Exciting National Library of Ireland Project

imageIt has been a long held belief, with some substance, that researching family history in Ireland isn’t easy. I can tell you that it has got a whole lot easier in the last decade or so ! The newly announced project from the National Library of Ireland is an exciting addition to the online Irish genealogy data.

The project aims to digitise and place online – FREE – the Library’s collection of Catholic parish registers that are now available only on microfilm. The date for access for these records is Summer 2015 so not long to wait.

The earliest register dates from 1740 through to the 1880’s, the collection consists of 1,091  parish from throughout Ireland and are mainly baptisms and marriages with a few burial registers. So something to look forward to along with your summer holidays Smile


Shropshire Parish Records now online

I have just received this Press Release from our friends at FindMyPast………

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk has today, 26 April 2014, published online for the first time parish records held by the Shropshire Archives as the latest instalment of their 100 in 100 promise to launch 100 record sets in 100 days.

Spanning 1538 to 1900, the Shropshire Collection comprises approximately 2.1 million fully searchable transcripts and 155,000 scanned colour images of the parish registers. A selection of Anglican, Methodist and Non-Conformist registers from well over 200 Shropshire parishes from Abdon to Yockleton are included in the collection.

The records comprise –

Baptism 1537 – 1900
Banns 1760 – 1900
Marriages 1538 – 1900

1538 – 1900

Before English Genealogists get too excited I should point out that not all the 100 records sets in a 100 days cover the UK. So far there have been some American and Australian records as well as UK datasets. However it would be a very unusual family who didn’t have a few members who set sail for greener pastures and adventures!



Canterbury Archive Collection online

Just a couple of hours ago FindMyPast announced the launch online of the Canterbury Collection. This is a major addition to their offerings for Kent and is a significant archive to have as a partner.

What is the Canterbury Archive Collection?

The Canterbury Collection is housed in the Canterbury Cathedral Archives which at the present time is undergoing extensive building works and is closed until the autumn of Canterbury Cathedral Family History2012. The archive holds records relating to the cathedral and city of Canterbury, Kent, the parishes within the historic Archdeaconry of Canterbury, other local institutions and local family archives. A catalogue of their holdings is online at www.archives.canterbury-cathedral.org

FindMyPast and the Canterbury Archives announced their partnership earlier this year and it has meant that whilst the archives are closed the material is still available for research. Also, of course, it means that those who are unable to visit Canterbury can now have access to the documents. The documents released today are of the parish registers of the churches within the Archdeaconry, and is of scanned images not transcripts so it is as good as being at the archives. The images at the present time have not been indexed, but it is hoped that indexes will be available later this year.

What can you expect to find in the Canterbury Archive Collection?

A lesson on parish registers can be found at Mad About Genealogy’s sister site Teach Yourself Family History, this lesson explains what details the records will contain at what time period.

How to use the Canterbury Archive Collection.

The collection is available on www.findmypast.co.uk which is one of the major subscription website. The records will also be available at the Canterbury Cathedral Archives once they reopen in the autumn. It would be wise to phone the archives first to ascertain when the archives will be re-opened and to book a seat in the reading room as space is limited.

Old Books Genealogy

Because the images have not been indexed the “old” way of researching will have to be employed. The parish will need to be identified as the most likely place for the event to have occurred and the time period that it would have happened in. Then it is a case of reading through the register page by page. This won’t be as onerous as it sounds as the registers make fascinating reading.

The time period covered is 1538 – 2005, but of course this period will vary parish to parish depending on when the church was built and if the records have survived.

So if you have ancestors in Canterbury Archdeaconry of Kent then this collection certainly merits time spent researching.




Online Parish Clerk

What is Online Parish Clerk?

clip_image002[8]Online Parish Clerk was created in 2000 over a pint of beer in a pub in Cornwall by Michael McCormick, David Stick, and Paul Brewer. They envisaged a scheme whereby a person would take charge of a county and enlist volunteers who would adopt a parish and then proceed to transcribe any and all the documents that would be useful to family historians researching ancestors from that parish. The resulting transcripts and information would then be place online with each county having a separate website.

What is the coverage of Online Parish Clerk?

Not all counties are covered by Online Parish Clerk and the overall coordinators for the whole scheme are always looking for people to take on counties not yet covered. The counties that are covered are

Cornwall Cumberland Devon
Dorset Essex Hampshire
Lancashire Leicestershire  
Kent Somerset Sussex
Warwickshire Westmoreland Wiltshire


What can you find on Online Parish Clerk?

© Copyright ChurchCrawler and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

The list of items that have been indexed,  transcribed and place online is almost endless. Parish registers, Bishops Transcripts, Wills, Indexes, Bastardy Bonds, War Memorial lists, Monumental Inscriptions, and much more.

Taking the parish of All Cannings, Wiltshire, including the hamlet of Allington, as an example this is what is offered online

  • 3 x photographs of All Saints Church & Allington Bethal Strict Baptist Chapel
  • A list of Contiguous Parishes
  • A link to six external websites which have information on All Cannings
  • Three wills of parishioners of All Cannings
  • Knights Compositions 1628
  • Poll of Freeholder 1772
  • Bastardy Examinations 1865 – 1878
  • Casualties of WW1
  • Where the original parish registers are held and for what time period
  • Transcripts of Baptisms 1578 – 1680, 1689 – 1812
  • Marriages 1578 – 1685, 1700 – 1812
  • Banns 1755 – 1805
  • Burials 1578 – 1812
  • Notes from parish registers 1578 – 1848
  • Monumental Inscriptions from the Strict Baptist chapel

It can be seen that a wide range of records have been transcribed for this parish.

If your county and parish are covered by the online parish clerk scheme then I recommend that you take a look and see what is on offer.

For a more in-depth lesson on using the Online Parish Clerk go to the Madaboutgenealogy sister site at www.teachyourselffamilyhistory.com


More Plymouth & West Devon Records online


West Devon Parish Registers Family History



FindMyPast has added to their Devon Collection with the following records …

Brentor, St Simon and Buckland Monachorum Baptisms 1900 – 1999
Looe Street, Venners,Vintry, Shewell Congregational Church Burials 1626 – 1927

The Plymouth and West Devon collection is growing nicely and it is good to see some non-conformist records added as research into those who attended non C of E chapels and churches can be a little more difficult.

The original records are held by the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office.