Tag Archives: durham

Exploring the familysearch pilot site in search of the GRAHAM family

31 May

Today I have been reviewing my notes on Thomas KINGHORN (3x great grandfather) from London to see what else I need to research and it occurred to me that I was still hadn’t entered some of the details for his third wife, my 3x great grandmother Isabella GRAHAM.

From the census I knew she was from a place called Staindrop, Durham and from her marriage certificate that her father’s name was Joseph GRAHAM (and he was a labourer, no surprise there). Using this information I had previously located a baptism record for Isabella on the FamilySearch Record Search Pilot Site but hadn’t really followed it up.

One of the datasets on the pilot search is the Diocese of Durham Bishops’ Transcripts, which includes Staindrop parish. This collection isn’t index, so it has been a case of going through page by page searching the baptisms, but that isn’t so different from looking at the microfilm, or the original register for that matter.

The image quality is pretty good, certainly as good as you would find on some of the pay to view records on other sites. The image download speed is pretty good as well, the only thing that I did find annoying is that there aren’t (or don’t appear to be) any keyboard shortcuts. It would be nice to be able to move around the images and go to the next image without having to use the mouse all the time. Still it is a very good site and free, so I can’t really complain.

As this is the bishops’ transcripts it has the burials as well as baptisms and marriages, so with any luck and a bit more searching I expect to be able to find the burials of Isabella’s parents (Joseph GRAHAM and Elizabeth STAMP) in the same parish, as well as baptism records for her siblings.

Some of the baptism entries I have found (pre-1813) are quite detailed, for instance it list the number of the child (eg 3rd, 4th or 5th) and gives Joseph’s wife as Elizabeth daughter of Robert STAMP, which gets me another generation back.

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