Wanted information on Robert William Akehurst born 1903 Crockham Hill, Edenbridge, Kent to William Akehurst born 1875 Nutfield , Surrey and Margaret Akehurst nee Mayhew born Worlingworth, Suffolk.

In 1911 Census Robert Wiliam Akehurst was down as Rex Akehurst.  Rex went on to work in the local bakery and repaired cycles at Crockham Hill. Rex finally managed the local garage and He was the Edenbridge Band master.  Rex Akehurst passed away suddenly with out any warning. If you have any information on the case contacted: Kath Burr (daughter)


We are truly indebted to Betty Holford-Smith for supplying original and copies of many years research on the Akhurst & Akehurst family names. Betty is a member of the Felixstowe Family History Society which was formed 8 years ago and plays an active part in its activities as well as manning the research centre on Friday mornings.

Her own research into the family started more than twenty years ago when she retired from teaching. Since then, Betty has recently obtained a degree in local history and been very active in organising V-E Day celebrations at Portsmouth where she met up with some friends she hasn't seen in 50 years. Betty was a despatch rider for the Royal Navy during and after the War. (This is very relative to the Akhurst history)

Over the years, Betty has collated data from many varied sources. She has compiled a detailed BMD Index Registry of Akhurst names and many Akehurst's as well. First at Somerset House and lately at St. Katherine's. She says in a letter,

"fortunately, I did my post-1837 research while the GRO was still at Somerset House and was rarely used - 12 at once was then a crowd!!"

Her meticulous work has benefited many family history's, including my own and David Murdock's.

Betty, we are truly grateful for the inspiration and encouragement you have given us all.


All the Ak(e)hurst names and variations from the IGI CD-ROM Index have been sent by David Murdock. These have now been converted into a database and are available free in report format from your continental representative.  You can specify what sort of report you would like but a Stamped Addressed Envelope would be appreciated please. Contact your Continental representative for details. Alternatively, the data is available in zipped .Dbf format.


The Akhurst BMD index compiled by Betty, is currently being computerised. The Birth section is now complete. It shows, Year, Quarter, Surname, Christian Names, Registry, County, Family Tree (Where known), and notes.

There are some 672 births split 354 male (53%) 318 Female (47%). The highest concentration of the Akhurst name is in the North Kent coastal areas some 70% were born here.

The Registry with the most births is Milton with 123, 18% of the database. The Isle of Sheppey, had 53 births, followed by West Ashford with 43, the Medway towns with 38 and Faversham with 35 births. London as we know it now, fared well with 113 births.

It is hoped The Marriage and Death index will be completed in the next 2-3 months. This will now also include some Akehurst details which were received late May 1995.

The Will index is completed but only covers Akehurst & Akhurst entries. (New entries up to 1915 have since arrived.) The original document also includes Akers and derivatives.


Bill Hopkins of Sevenoaks in Kent wrote in response to the mail shot that went to 43 known A/c/k/e/hurst researchers. Bill sent in some census info. for 1851 & 1861. Unwittingly, did he realise that he had included David Murdock’s GGGrand Father’s family for whom he was searching for details.

In a previous letter some of Hazel Mitchell’s family in Milton also turned up. Thanks Bill it just goes to prove that someone out there may have that vital piece of the jigsaw.


The following story concerns an Akhurst sent to me by Bill Hopkins originally came from Andrew Oliver, Rose Court, Bethersden, Kent.  "Now, a little about Grandmother Freeman, her surname before marriage was Brazier, it seems her mother was married for a second time, her first husband's name was AKHURST, he was a higgler, a collector and buyer of fowl and eggs, which he disposed of at Chatham, Kent.

He promised his wife a present on his return. But on his return journey at a point called Chart Court, some ruffians stopped him, took out the lynch pins from the axle, which caused the wheels to fall off, robbed him of his money, knocked him dead, probably he fought.  Great Grandmother's present, a red shawl was found under the wagon."

This event would have taken place between Nov 1820 and May 1822. Thanks Bill, you are becoming a regular contributor to this auspicious newsletter. Keep it up.


