If you are undertaking family history research and believe that your ancestors may have originated from, or at some point resided in Whaplode Drove, then we may hold Baptism, Marriage and Death records that could assist you (as well as some records from Shepeau Stow, Dowsdale and Holbeach Drove).
Many of these original documents have been transcribed and handwritten/typed copies of these have been retained by the Church - a list of the record sets held are listed below. If you would like to arrange to view these records, please click here to enquire. Alternatively, we can also check the records for you if you are unable to visit in person - there is no charge for this service but donations are always gratefully received to aid the ongoing maintenance and upkeep of our church.
Baptisms - 1713-1955
Marriages - 1723-1901
Burials - 1723-1900
"Hi, I'm Rebecca Parnell and I have been a member of the Whaplode Drove Parochial Church Council for over 10 years. I was born and raised in Whaplode Drove and although I currently live in Spalding, I have retained close ties with the village and many of its residents.
I am passionate about all things historical and deal with any family history enquiries on behalf of the church. If you have a query regarding your ancestors and their links to Whaplode Drove, or any other aspect of village history, please feel free to email me at WDChurchroom@outlook.com and I will do my best to help! "
If you're interested in reading about the real life events that took place in the village in years gone by, why not take a peek at our selection of historical newspaper cuttings by clicking here. This compilation is made up of various scanned clippings of actual newspapers downloaded from the genealogy website FindMyPast. Please be aware that some of these articles report distressing or sensitive stories (involving accidents, suicide, death etc) that some readers may find upsetting.
These online plans of the Church graveyard will eventually document the locations of all known graves alongside a photo and transcription of the gravestone inscriptions (where applicable/possible). This project is still in the early stages however and currently only the oldest part of the Churchyard gravestones are able to be searched (to the North side of the Church).
This plan includes a basic map showing the location of each gravestone plot (numbered for easy reference); it is not to scale but simply to give a indication as to where to find each headstone/memorial within the churchyard. Plots marked with a red poppy indicate a grave that commemorates a casualty of either of the World Wars. You can view this graveyard map here:
To accompany this map, each gravestone has been logged, including where possible, the deceased person's name, date of death, age at time of death and estimated birth year. Inaddition to this, notes have been taken from the stones where possible eg full dates of birth, familial relationships, abode at time of death etc. Some stones are damaged or illegible - these have been recorded as such and on occasion (where the information can only be partly ascertained from the stone itself, paper/online BMD records have been searched to fill in the missing information). Please note that this information has been recorded as accurately as possible, but some gravestones have proved very difficult to transcribe - should you discover any errors on the following lists or have any additional information or corrections, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to update the plans. Currently, you can view the gravestone name lists either by plot number or by surname:
If you require any help viewing the churchyard map or searching for ancestors within these lists, please feel free to email email@example.com
Fleet Fen School Log Book
We are deeply indebted to Mr Willis Johnson for making this log book available to us; such a wonderful insight into rural school life in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries. This diary was kept by the school master/mistress and runs from April 1878 until the school's closure in July 1970, documenting many aspects of school life. Click here to view the transcribed log and see if your ancestors are named as attending (or were reprimanded for not!)
Please note: In line with current data protection regulations the years 1916-1970 are not publicly available on this version. If you have a specific and relevant family query that relates to the log between these years, please email WDChurchroom@outlook.com and we will conduct a private search of the log on your behalf.
We are currently working hard to produce an online version of the following record sets that can be searched for free. It is time consuming work however so if you would like us to check the records for you in the interim, please feel free to contact us.
Highway Rate Books
The first Rate Book is available to view!
The Johnson's Highway Rate books from the 1830s list the properties and land owned or rented within the village including the taxes due on each estate. The books are currently being scanned page by page before being re-formatted and saved; this is a time consuming process but hopefully more will be available to view here as soon as possible!
Please note that you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to view these files as they are saved as PDF documents.
John Beagles was born in Whaplode Drove in 1844, one of seven children born to John and Jane Beagles. He went on to establish J Beagles & Co Ltd producing world renowned postcards which remain collectors' items to this day. To read more about John, his life and company click here.
We are very grateful to John Bland for his research on this subject and for kindly allowing us to share his blog here.
William Perkins - A Happy Centenarian
This photo of William Perkins hangs in the Whaplode Drove church vestry - he was evidently a very notable character and was at one stage the oldest man in the country!
From newspaper articles printed towards the end of his life (see below page links), William was working as a farm labourer from the age of 7, earning 2s. 6d. a week. He worked as a labourer for 74 years, was married for 72 years and lived in the same cottage in Shepeau Stow for 70 years. He received a message from the king on his 101st birthday and was proud to 'have never had a penny from the parish' despite raising 10 children. Mrs Perkins lived until she was 96 and was reportedly still doing all her own housework at the age of 90!
They lived out their retirement on their pensions and despite Mr Perkins suggesting to the government that old-age pensions for centenarians be doubled, they found 'life well worth living'; in his own words: 'Best of health; world of friends; 'midst of plenty'. What an inspiring attitude!
You can view the newspaper articles relating to Mr and Mrs Perkins here:
These children were from the Whaplode Drove National School (next to the Church) who dressed up to celebrate the wedding of the village vicar, Rev'd Clarence Montague Smith who married Miss Enid Madeleine Grundy on Monday 3rd June 1929. The photo was taken at the old vicarage and the children are aged between 4-9 years old. The dresses were made of crepe paper - the children and their teacher hand stitched the crepe, pulling it into ruffles for the dresses!
The Wedding Party
This section contains scanned copies of the various historic newsletters that have been produced for Whaplode Drove over the years. A large proportion of these are missing, but those that remain still give a great insight into the sentiment, endeavours and achievements of the time.
Still in progress...
Available to view...