Tag Archives: a-z of english genealogy

My blogging schedule

6 Nov

In an attempt to simply matters for myself I decided to introduce a more rigid blogging schedule a couple of weeks ago. The idea being that I would spend less time deciding what to write about if I had a fixed theme each day.

So far I think it is working, but it is still early days, it does seem to have made things a little more efficient and freed up a bit more time for family history research, rather than just writing about it. The next stage is to try to get a few more posts planned ahead of time.

The seven themes I am using at the moment are:

Ancestral Profile - This a post focusing on one of my ancestors, some of these will be quite long and detailed whilst some will be quite short, depending on how much I know about the person in question. Once I have got a few more of these under my belt I will put up a page listing all the ancestors covered so far.

Picture Postcard Parade – This is a long running theme of mine, showcasing some of my postcard collection on this blog. Some of them are places connected with my family history, some are places that I have visited or mean something special to me and others are just postcards that appeal to me.

A-Z of English Genealogy – Each week I will use this post to write about one aspect of English genealogy, in an attempt to educate or at least provide something of use to my readers, aside from my usual scribblings about my relations.

Something Sussex – This post is an excuse to write about something to do with the county of Sussex, something that is not necessarily related to my family history but probably of historical interest in some way.

Free Friday – This theme allows me to write about anything I want to do about my family history. It will probably be related to the current project that I am working on but not always.

The Wandering Genealogist Unplugged – This will usually focus on something I have been doing away from the computer, hence the “unplugged”. This will usually mean either a visit to an archive, a visit to an ancestral location or graveyard, or just going for a walk. This means it will nearly always be on a Saturday, which is the only chance I have to get out.

Personal Genealogy Update – This is another long running theme, in which I write about what I have been up to during the previous week and what I hope to do in the coming week. Invariably the resulting post is mainly about what I have failed to achieve during the previous week.

I don’t know how long these themes will last. On a couple of occasions I have found myself with things to write about but they don’t fit in with any of the themes, perhaps in time I will do away with some of the rigidness of this regime, but for now it seems to be working.

B is for burial records

3 Nov

In this weeks A-Z of English Genealogy it is the turn of the letter B, which in this case stands for burial record. I don’t think there is anything uniquely English about the burial process, although I am sure there have been (and probably still are) some local and regional customs and practices. In this post I wanted to take the opportunity to focus on burial records and in particular where they can be found.

Original burial registers will either be found at the county record office or still with the body responsible whether it is the parish church or some other burial authority. However many of the original registers have been microfilmed or in some cases digitised by the LDS (so check your local Family History Centre). Many of the registers have also been indexed or transcribed, mainly by local family history societies.

Apart from contacting the family history society (or visiting their website) in question, another other good place to find out what is available is the Parish Chest website, although it may not include all available indexes and transcriptions, it does allow online ordering which may not be offered by the individual family history societies.

Whilst many parish register transcriptions and indexes have been published separately, there are still a lot that haven’t. Fortunately a lot of these have been published by the Federation of Family History Societies in the form of the National Burial Index. This index contains nearly 18.5 million entries from throughout England (and Wales), exact coverage details can be found on the FFHS website, where you can drill down through the counties to find the coverage details for each parish.

Coverage does vary from county to county, but with nearly 18.5 million records the overall coverage is pretty good. It is only an index though, guiding you to parish registers you need to be checking for more details. It can be ordered through the FFHS website (check the system requirements first because the CD won’t run on Apple Macs), but these days you might also check your local library for a copy.

The main online data providers (Ancestry.co.uk and findmypast.co.uk) have some burial records, so do The Genealogist, Familyrelatives.com and BMD Registers (also available through the The Genealogist). Deceased Online however is a website dedicated solely to burial and cremation records.

Deceased Online was launched in July 2008 and describes itself as “the first central database of statutory burial and cremation registers for the UK and Republic of Ireland”. What really sets Deceased Online apart from the other indexes and transcriptions is that it focuses on cemetery record, whereas the other mainly focus on burial in the parish churchyard.

So far coverage is limited, but expect to see more records added over the coming months, and those records come in various different forms such as digitised registers, maps of the grave location, photos of the grave location and computer based entries.

I hope you have enjoyed this brief look at burial records, please feel free to let me know in the comments your favourite places (on or offline) for locating English burial records and any other places I have forgotten to mention.

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