London Family Tree? Westminster Parish Records Go Online.

WESTMINSTER PARISH RECORDS PUBLISHED ONLINE BY FINDMYPAST.CO.UK

.       Over a million baptism, marriage and burial records that date back as far as 1538 are now available
.       For the first time you are able to see images of the original parish records from the City of Westminster online

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk has published online for the very first time today 27th March 2012 the parish records that are held by the City of Westminster Archives Centre.  What they have dubbed “The Westminster Collection” is to be found on the net at findmypast.co.uk and comprises of fully searchable transcripts together with scanned images of the parish registers of this part of London. What is great for people searching for their ancestors in this area is that some of the records are over 400 years old!

Coming from over 50 of the churches from Westminster and including St Anne, Soho, St Clement Danes, St George Hanover Square, St James Westminster, St Margaret Westminster, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St Mary-le-Strand, St Paul Covent Garden, these 1,365,731 records, that are launched today, extend over the various years between 1538-1945.

Debra Chatfield, the family historian at findmypast.co.uk, said today: “The Westminster Collection is one of the largest regional parish record collections we have ever published online and contains some truly wonderful gems. Family historians, wherever they are in the world, can now search this historical goldmine and uncover the fascinating stories of their London ancestors.”

Today’s launch is only the beginning of this exciting project, whose aim is to digitally preserve the City of Westminster Archives Centre’s collection. It is the first tranche of  Westminster records containing the city’s baptisms, marriages and burials. The remaining records are scheduled to go live on the site over the coming months, along with other records such as cemetery registers, wills, rate books, settlement examinations, workhouse admission and discharge books, bastardy, orphan and apprentice records, charity documents, and militia and watch records.

Adrian Autton, Archives Manager at Westminster Archives commented: “The launch of the Westminster Collection is of huge significance making Westminster records fully accessible to a global audience. This resource will be of immense value to anyone whose ancestors lived in Westminster and to anyone wishing to study the rich heritage of this truly great city.”

If you are interested in this part of London then the records can be searched free of charge by visiting the Life Events (BMDs) section at findmypast.co.uk. From there you should select parish baptisms, or marriages, or burials. Transcripts and images can then be viewed with either PayAsYouGo credits, vouchers or a full subscription to findmypast.co.uk.

The new Westminster Collection at findmypast.co.uk joins a growing resource of official parish records from local archives, including Cheshire Archives & Local Studies, Manchester City Council and Plymouth and West Devon Records Office, with many more in the pipeline and due to go live in the coming months. In addition over 40 million parish records from family history societies can be found at findmypast.co.uk in partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies.



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Medieval Genealogy Difficulties

If we are to go back before the start of Parish Records being kept, in England that would be the year 1538, then no official records will have been complied on who was born, married or died in the country. It may have been the case that the priest in charge of a parish kept notes of what was happening in his church, but there was no official or standard form that they would have been kept in.

Records for the landowning members of society are much more likely to have been compiled than for the poorer classes of England. That said, however, records of people from the time do exist in the form of documents complied for other purposes rather than to detail the life events of a particular person.

Many of the records that have survived were produced for the Exchequer, Chancery and the law courts, or they relate to the land laws of the country.

A problem, for us in the twenty first century looking back, is that these records from medieval time are most often written in Latin and an abbreviated form at that.  English began to be used from the late fifteenth century in more informal documents, but even so we are then faced with the old handwriting of the era and so it is not such an easy task.

The National Archives website has some useful tools in the form of online in-depth learning guides. These can also help you learn basic Latin skills useful for tackling the documents that you may come across. See the Beginners’ Latin and Palaeography guides.

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MyHeritage.com Releases Innovative Technologies for Presenting Family Memories

Members of the family network can now enjoy an interactive Timeline and a digital Timebook created automatically from their family photos, videos and family tree content.
London, UK and Tel-Aviv, Israel (PRWEB) April 23, 2010 — MyHeritage.com, the company that connects families with their past and to one another, now offers two new technologies for families to celebrate their history.
The product innovations released today include an interactive Timeline and a unique digital photo album called Timebook. Both the MyHeritage.com Timeline and Timebook visually compile the entirety of any user’s family history chronologically, including life events, photos, videos and documents, and are generated automatically in a single click. MyHeritage.com users have collectively uploaded millions of family trees and media items, which can now be contextualized into these attractive Timelines and Timebooks, offering new insights for families as they trace their historical roots and connect online.

To read more see this link:

MyHeritage.com Releases Innovative Technologies for Presenting Family Memories

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