The Kay Family Association UK

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The 2016 Kay/Kaye Gathering

This year we tried something different and went further afield, holding our gathering at the Holiday Inn in Nottingham on Saturday 10th September. We had three talks in the afternoon, starting with Jonathan Kay who gave a brief preview of the Parish Register Database where we presenting all the birth, death and marriage records we have accumulated.

Geoff Fitzpatrick then gave a brief talk on Kays with literary connections, from James Phillips Kay whose two novels were received at the time with what can only be called tepid praise, through a 15th century John Kay who was the self-appointed ‘humble poet laureate’ to Edward IV, to M.M.Kaye, author of The Far Pavilions – we know her family had been in India for some generations and hope to see what more we can find.

Finally, Steve Yates demonstrated some of the sources he is using to compile the WW1 Roll of Honour which can be found on this site.

The 2015 Kay/Kaye Gathering

The gathering this year was held on Saturday 26th September at the Holiday Inn in Brighouse, close to Huddersfield. This is a area where there has always been a high concentration of Kayes. Those of us with a Lancastrian origin braved the experience and did not regret it.

The afternoon began with a talk entitled “Turning Over Stones” by Jonathan Kay. Jonathan talked about his hunt for his seventeenth century ancestors and what he found there. The search went on for many years; he didn’t in the end find many ancestors, but he did find a lot about their less than honourable dealings. He described how his ancestors, who had been blacksmiths for several generations, suddenly became very rich at the end of the seventeenth century. They had by then an above-average number of properties in their possession, most of which had previously in the possession of men who had fought for the King in the Civil War. They also appear to have been money lenders of some ability. In his words, he is descended from a line of carpetbaggers and usurers.

The rest of the session was devoted to an open forum about this web site, and how it can be improved. There were many useful and innovative suggestions, which have now been implemented.

The 2014 Kay/Kaye Gathering

We returned to the Bolholt Country Park Hotel in Bury on Saturday 1st November for our annual gathering. The first talk was by Philip Mather of the Lancashire Fusilier Museum, who told us of the history of the regiment, from the battle of Minden in 1759, the only recorded occasion when infantry on foot charged mounted cavalry and won, through to the landings at Cape Helles in Gallipoli on 25th April 1915, when the ‘Bury Lads’ won six VCs before breakfast – though as one survivor of the landings had told him “there was no breakfast that day”.

This was followed by a talk from Steve Yates describing his search for a great-uncle who had emigrated to Australia before World War 1, and had subsequently died fighting in France. His researches showed us the power of the Internet as a research tool for genealogists, even to using Google Maps to find the house in Australia where the family had lived!

The 2013 Kay/Kaye Gathering

This was held on Saturday 5th October at the De Vere Urban Village Hotel & Leisure Club, Bury. During the afternoon we had a talk by our guest speaker, Peter Park entitled “Wanted – widows with large families“. The subject of the talk was the Poor Law Migration scheme of the 1830s, a scheme which set out to bring paupers from rural areas in the south of England to the work in the factories of northern England. Focusing on this little known episode, the talk gave a fascinating insight into the social and economic factors in play at the height of the Industrial Revolution, many of which will strike a chord with modern day problems. But why “widows with large families“? The reason was the lack of skilled workers in the mills at the time – mills were being built faster than they could man them. It was the children that were wanted, to be trained in the necessary crafts.

The migration scheme has special relevance for KFA members as one of the people closely involved with it was James Phillips Kay (later Sir James Kay-Shuttleworth) and Peter described the role played by James Phillips Kay in encouraging paupers to move from East Anglia.

Peter Park is a Fellow of the Society of Genealogists and Vice-President of Cumbria Family History Society. He is much in demand as a speaker on family history matters and has written a number of books on the subject and contributed articles to many leading genealogical magazines.