Tag Archives: parish registers

NEWS: Over 1.4 million new Hampshire parish records published on findmypast.co.uk

30 Mar

Findmypast.co.uk have been steadily adding parish register transcriptions to their website, but until now there hasn’t really been much to get me excited. That was until last night when I read the news that they had added over 1.4 million Hampshire parish records.

This is great news for my research, having online access to these records is going to be a great boost to my research and especially for tracing my MITCHELL ancestors. Of course these are only transcriptions and would need checking against the original parish register entries, but they represent a great finding aid and starting point.

These records are the work of the Hampshire Genealogical Society and I suspect they are the same records that they publish on CD, which I have previously used at the Hampshire Record Office. Ironically I was very close to buying a couple of the CDs at Who Do You Think You Are? Live last month, but decided I couldn’t justify the cost.

According to the website the collection features:

  • 574,192 baptisms (covering the period 1752 to 1851)
  • 153,011 marriages (covering the period 1754 to 1837)
  • 720,468 burials (covering the period 1400 to 1841)

Links to lists of the actual parishes included can also be found on the announcement page on the website. The cost to view the full entry appears to be 5 credits each or free for those with a subscription.

Success at West Sussex Record Office

7 Mar

Yesterday I went down to the West Sussex Record Office, with a handful of records to look-up. It was a successful visit and things went better than I could have hoped, even with the disruption on the trains (more engineering work).

I made some useful progress on proving that my 6x great-grandmother was “the old druggist” (more about that in a later post).

I found the exact burial place of my great-grandmother Dorothy May TROWER, something which has eluded me for years (more about that in a later post).

I have located the school admission record of Walter Henry BOXALL, part of what seems to be evolving into a project to document his life and death.

I also picked up several baptism records that I needed, not really critical for my research, just distant relations not ancestors.

It is a little worrying that a lot of the records on my to-do list are parish registers, which have still not been deposited by the parish church at the record office. I am starting to build up quite a list of registers that I check every visit to see if they have arrived yet. Soon I will have to start bothering local vicars for access to the registers.

Whilst out in Chichester at lunchtime I picked up a second hand copy of a book called Goodwood Country in Old Photographs, which includes a photo of one of my 3x great-grandmothers as well as at least two other relations, but probably more. I must say thank you to my (distant) cousin Lisa who told me about this 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.

The new Ancestry.co.uk parish register search

21 Oct

Ancestry.co.uk have added a new search page to their site. This new search focuses on the parish registers in their collection, including the recently added London Parish Registers.

The new search page enables you to search just the parish registers on their site, including not just the London Parish Registers mentioned above, but also Pallot’s Marriage and Baptism indexes and the British Isles Vital Records Index (known on Ancestry as the England & Wales Christening Records and England & Wales Marriage Records).

As well as these major collections, it also covers the many other smaller collections of extracted parish records, that I tend to overlook. The new search page does a great job of drawing all the different collections together.

A quick dip into the London Historical Records on Ancestry.co.uk

17 Sep

I only had time for a brief look in the new London Historical Records on Ancestry.co.uk last night, but it has thrown up a few interesting records. All my searches were focused on the family of Thomas KINGHORN my 3x great grandfather.

The marriage of Margaret KINGHORN

I was able to find the marriage entry for Thomas’ daughter Margaret, and confirm that the marriage I had found in the GRO Marriage Index was the correct one. She married Thomas Christopher GREGORY at Saint George, Bloomsbury on the 4th January 1864.

One of the facts that confirmed that this was the correct marriage, apart from her father’s name and occupation, was the fact that one of the witnesses was Margaret’s brother Wybrants. So not only do I have the marriage details for Margaret, I also have another sighting of Wybrants my elusive half 3x great uncle.

Now I can follow the marriage up with census searches to identify what happened to Thomas and Margaret GREGORY during their married life, and I will probably be back into the London parish registers to find their children’s baptisms.

The burial of Eliza KINGHORN x2

I was surprised to find burial records for both Eliza KINGHORNs, Thomas’ second wife and his only daughter by her, in St Marylebone parish in 1851. I had expected to find them in St James Westminster.

The younger Eliza was only 12 days old when she died, and her mother had died when she was only three or four days old and before she had even been baptised. Both died of small pox.

Curiously the abode (Foley Street) given on the burial entry for both mother and daughter is not the same as the address given on the death certificate (10 Great Windmill Street). I have the address in Great Windmill Street from other sources so that has left me puzzled.

I am sure they are the correct individuals, so I can only assume that as they died of small pox they were being cared for (or isolated) elsewhere in Foley Street. That is going to need a bit more investigation.

Missing Westminster parishes

It appears that several of the Westminster parishes that I need to search, such as St Annes Soho and St James Piccadilly, are not available. Whether they ever will be or not I don’t know, I believe the original registers are held by the City of Westminster Archives Centre and not the London Metropolitan Archives. I need to seek some clarification from Ancestry, as well as letting them know there are no source citations for the St George Bloomsbury marriage entries I looked at.

Despite only a brief time spent in the collection it has proved quite fruitful, and I have created myself more work to do in the process!

18 million parish records from Greater London parishes published today on Ancestry.co.uk

16 Sep

This a truly remarkable collection, 18 million parish records dating from 1538 to 1980 from over a 1000 Greater London parishes have today been published on Ancestry.co.uk.

Part of the London Historical Records, 1500s-1900s collection published in partnership with London Metropolitan Archives and the Guildhall Library Manuscripts, this is really going to be a great asset to family history research. I can see that these indexed images are going to open up so much new information that was previously hidden within the sprawling mass that was/is London.

Speaking from personal experience I know how easy it is to lose people in London, but my first search in the new collection turned up three of the six missing baptisms for children of my 3x great grandfather Thomas KINGHORN, including the elusive Wybrants KINGHORN (recorded here as Webrens).

Given time I will no doubt be able to take this further and find the other three baptisms and I am sure marriages and burials will also follow. For now I have not only baptism dates, but birth dates and two new addresses (both in Upper Charlton Street, St Mary-le-bone) for the KINGHORN family.

Just like London itself I can see it is going to take some time to find my way around, and I think I could quite easily get lost in this collection for days on end.

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