Nursing Genealogy. UK & Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968.

Nursing Genealogy. UK & Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968.

UK & Ireland, Nursing Registers, 1898-1968 digitised to  Queens Nursing Institute (QNI – district nursing) – digitised onto  The National Archives (TNA) (which I have been writing on in past weeks) – useful for military nursing records.  Royal Medico-Psychological Association (1891 – 1951) – trained and registered Mental Nurses or Attendants.  Royal British Nurse’s Association (RBNA) (1887-1966) – kept the first ‘list’ of qualified nurses. There are 10,000 nurses on this list held at King’s College London Archive – this is now available online as transcriptions of entries.  Queen Alexandra’s Imperial Military Nursing Service (QAIMNS) – early 1900’s military nursing.  The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) – you can now search for more recent nurses registered with the NMC here.

I will look at the first one for this blog post.

The UK and Ireland nursing registers 1898 – 1968 were created to monitor those working as nurses but, as the preface to the 1898 directory states “ …the compilers of the directory do not claim for it any authority analogous to that possessed by the medical Register… Anyone possessing this Directory can ascertain the experience or training of each nurse whose name appears in it” What is noteworthy in the early days is that it was not compulsory and that all those working as nurses were not necessarily registered.

However, the genealogist is not so much interested in the fitness to practice or training of a specific nurse, but biographical details to be found in any verifiable record. The early records relied on the veracity of the returns, and the cooperation of the ‘Matrons’ which was not always forthcoming.

Nevertheless, if your ancestor was nurse, I would say this is a good place to search.

The producers of the early directories would ask nurses who wished to be included to send relevant details. For instance:

The 1898 directory asked for:

  1. Name in full and address.
  2. Present occupation and date of entry to that.
  3. Probationer at Hospital… from 18.. to 18..
  4. Staff nurse ad Hospital… from 18.. to 18..
  5. Sister at Hospital… from 18.. to 18..
  6. Matron at Hospital… from 18.. to 18..
  7. Private nurse at.. from 18.. to 18..
  8. General training certificates received at Hospital… for … years training.

Any of the following certificates:

  • Midwifery certificate Hospital and date.
  • L.O.S certificate (London Obstetrical Society) Dates of certificate:
  • Monthly Nursing Certificate Hospital and date.
  • Massage Certificate. Hospital or institution, and date.
  • Medico-psychological Certificate: Date of certificate.
  • Give list of medals and badges held if any.
  • Any other qualifications or experience beyond what is given above.

There is potential for a wealth of genealogical, family history available.

A typical entry from 1898 is:

Young, Georgina Victoria.

Shotley Bridge District Nursing Association Co. Durham.

Queen’s District Nurse since Jan. 1895.

Probationer, Addenbrooke’s Hosp. (Cert. 1 year, 3 months training), May 1891 to August 1892.

Pupil Midwife, British Lying in Hosp. (Midwifery Cert.), January to April 1893.

Queen’s District Probationer Central Home Q.V.J.I.N. Bloomsbury WC. Aug. 1893 to Feb. 1894.

[Queens Nurse July 1894].

Queen’s District Nurse Bramley Yorkshire to January 1895.

Cert. L.O.S., April 1893.

Get in touch if you would like your nursing ancestors discovered.

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