The Anglican Sisterhood of St Peter was founded in 1861 as a religious community devoted to nursing.
Although the first homes run by the Sisters were in London, in 1883 land in Maybury Hill, Woking, was given to the Order with a view to the opening of a long-term care-home. St Peter's Memorial Home was officially opened on 20 October 1885. The Home initially had accommodation for 60 patients but a further wing with extra rooms and two more wards was added in 1892.
The patient registers provide not just a remarkable insight into social history of women's health, but on a more personal level, tell the story of Victorian women from all walks of life, above and below stairs. They give details of each patient admitted and provide us with unique insights into the lives of these women, including details of their next of kin, health, piety, character, family circumstances and working lives. There are many sad stories between these pages, but also uplifting ones too, written with much wit, humour, compassion and occasionally some rather caustic observations from the nuns too!
The index of approximately 3200 patients covers most of the period 1885-1908 (SHC ref 7805/6/31-36) and can be used to find the original register reference and page entry for your ancestor, not only perhaps explaining at last that odd census candidate of 1891 or 1901 far from where you expected her to be, but also solving a family history puzzle too.
While the collection does include later registers of patients at St Peter's, these are subject to restrictions under the Data Protection Act.