Many months ago David Murdock sent a copy of a photograph of a cottage "somewhere in Kent" to me. The original photograph was in good condition and contained some clues. It was also dated at 1880.  I was talking to Bill Hopkins about it who offered to get it published in the Kent FHS magazine in June. David sent the photograph over from the States and it was duly published.  On 3rd November, 1995 Bill was on the point of writing to us to say that there had been no response from the article when a big package arrived on the door mat. It was a veritable bag of goodies from Mrs Rita Mitchell nee Akhurst from Dereham in Norfolk.

The bungalow has been identified as being in Church Street, Rodmersham, Kent. Rita also included a copy of the 1871 census for Rodmersham which confirms Charles & Maria were living there with Charles (Jnr) 4 years old and sister Ellen at 1 year old. Interestingly enough, Ellen is not mentioned in the photograph taken approximately 9 years later. Bill also pointed out that they lived next door to "Gardener's Cottage" occupied by Richard Horton, Maria's younger brother by 3 years. Rita also enclosed a copy of her family tree, Copies of baptism and burial records from Rodmersham parish were also included. Thanks Rita and to Bill for passing the info on.


David Murdock received a letter from Thomas (TeeJay) and Donna Akehurst in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA, who in addition to telling him that they enjoyed the newsletter so much that it is now worn and dog-eared, they also told him that he had goofed.

They are absolutely correct. In Burkes, the term is expressed that the lion is holding in his Dexter paw the acorn. In drawing the arms from a poor copy he David not realised that the lion is holding the acorn in his left paw (sinister) instead of the right paw (Dexter). David sent them an autographed rendering of the corrected arms as a prize.

Editor's note: The Arms on the banner of "The Akehurster" have now been corrected! The letter to David Murdock led to further family connections being made.


A letter arrived in September 1995 from Peter Akehurst of Seaford, Sussex.. Peter did a lot of his research in the 1970's and with later Census records being now available (up to 1891) has found that the original James Akehurst was not in fact his family.

With ages given in the Census it gave an error of 3 or 4 years and he has now been able to re-adjust his family tree. He has also been doing further research as his wife's mother was an Akehurst before she married.


I am indebted to Dot Akhurst in Caerphilly for sending me a "mailer" advertising "The Burke's Peerage World Book of Akhursts".

At £21.95 it is not cheap and for what it's worth it is a "worldwide list of families bearing the Akhurst surname today". They've used "highly sophisticated computer resources throughout the world to compile this one-off issue". - CD ROM based telephone Directories.

Then I looked further into the approval form and find the following in small print.

"Use of the Burke's Peerage name is solely granted under a licensing agreement with Halbert's Family Heritage, Div. Numa Corp, Bath, Ohio USA."

Ask anyone of our American researchers about Halberts.

As Dot says, " I know of other people who have bought books relating to their name, interesting but not much help toward their family history". Another one to watch out for is "Family Tree Book of Knowledge", published by Parkes. Glamorgan FHS were never very happy with their business.

For what it is worth, we do have a list of 779 Akehursts From "The World of Akehursts" around the world supplied by Morwenna Akehurst Ed.


Colin Ackehurst in Melbourne has traced his Ancestry back to John Akehurst born about 1797 possibly in Kent. However, his family tree shows 3 variations of the family name.

Starting of as Akehurst, but when his GG(GF) married in 1821 at Etchingham Sussex the signature in the Parish Registry is John Akurst but the banns in the name of Akehurst. The 1881 census entry for his G(GF) George (b.1836) shows a spelling change from Akehurst to Ackehurst. The name has stuck ever since.

To assist the search further, Bill Parsons in Horsham sent some details of his research showing G(GF) , George, being the son of John & Mary but also having 1 brother and 4 sisters. The entries for the surnames show Ackhurst, 3 times, Akhurst 2 times and George as Akurst.

It's amazing what's out there!

In 1888 Melbourne, Victoria, staged an International Exhibition. Officials were issued with an identity pass/card, some having photographs attached.

Today we take ID photographs for granted, but it must have been an achievement over a century ago. Only four of the original twelve albums exist.

