Tag Archives: book

From my bookshelves: The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers

25 Jan

There was a good reason why I wanted to highlight this book, not that it is an essential reference source for English, Scottish and Welsh genealogy isn’t a good enough reason on it’s own.

No, the other reason is the price. Currently on Amazon.co.uk the 3rd edition is available new for £26.76, which is almost half of it’s original selling price. (By the way I am not part of the Amazon affiliate scheme)

You may be able to find second hand copies cheaper (I saw an earlier edition in a second-hand bookshop last weekend for £15). Even the publishers Phillimore & Co Ltd, are offering the book at a greatly reduced £35.

Don’t forget that many libraries will also hold copies of this book as well, in fact my local library has two copies, one reference copy and one that can be borrowed (if you are quick enough when it come back or you reserve it).

The only caveat is that although this is the latest edition it was still published in 2003, so some of the information may well be out of date, and some of it may well be available on the internet now. However since I got my copy I am finding myself using it more and more in place of Google to find the locations of parishes and who their neighbours are.

As the title suggests the book is divided into two parts, the atlas and the index. The atlas section consists of two maps for each county; a topographical map (showing places, roads and some landscape features such as hills and rivers) and a parish map (showing the positions of the parishes and the ecclesiastical jurisdictions in which they fall).

The index section contains a list of the parishes within each county and details relating to the availability of the parish registers. The information for each county is as follows:

  1. Parish name
  2. Deposited original registers – the date range for original parish registers deposited at the County Record Office
  3. I.G.I. – coverage in the International Genealogical Index
  4. Local census indexes – availability of locally produced census indexes
  5. Copies of registers at Soc. Gen. – the dates of copies of the parish registers held by the Society of Genealogists
  6. Boyd’s marriage index – dates included in Boyd’s marriage index
  7. 1837-1851 registration district – name of the registration district in which the parish can be found
  8. Pallot’s marriage index – dates included in Pallot’s marriage index
  9. Non-conform. records at P.R.O. – dates of non-conformist records held at The National Archives
  10. Map ref. – refering to the parish map in the first section of the book

I have used this book for many things, but it is especially useful for identifying the location of a parish in relation to those around it, especially for unfamiliar counties, such as when my ancestry drifts eastwards into Kent.

It is useful for identifying the correct spelling of an unfamiliar parish, or rather trying to work out what the enumerator or transcriber actually meant as a place of birth in the census.

Although some of this information may seem redundant now, because so much is on the internet and indexed, much of the information still remains relevant, after all, the historical geography of our ancestor’s parishes haven’t changed even if the current boundaries have moved.

Whilst it would be nice to see an updated edition, I fear that without it being online it would become out of date as soon as it was published. So always check the catalogues of the County Record Offices and the Society of Genealogists for the latest information.

A visit to the seaside on my day off (or rather a visit to a library near the seaside)

29 Sep

One of these days I am going to take a day off work and not get up the same time as I would if I was going to work. Still it gave me the opportunity to confuse the bus driver by going in the opposite direction to the way I would normally be going.

I know I was supposed to be heading to the East Sussex Record Office at Lewes, East Sussex, but I needed to do a couple of look ups in Worthing as well. So instead of jumping on a bus heading east out of Brighton, I jumped on one headed west.

Worthing Pier in the sunshine

Worthing Pier in the sunshine

Worthing Library was featured in the latest series of Who Do You Think You Are? and for good reason. In my opinion it has the best local studies collection of any of the West Sussex libraries and today it was more convenient (cheaper and quicker) for me than visiting the West Sussex Record Office at Chichester.

Not only did I find the two entries in the parish registers I was after, but I also came away with a copy of Wills and Other Probate Records by Karen Grannum and Nigel Taylor. This book published by The National Archives in 2004 had been withdrawn for sale for some reason (perhaps it has been republished since) and cost me just £2, a real bargain and something to read on the bus heading back to Brighton and Lewes.

The Hemsleys cricket team

4 Jun

I discovered a wonderful mention of my HEMSLEY ancestors yesterday in a book in the Oxfam Bookshop in Horsham, Sussex. I usually pop in once a week to see what they have to interest me, I have picked up some great books and maps from there in the past.

I didn’t actually buy this book yesterday, I couldn’t really justify spending the £24.99 they wanted for it, for one small mention of my ancestors. Instead I went to Horsham Library today and took a copy of the relevant part for my records.

The book is entitled The Memoirs of Gaius Carley – A Sussex Blacksmith and for a while the author was working in both Blackboys and Framfield in Sussex. There are only a couple of pages on each of these places, but in the Blackboys section he says

The village had a good cricket team and a family named Hemsleys could muster a team of their own and name.

Instantly I started to wonder if there are any records of the Blackboys cricket team and whether any of the HEMSLEY family did play, an interesting little avenue to follow one day.

Then I started thinking about how I would actually record this on my family tree? I can’t really attach the information to any particular generation or individual, in fact I can’t think of anywhere I could record it in my software. If you have any suggestions let me know?

A large helping of sunshine and with a pinch of genealogy

30 May

It has been another beautiful day here in Sussex, I don’t think I saw a single cloud in the sky. I am quite glad I was not out walking in the sun today! I had to go down to Brighton to get some shopping in the morning (before it got too busy).

I couldn’t resist a visit to the Brighton History Centre whilst I was down there. I spent a while scrolling through newspapers on microfilm trying to find some mention of the death of Abraham KINGHORN.

Abraham was the son of my 3x great grandparents Thomas and Isabella KINGHORN, and he died in the Brighton Registration District in Q1 1886 aged only 30. I felt sure the fact that he was only 30 years old when he died might have made the newspapers, but so far I have been unable to find a mention. It looks like I need to order a death certificate, to find out the story behind his early death.

Today I also ordered a couple of certificates, Harriet WRAIGHT’s (or WRIGHT) birth and William GEERING and Emily GREEN’s marriage). Hopefully they should enable me to finally complete the list of my 3x great grandparents.

I also made a start on one of the books in my to be read pile, London: A Social History by Roy Porter. This is of course background reading for my Thomas KINGHORN research, but also an attempt to learn more about our capital city, about which I know shamefully little.

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