We remember – 75 years ago today

The Thornhills of Great Longstone, once a farming family, played an extensive role in parish life throughout the 19th century. Most of the parish records found in this collection (ref: D307) relate to Robert Thornhill, Overseer of the Poor, Clerk to the Commissioners of Taxes and the last High Constable for the High Peak Hundred. In addition to parish records, the Thornhill papers also include family papers from the 19th century onwards; Turnpike records and papers relating to the Arkwright family. The family papers also include ephemera relating to the First and Second World Wars.

The 8th May 1945 is the day on which Allied forces formally announced the surrender of Germany, which brought the Second World War to a close in Europe.

Along with the parades and street parties marking the national holiday, services of thanksgivings were conducted throughout the country. A copy of the order of this Service of Thanksgiving can be found within the papers of the Thornhill family.

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Our plans to commemorate the 75th anniversary of Victory in Europe may have changed but there are still lots of ways to mark the day – take part in a national two minute silence to honour the service and sacrifice of the Second World War generation, decorate your home or give the Royal British Legion Industries’ online Lindy Hop lessons a try! Home schooling? The Royal British Legion have created a series of free downloadable VE Day Learning resources for children aged 7-14 years.

Share your family memories – we’d love to hear how your relatives have commemorated VE Day over the years.

Whatever you do, all of us here at the record office wish you a happy and safe bank holiday.

Nothing but Nuns!

Index of Nuns

Following hot on the heels of the Record Office appearance at Derbyshire County Council’s International Women’s Day is a female-focused addition to the Local Studies Collection. It’s a searchable Index of Nuns from the Catholic Family History Society on CD.

It lists records of approximately 14,000 nuns who professed later than 1795, with information about their parents, birth, religious name, profession and death. It should provide a fascinating and useful reference to anyone who might be researching their family history and knows there might have been a nun in the family!

Our newest addition: P W Miller’s unpublished theological works

Revd Paul William Miller (1918-2000) was Canon Residentiary and Precentor at Derby Cathedral from 1966 to 1983. In his earlier life, he had been an artist, a lay brother at a monastery, a soldier in France during the Second World War, and – for four years – a Prisoner of War after being captured by the Japanese in Singapore. We have just received five volumes of his religious writings which (so far as we can tell) have never been published. If you are interested, have a look at the catalogue: http://ow.ly/8GZcx.