Whilst scanning the index of the 1000 remaining photographs, I came across two of us'. They are Ackehurst (no initials), representing Felton Guillcaume & CO, and W.J.Akhurst representing the Illustrated London News.

The Victorian Public Records Office will make copies of the photographs available, for a small charge. Contact David Evans for further information. David Evans November 1995


Are any of you members of Family History Societies, particularly in South Eastern England?

It would be useful for us to know if any of the local FHS have Akehursts registered in their Members' Interest Directories.

If so, can our UK researchers provide us with a list of Akehurst references in the various FHS Members' interest Directories? Could be a useful way of helping to connect us.

MARRIAGE INDEXES UK - link to Marriage Index Uk

Are any of you members of Family History Societies, particularly in South Eastern England?

It would be useful for us to know if any of the local FHS have Akehursts registered in their Members' Interest Directories.

If so, can our UK researchers provide us with a list of Akehurst references in the various FHS Members' interest Directories? Could be a useful way of helping to connect us.


Often, the names of witnesses to a marriage provide helpful genealogical leads.  For a number of years, work has been proceeding on building the Australian, New Zealand, and UK Marriage Witness Indexes.

Submissions contain the names of the witnesses/bride/groom, and location and date of the marriage, as well as the submittals name and address.

Submitting the details from our marriage certificates (not just those relating to Akehurst) is an unusual (and free!) way to advertise our areas of interest. Contact an ‘electronic Akehurst' for further information.


My Parents-in Law were politely interested when I showed them the Tree my father had drawn up of his ancestors.

"You wouldn't be able to do a tree like that on our family', they assured me. We've hardly any relations at all. It took me a few months but then I brought them the first draught of my attempt at the Akehurst tree. I had, I believed, found them 47 second cousins. To be honest, I don't think they were that pleased.

This was a few years ago now, and I have altered the tree considerably since that first effort. My husband is NOT, as I had at first thought, descended from a musical ag. lab. Akehurst acquaintance of Rudyard Kipling's. No that Charles was a cousin. (David Brown's Great Great Grandfather)

My husband's ancestor was another Charles with similar dates who was descended from Jesse the higgler. What is a higgler'? you may ask. Oh, he's a seller or barterer of various goods. Fruit probably, but it could have been almost anything saleable. Not as grand sounding as the other one perhaps, but to my mind just as interesting. (No, not a tramp' as one of my husband's relations remarked bitterly. He undoubtedly had to work hard for his living!

My parents had various illustrious ancestors, among a sprinkling of rogues & others who had had the dubious, honour of being beheaded. My husband's ancestors were mainly ag. labs, and were humbler, country folk., Less interesting, and rewarding to research. ? NO WAY.

Most of the work had already been done on my side of the family, but no-one had researched our Akehursts so far as I knew, and all the information I discovered was, I felt, MY work, It wasn't as easy, but that was half the fun.

Now I have collected enough information for a one name society,. but no, I am no-where near organised enough to run one! I am however delighted with the birth of this group and wish David Brown and his friends all the success they wish for. Perhaps they can collate all my information........ and yours please, and make one enormous tree connecting all the Akehursts"', !!!!!!

0.K, Perhaps not, after all. There were Akehursts in Sussex at the time of the Doomsday book, they say; so it would have to be rather TOO big a tree I fear. Never mind, it will be fun to try.

That reminds me, rumours abound on several sides of the family that the Akehursts came from Bodiam Castle. Now I have found Akehursts born in Bodiam, but to the best of my scanty knowledge no-one actually LIVED in the castle. Might the Akehursts' been say carpenters working there? None of my researches have so far answered this problem, so please, if you know anything about it, let David Brown know, and he can pass the information on. Good hunting to all who read this, and may all your troubles be little Akehursts.

Morwenna Akehurst


The transcripts of the Supreme Court of Victoria (Criminal Sessions) have recently been indexed for the period Nov 1850 to Dec 1865.

