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Portsmouth Police Gas Explosion in 1855

This account of an explosion in a Portsmouth dockyard police station in 1855 should serve as a cautionary tale of the dangers of mixing gas with a naked flame.

Who was Sweet Fanny Adams?

The phrase ‘sweet Fanny Adams’ is still used today, but where did it originate? The story of the brutal murder of 8 year old Fanny from Alton is told here by a descendant of one of Fanny’s cousins.

Hardship Cases in a Portsmouth Court

After the Napoleonic wars many suffered hardship that often resulted in lawbreaking and people being taken to court. William ATRELL and John CHAMBERLAIN were two such cases reported in the Hampshire Telegraph in 1817.

Useful Family Tree Information from Portsea Will

Family trees can benefit greatly from genealogical information contained in wills.

This Portsea Will of John BIGGNALL written on 8 February 1684 is a good example, with the large number of names and relationships of the beneficiaries he included.

Solent Tragedy of Gosport Men 1810

An 1810 Hampshire newspaper carried an appeal for information by the wives of two Gosport men who drowned in a Solent tragedy. Who were these men?

Italian Immigrants in 1861 Hampshire

Could your Italian ancestors be among the immigrant musicians and entertainers residing in C19th Portsmouth? Use National Archive records to trace them.

Early Cremation of a Portsmouth Man 1900

In 1900 the body of a Portsmouth man was taken to Woking by train to be cremated in the first crematorium in the country.

Memories of World War Two Southampton

Childhood Memories of World War Two Southampton, Thornhill, Romsey, daytime dogfights and sleeping in a Morrison Shelter.

Destitute Woman Transported by Portsmouth Court – 1810

This destitute Portsmouth woman stole and sold a coat and was punished with seven years transportation.

Latest News

Hardship Cases in a Portsmouth Court – Correction

  HGS member David Hall has kindly pointed out an error in the original post I added to the website in October 2014. I had incorrectly stated that William Jeremiah ATRILL married Elizabeth GRIFFITHS on 2 July 1808.  These details are correct but the William in the court case was a labourer who married Elizabeth THOMPSON in Alverstoke […]


Latest Village Booklet – No 92 Bramdean – is available now

Bramdean (VB092) is a comprehensive study of the history of this rural Hampshire village and the parish of St Simon and St Jude, along with the tin church on Bramdean Common originally built for the travelling community. It is located nine miles east of Winchester and four miles south-east of Alresford on the A272.  A […]


Were you a Beverley Babe?

Beverley Babes The Royal Naval and Royal Marine Maternity Home As Britain prepared for the possibility of going to war with Germany, the Southsea based Royal Naval and Royal Marine Maternity Home, known as Bowland, made plans to evacuate their premises, with patients and staff to be taken to Beverley House, Wickham. On the 1st […]


MEMORIAL INSCRIPTION CORRECTIONS

MEMORIAL INSCRIPTION CORRECTIONS Two errors in the HGS Memorial Inscriptions for Longparish and Southampton Hill Lane Cemetery have recently been found. The one in Longparish is on a memorial inside the church, number 162 in our index, where it gives the dates for William Arthur DURNFORD as being 1653 – 1940.  William was obviously not […]


Will of John Biggnall of Kingston

Can an early will help with family trees John Biggnall The early registers for both Portsmouth parishes have disappeared. Later 17 Century registers are not always complete.  Trying to trace early families on Portsea Island can be difficult but early wills may help.  John BIGGNALL of Kingston wrote his will on 8 February 1684/5 and […]


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