10 March 2023
12,785 commemorative plaques remembering figures like Virginia Woolf, Sylvia Pankhurst, and even Hodge, the feline friend of Samuel Johnson, have been added to the FindMyPast database.
Depending on the plaque, you may find a name, date of birth, date of death and address - making the collection useful for both family history and local history purposes.
All of the plaques listed in this collection are provided by a crowd-sourcing effort led by Open Plaques. They have offered the data for public use.
Combined with the address search on FindMyPast, this data can provide an opportunity to further explore the history of a specific building or event. Combining this information with information from census records, electoral registers, newspapers and other records could culminate in an extensive house history and correlating timeline. You will also have the opportunity to explore nearby locations and understand the greater impact of events throughout history on villages and towns, entire counties, or countries.
Locations found in the collection may include everything from childhood homes, birth or death locations, or places in which significant events took place.
For example, in Cockermouth, Cumberland, you will find the birthplace of poet William Wordsworth, and the grammar school he attended as a child, which also happens to be where Fletcher Christian - the leader of the Mutiny on the Bounty in 1788 - attended.
You can also find locations with social history significance, such as the Old Red Lion Theatre Pub on the edge of Islington in London, where Thomas Paine wrote part two of “Rights of Man” in 1791.
The Open Plaques project is ongoing and includes data from around the world. Researchers are encouraged to submit their own images and information regarding historical plaques. You can learn more about how to participate on their Contribute page.
Explore the plaques with a subscription at FindMyPast.