Search the collections

There are several collections

(1) An Index to the Jan James Avon Valley Collection. Compiled by Jan James 
Included in this collection are records of those who worked as undertakers (U/T), midwives (M/W), Doctors etc or an article may have appeared in local papers (N/P) for example. Other abbreviations used are (D) Death, (B) Birth, (M) where the information is a transcript of the B, D or M Certificates. Further abbreviations - (B/R) Shire Burial Register, (H/S) Headstone , (Ang/Bap) Anglican Baptisms, (Mth/Bap) Methodist Bap, RC/Bap (Roman Catholic Baptisms). 
Click here to search the Jan James Avon Valley Collection Index.

(2) An Index to Avon Valley Headstones & Shire Burial Registers
Compiled by Brian Chambers & Jan James. This is an index to a larger file. In this index file you can search for a particular surname to see which records exist in the larger collection. Once you've found a record that interests you and you want to find out what further information is available, contact me - Jan James.

The fields in this index file are Surname, First Name, Birth Date, Parents and Death Date. So when you search for a particular surname, eg JAMES you will probably find several records with that name. You can use the other fields to narrow down your search to find the person you want.
Click here to search the Avon Valley Headstones & Shire Burial Registers Index.

(3) Maiden Names in various Avon Valley documents
Compiled by Jan James from information in various Registrar General documents. Useful to find information when only the maiden name is known. 

(4) Northam Cemetery Pre 1929 Burials 

(5) Northam men who served in our forces:
* Northam WW2 Nominal Roll
* Northam Nominal Roll
* Northam Occupation Forces
* Korean Nominal Roll

(6) The Gypsy Surname Index of Great Britain
The Gypsy Surname Index of Great Britain came about when I was researching the Avon information for the first volumes of “The Dictionaries of Western Australians”. Some of my forebears happened to be Gypsy free settlers who had arrived on the “Simon Taylor” in 1842. Gradually I began to find other Rom families who had made the journey to WA and so the theory was born that many of the convicts could have been Gypsies as well, just by the nature of the people and how they were treated across the world.

This index represents all of the surnames which form a large database on Gypsy families in the United Kingdom. I must point out that these surnames go through a point system before they are accepted (ie occupation, description, address) and it is by no means complete, nor does it mean that, for example all people with the surname “JAMES” are Gypsies. Further research will be needed to prove this. Not all Hawkers were Gypsies” even though the majority of Hawkers were Gypsy. The same applies to the list of occupations, although Gypsies did work at the trades listed. See Gypsy Occupations file.

These lists are by no means complete. If you can add to them please email me. If you think your forebear could have been a Traveller, I would appreciate the information. Alternatively, contact me if you have an interest in any of the surnames. So far my theory is proving correct and indeed many of the Convicts to Australia were Gypsies both in WA and the Eastern States.

Click here to search the Gypsy Surname Index of Great Britain.

How to search 
Some of the index files are above are .pdf files. You will need 'Adobe Acrobat Reader' to be able to open, view and search these files. If you don't have this programme on your computer, you can download and install it for free from the Adobe site -

Depending on your internet connection, the .pdf index files may take a few moments to appear.

When the entire .pdf file appears, use the 'search' rectangle. Type in a name; eg james, then press <enter> on your keyboard. The first instance of the name james will appear. Press <enter> again to find the next instance etc. Note: Names like james will appear in both the Surname and First Name fields.

What to do next 
Once you've found a record you're interested in e
mail me - Jan James - stating clearly the index record you are researching:

Surname, First Name/s, Dates

Include other information you may already have. Please be aware - it's not possible to for me to conduct lengthy searches. The service offered here is a lookup service for additional information in relation to a particular record in the index of the Avon Valley Collection. Good luck with your research.

Other items to help you in your research
General Registration Index - list of towns and appropriate district; useful to identify registration districts for births, marriages and deaths in WA BMD Index; this is a link to an external site. 

Northam Genealogical Society  This society is now operational. Join in to discuss your family trees, websites - or anything else to do with this fantastic hobby. Contact Jan James - for further information on how you can access the records and information that Jan collected. This could be the start of a fantastic recreational pursuit for you and your family.