I love it when new records are added to the Internet as it means there is a good reason to go back and search again for those ancestors of ours that have previously remained illusive.
Well TheGenealogist have just gone and added over one million parish records for Essex, Worcestershire, Lancashire and Devon from the 1500s to the early 1800s, covering baptisms, marriages and burials. These records add to the already extensive range of parish records available on their website.
These four counties are part ofÂ some ongoing projects on TheGenealogist so keep an eye out for further releases in the near future!
Mark Bayley, Head of Development at TheGenealogist comments:
“We are committed to continually adding new records to the website. The last 12 months have seen us add over 285 million records. The demand for parish records and other early pre-1837 information is great and we are aiming to meet this demand with more such releases over the next year.”
Disclosure: The Links in the above are Compensated Affiliate links. If you click on them then I may be rewarded by The Genealogist.co.uk should you sign up for their subscriptions.
Most people will have at least some research to do which involves vital records â€“ births, marriages and deaths. As in England, there are two categories of records. There are those kept by the state authorities â€“ which record birth, marriage and death â€“ and there are those kept by churches and record baptism, marriage andÂ burial. Jersey began civil registration in August 1842, but in this blog weâ€™ll be looking at the parish records.
Parish records are available at the Jersey Archive. You wonâ€™t get to see the original registers, but instead there are copy transcripts made by the CIFHS. These go back to at least the late 17th century, and in some cases right back to the middle of the 16th century. Most of the transcripts end at 1842, but there are some more recent records available for the parishes of St Helier, St Martin and St John.
A typical entry in the baptism register might look like this:
17.02.1833 Mary fille de M. Philippe Du Feu et Mse. Elizabeth Amy
Notice the way that record is made. First of all, itâ€™s in French – Jersey was very largely French- or Jerriais-speaking until the middle of the 19th century, and a lot of legal records long after that were kept in French.
More importantly, you will spot the fact that the motherâ€™s maiden name is used. There were good reasons for this. In most parishes there were a relatively small number of surnames and forenames: as we observed last time there might beÂ several Philippe Du Feus living in one parish at the same time, and this helped to clarify who was who.
There are a couple of potential pitfalls to watch out for. Firstly, people were not always consistent about how they spelled their names â€“ but the CIFHS transcripts usually gather the different spellings (for example Romerill, Romerill, Romrill, Rumerill) under a single heading. Secondly, it is always worth carrying out a check both of the married and the maiden name if the person you are looking for is female.
If your ancestor wasnâ€™t a member of the Church of England, you might be less fortunate. There are records from two of the big Roman Catholic churches in St Helier (there were two because one was French-speaking and one was English-speaking), and there are a few records from non-conformist churches, but they are rather patchy.