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.
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.
Those 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 – my grandfather
There 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
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
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.
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
An interpretation of
the Covington Coat of Arms
Within 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.
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.