Appearing in the index are an Akehurst (no given name) appearing in a trial on 23/3/1855. Thomas Akehurst labourer, witness to larceny on 18/3/1852; Warden Akehurst I think 'Warden' is more likely to be the occupation of gold mining warden] charged with perjury on 16/8/1865. and Arthur Purcell Akehurst, charged with murder on 15/1/ 1855 (which was reduced to manslaughter on 16/1/1855). Contact an 'electronic Akehurst', or David Evans direct, for further information.


David Evans reports the indexes of NZ births and deaths to l980 (no marriages) are available at his local library.

If there is any interest by any Akehurst-er, he will extract the details and make them available.

Alternatively one or more of our New Zealand researchers may be interested in extracting the details for us - volunteers please form a queue!

David Murdock in Arizona, USA, is an expert when it comes to researching Scottish Ancestry. He gives lectures on the subject to many a wide audience on the lecture circuit.

Apart from his Scottish ancestry, he's also an Akhurst whose family originated from Milton in Kent. By default he's a Kentish Man by being born West of the River Medway. Okay, it's stretching a point some 6000 miles West of the River Medway in the UK, but, there were no mileage restrictions in the definition!

Over the last two months, David has had many a reason to be jumping for joy. It all started with a request to get his Grandfather, Walter Akhurst's birth certificate. When it arrived, it was discovered that his Grandfather was born in Rodmersham, nr. Milton, Kent and that the father was Charles Robert Akhurst. It was previously, thought that he was born in Blean, near Canterbury.

Armed with this information he did a re- check of his IGI CD-ROM disks for his Great Grandfather. No luck, it all went very quiet.

A response to one of the mailshot letters however, proved interesting. Bill Hopkins from Sevenoaks wrote in and enclosed some ad hoc 1851 Census info. for Milton, Rainham and Upchurch. As luck would have it, the Census turned up his Great, Great Grandfather's family at Upchurch near Rainham in Kent including at that time a 9 year old boy called Charles. (G-GF)

The census information confirmed that some of the family were born at Upchurch, Borden, and Milton and that his Great, Great Grandfather was a Farm Bailiff. This was the clue that mattered. great-grandfather was married in 1864 in Greenwich, his father's occupation was confirmed on the certificate as Bailiff.

With some of the info. we had from the IGI, BMD index and family knowledge we were able to pinpoint to within 2 years when the family, (GF) moved to Blean, the area where we first started off.

Now David has some other leads to follow. Let David say it in his own words, "Talk about emotion, as this old feller sat and looked at the extract of Granther's Birth Certificate"


Thomas Jenner Akehurst was put in touch with me by David Murdock as he thought we may be related.

Thomas's family line through Jenner Akehurst connects with David Brown's family tree.  The connection with David Brown is that his Great Grandmother, Priscilla Jenner Akehurst was the youngest child in the Charles Jenner Akehurst family. Tom, or "TeeJay's" great, great, grandfather John Jenner Akehurst was Priscilla's brother. There was 16 years difference in ages between them. The difference between the eldest and the youngest in this family was 23 years, nearly a generation difference.

The information supplied by Cousin Tom has filled some important gaps in both trees


When the "Lusitania" was returning from the US and sunk by a German submarine off the coast of Ireland on 7 May 1915 with the loss of 1,200 lives, it included some US citizens. Its destruction helped to bring the USA into World War I.

Amongst those that perished was an Akehurst. This is a recollection as told to Mrs Jean Taylor of Reigate UK by her mother Alice Jenner Akehurst when Jean was a child.

So, who is the Akehurst that went down with the ship? Has anyone heard the same story in their family?

Was the lost Akehurst an émigré returning home to fight for King & Country? There is a very large Akehurst Family contingent in the US. Do you have any answers?

All replies too your local continental representative please who will pass onto David Brown.


Old and New Photo’s alike can be added to your research, which can make your research much more interesting.  

You can also add places, churches and cemeteries.

You can save hours of writing and drawing with just one click,  As I can never make out sometimes what I have written down, my camera was the best way for me to go.  I’m also looking for photo’s to uses on the website of anything relating to the Akehursters families around the world.

You can upload photos using this link or send by email to:

Angela Hollands