information for my work on the Covington History has been acquired from various
sources and locations throughout the UK and abroad. Numerous libraries and
proven genealogical institutions have been the source for much of the material.
Indeed, many happy hours have been spent poring over Microfilm, Microfiche, Army
Records, Files, & Books, as well as walking, head bowed reading the
inscriptions, in churchyards around the country.
The whole project started out, in Brighton, Sussex
circa 1983, as being simply a desire to find out if there were many other
Covingtons listed in the U.K. phone directories. Some months after this initial
interest, a job move meant a transfer to Exeter in Devon and I spent 4 months
lodging, waiting for my house move to be completed. It was then that I first
started to spend early evenings in the local library searching through the
various genealogy books for more details of the Covington name.
early records were kept on scraps of paper, with no real clear idea of how much
information I might find or, more importantly how I was going to collate the
data. Again my interest waned as I reached a dead-end for information in all the
local Devon libraries. Two more house moves in the next 4 years found our family
in High Wycombe and it was from here that, whilst travelling around West London
as a sales rep, I stumbled across the Public Records Office in Kew.
least once a week I would spend my lunchtime searching through all sorts of
material, from microfilm of World War 1 medal rolls to discharge papers from
19th century Army records. Quite by chance I came across the 1892 Royal
Artillery discharge papers of one Charles James Covington. Within these torn and
mottled sheets I spotted the birth details of Ernest Albert Covington at Bow
Barracks in 1883, my grandfather. Until then neither myself, nor my father and
his 3 brothers, even knew of my great grandfather's, and therefore, their
grandfather's, name. Needless to say this spectacular find was the spur to much
more searching and, as they say the rest is history.
Ernest Albert Covington –
is no doubt that the project has been easier to attack living in the London
area, as major libraries, the Census Rooms & the Public Record Offices are
within easy access. One can spend full days at these locations without the need
for expensive travel or overnight costs.
Initially all the information that I wanted to find
was to ascertain my own family tree, however it wasn't too long before it became
apparent that most, if not all, U.K. Covingtons are in some way distantly
some family group off-shoots have appeared in more out of the way parts of
Britain, I have been able to trace the largest colony of Covingtons over the
past 300 years as living in the Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Cambridge &
North Buckinghamshire areas, with many moving to London for work in the late
18th and early 19th centuries.
The College of Arms in London did some work for Arthur
Edwin Covington, a distinguished Canadian radio-astronomer, and managed to trace
his side of the Covington family to Turvey, N.Bucks, back to the early 1600s.
Although I have managed to obtain a lot of the details, from Arthur Kenneth
Covington, the College of Arms, at that time, required some £240 to send me a
full transcript, which was regrettably over my financial limit for the project.
An interpretation of the Covington Coat of Arms
6 months of serious, part time searching I had traced details on over 1000
Covingtons and printed my first book "The Covington History" using an
Amstrad 8256 Word Processor. About 30 fellow Covingtons invested in the book,
and their interest and kind words after reading the work, encouraged me to delve
further. It was at this stage that I decided to create a Covington database, so
as to be able to cross-reference all the different levels of information, and
hopefully link various Covingtons to their descendents.
I traded in the Amstrad for an Olivetti M111, IBM
compatible lap-top, and started to write the necessary program. The results
produced The Covington Database, which I had considered offering as a full
manuscript to a publishing house, however the number of potentially interested
Covington Families in the U.K. stands at just over 200, so the cost of
production and printing was prohibitive. Now with the massive scope of the web,
I can make my work available to Covington’s throughout the world.
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