 1720

Plan of Plumstead about 1720, from Records of the Woolwich District, vol II

W.T. Vincent wrote in Records of the Woolwich District, vol II: This most interesting map [left] bears no date, but I do not think there is any difficulty in fixing the period at which it was prepared. I venture to ascribe it to as early a date as 1720, and for several reasons. In the first place I find that Sir John Leigh, whose residence is shown near Wickham Church, died in 1737; secondly, there are rating charges against Sir John Leigh (and others here mentioned) in the Vestry books of 1720; thirdly, there is an entry in the churchwardens’ accounts of £3 10s. paid in 1712 to Mr. Hawkins for “a year’s rent of the almshouses;” and fourthly, I have been able by the help of Mr. W. G. Dawson to trace the Mrs. Parsons whose name appears on the south border of Plumstead Common. In the year 1722 this spot, which is now “the Pottery,” and lands around it were left by the will of Hester Parsons to her grandson, Charles Acton, son and heir of her son, Robert Acton, and were described as late in the tenure of Henry Hailstone.
The descendant of Charles Acton sold the estate to John Smith, who sold it to John Giles, July 3rd, 1804, and Giles sold it to Mr. W. Dawson on March 16th, 1816. We may then, in testing other circumstances by the map, conclude, without much doubt, that the map itself represents Plumstead as it was in 1720.

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