Crisps Fragmenta Genealogica
What is Crisps Fragmenta Genealogica? That is exactly what I thought when I stumbled across a reference to it. So I put my genealogy problem solver hat on and took a look. Had you ever heard of it? A very quick look showed that it was something that should be more widely known, of course the fact it is online makes it even more useful to genealogists. I resolved to take a closer look when I had a moment, that moment or rather an hour or so arrived and here are my thoughts about it. There are 13 volumes in total all containing genealogical material. So who was the author of Crisps Fragmenta Genealogica?
Frederick Arthur Crisp (1851 – 1922)
Frederick Arthur Crisp was the eldest son of Frederick Augustus Crisp of Playford, Suffolk, and Sarah, daughter of John Steedman of Walworth (as genealogists we need to know his parentage!). He was a keen genealogist and author of many genealogical tomes which he printed on his own private press. His extensive genealogical library was of such important that it was auctioned at Sothebys after his death. Included in his publications were Visitations of England, Wales and Ireland, various parish registers and wills indexes. The Fragmenta Genealogica volumes were published between 1889 – 1909 and between 50 and 100 copies of each volume seem to have been printed. However modern reproductions can be purchased.
What does Crisps Fragmenta Genealogica contain?
The books are really a genealogical raffle. You may not find anything, but if you do it could be real treasure so well worth a look. It almost feels as if Mr Crisp transcribed what ever took his fancy as he searched through a vast amount of varied material. Perhaps he came across the documents whilst researching his own family? Some transcripts have been grouped into families and then on the next page is a listing of Rectors from a Suffolk parish. This is then followed by a transcript of a Leicestershire parish, a monumental inscription, a grant of arms and a will. There doesn’t seem to be any order to what was printed, but I suppose if you have your own press you can decide for yourself ! Having said that these volumes are not to be dismissed as unimportant as they contain plenty of material of use to a family historian. Luckily at the end of each volume there are separate name and place indexes so I suggest you search each volume by heading for the indexes first, but do indulge in a browse through as I am sure you will find them fascinating.
Contents of each volume.
- Volume 1 – Arms, Autographs, Deeds, Entries in Bibles, Grant of Arms, List of Rectors, Monumental Inscriptions, Pedigrees, Register of Extracts, Seals & Wills.
- Volume 2 -Arms, Autographs, Book Plates, Deeds, Entries in Bibles, Grant of Arms, Letter, Monumental Inscriptions, Pedigrees, Register of Extracts, Seals & Wills.
- Volume 3 – Autographs, Book Plates, Church Notes Norwich, Deeds, Entries in Bibles, Grant of Arms, Monumental Inscriptions.
- Volume 4 – Deeds, Entries in Bibles, Grant of Arms, Monumental Inscriptions, Wills & Administrations, Woodcuts of Arms and Autographs.
- Volume 5 – Church Notes, Deeds, Entries in Bibles, Grant of Arms, Pedigrees, Portraits, Wills, Woodcuts of Arms and Autographs.
- Volume 6 -Autographs, Church Notes, Deeds, Entries in Bibles, Grant of Arms, Portrait, Monumental Inscriptions.
- Volume 7 – Arms, Autographs, Deeds, Entries in Bibles, Grant of Arms, Letters, Monumental Inscriptions, Pedigrees, Register Extracts, Seals, Marriage Licences, Wills & Administrations.
- Volume 8 – Arms, Autographs, Deeds, Letters with Facsimiles, Monumental Inscriptions, Pedigrees, Portraits, Register Extracts, Seals, Wills.
- Volume 9 – Church Notes, Deeds, Illustrations.
- Volume 10 – Autographs, Deeds, Entries in Bibles, Grants of Arms, Illustrations, Letter, Pedigrees, Register Extracts, Wills.
- Volume 11 – Deeds, Marriages Settlements.
- Volume 12 – Entries in Bibles, Illustrations, Register Extracts, Wills & Administrations.
- Volume 13 – Entries in Bibles, Grant of Arms, Illustrations, Marriages Settlements, Miscellaneous, Monumental Inscriptions, Pedigrees, Register Extracts, Woodcuts of Arms, Autographs & Seals.
A Google search for Crisps Fragmenta Genealogica brings up quite a few websites, but I found the best site with a listing of all 13 volumes with links to where they can be found was at the Wikitree site. Click here to access the listing. Some of the links are for partial scans only, but I found that the Archive.org site had the full text. Archive.org has a number of digitised copies of each volume, but their listing I found confusing so I recommend that you go via the WikiTree site and then click through to the archive.org site.
Archive.org, which I will write about another day, has the facility of downloading the complete volumes in a variety of format including PDF and Kindle.
I spent far longer than I intended browse through these volumes, the contents are fascinating even if they aren’t of your families. I was lucky enough to find three references that I think/hope are about my ancestors, one of which was a signature. Do take a look at these volumes, all free and available online – that has to be a genealogy bargain!
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