A day at Hampshire Record Office

21 Mar

After all that planning last week, today’s trip to Hampshire Record Office was a great success, with the added bonus that I was able to tick off another archive from the list of places to visit! Seriously though, it is always good to get acquainted with a new record office, to see how their systems work, to see what finding aids and indexes they have available.

The Hampshire Record Office is ideally located for arriving by train, step outside the railway station and there across the other side of the street it is. It is a nice modern building with all the facilities one would expect from a purpose built archive and lots of natural light (it did help that it was a beautiful sunny day outside once the mist cleared).

My research itself got off to a good start when I was shown a transcription of the Exton parish registers, this answered many of my questions in one stroke, although I did check the original registers on microfiche later on.

Also of great help were the Hampshire Genealogical Society (HGS) marriage and baptism indexes on CD-ROM. With these two resources I was able to pin-point the parents and siblings of William Henry MITCHELL and Harriet WRIGHT with reasonable confidence. Once again I check the actual registers on microfiche, and further work at home online with the census returns should help confirm the family relationships.

Only one baptism proved a problem to, that was for James MITCHELL the son of William Henry and Harriet MITCHELL. He wasn’t where I was expecting to find him, his baptism was too recent for the HGS baptism index and  had previously been unable to find him on the IGI. I searched a couple of neighbouring parishes without much success, and as time was running out I thought I would try one more, and there he was, in the parish of Chilcomb. I was able to go home happy having found all the baptisms I was hoping to.

I had a quick look at the catalogues for school records, but there doesn’t appear to be any surviving records that covers the periods and parishes I need. Also I didn’t get chance to check for any poor records, but once I have digested today’s information I will be able to have a proper look at the catalogue online and see if there is anything more I need to check on my next visit, although it will probably be a good few months before I get back down to Winchester again.

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