TheGenealogist has launched over 1.3 million Parish Records for Northumberland

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

 

TheGenealogist has expanded its UK Parish Records collection with the release of over 1,363,000 new records for Northumberland.  These records make it easier to find your ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials in these fully searchable records that cover the ancient parishes of the northernmost county of England. Some of the records can take you as far back as 1560.

In this release you can find the records of:

903,314 individuals in Baptisms, 157,329 individuals in Marriages and 302,378 individuals in Burials

 

Use these records to find the names of ancestors, parents’ forenames (in the case of baptisms), father’s occupation (where given), abode or parish, parish that the event took place in, the date of the event, in the case of marriage records, the bride’s maiden name and the witnesses’ names.

In these records you can find Grace Horsley Darling, the famous lighthouse keeper’s daughter who saved the crew from a shipwrecked paddle steamer. She was born on 24th November 1815, at her grandfather’s cottage in Bamburgh in Northumberland and was baptised the following month.

Grace was the daughter of William and Thomasine Darling who, when only a few weeks old, was taken to live in a small cottage attached to the lighthouse on Brownsman Island, one of the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland.

Her father ran the lighthouse there and she is famed for participating in the rescue of survivors from the shipwrecked paddle steamer Forfarshire in 1838.

It was carrying sixty two people when it foundered on the rocks, split in two, the survivors managed to clamber onto Big Harcar a rocky island and were spotted by Grace looking from an upstairs window. She and her father rowed out in a four man boat for a distance of about a mile and between them rescued the nine survivors.

 

Search these and millions of other records on https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk

 

 

Compensation disclosure: Affiliate links are used in the above post.

Send to Kindle

More than 100,000 Parish Records and thousands of voter records released by TheGenealogist.co.uk

Disclosure: Please note this post contains affiliate links.

 

To coincide with the announcement of a UK general election in June, TheGenealogist has released over 100,000 Parish Records and thousands of voter records on its website.

The People’s Will, Voting by Ballot at a Parliamentary Election from TheGenealogist Image archive
The People’s Will, Voting by Ballot at a Parliamentary Election from TheGenealogist Image archive

 

In time for the snap general election, TheGenealogist is adding to its Polls and Electoral records by publishing online a new collection of Poll books ranging from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.

 

These new records released today offer a tantalising snapshot of our ancestors interaction with the Church and the State of the past.

 

  • Find the names of people and their ‘place of abode’ in the electoral registers
  • Discover the nature of their qualification to vote, such as possessing a Corn Warehouse, a Workshop, a House, or owning a Brewhouse
  • Some of the earliest records in this release reach as far back as 1209 when the king who was known as Johan sanz Terre (John Lackland) ruled the country
  • The Parish Records are one of the most useful of all resources for family historians as they can be used to find the baptism, marriage or death of an ancestor at a time before the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths

 

The records cover 35 different registers of people who were entitled to vote in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and other constituencies situated in Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and New Westminster in Canada. These have been added to our Poll and Electoral Roll collection covering millions of records.

Historical Register of Voters
Historical Register of Voters

At the same time TheGenealogist continues to expand its vast Parish Record collections with the addition of 100,000 new individuals added for the County of Worcestershire and additionally the Registers of the Parish Church of Rochdale in Lancashire that covers the period between 1642 and 1700.

 

Also being released at this time are some records that will take the researcher all the way back to ancient times!

 

The Roll of Mayors of the Borough and Lord Mayors of the City of Leicester records the names of men holding that office from between the 10th year of the reign of King John in 1209 and all through history to 1935.

Roll of Mayors of the Borough and Lord Mayors of the City of Leicester
The first Mayor listed in the Roll of Mayors of the Borough and Lord Mayors of the City of Leicester

The first Mayor listed in the Roll of Mayors of the Borough and Lord Mayors of the City of Leicester

 

The Worcestershire Parish Records were added through a partnership with Malvern FHS while the electoral records are taken from the official lists produced to record who was entitled to vote in the various parliamentary elections.

 

To search these and many other records on TheGenealogist, go to: www.thegenealogist.co.uk

 

Disclosure: Compensated affiliate links are used in this news item

 

Send to Kindle

Top Tips for beginning to use English or Welsh Parish Records

Please note: this post contains affiliate links.

Parish Records

 

If you’ve got English or Welsh ancestors, then I’d like to give you my three top tips for using parish records to find them. Perhaps you can’t find your ancestor in the parish records for the village or the town where all the rest of the family are recorded and so this is where you expected to find them also?

 

  1. Have you thought that people did move, even in the olden days? They would go where the jobs are; or maybe they stayed put, but had fallen out with the vicar and have simply found a church which is more appealing to them. So the first tip on my list is to check the surrounding churches.

 

How are you going to find the surrounding parishes whose records you want to investigate? You could turn to this fantastic book that’s called the Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers. It’s in its third edition, available from various booksellers and genealogy supplies. It has some fantastic maps which show you the different parishes in and around the area that you’re looking at.

The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers

2. Another way for you to check for the contiguous parishes to yours, that is the parishes surrounding, is to go over to maps.familysearch.org and then put in the parish or the county that you wish to search for. As an example I’ve decided to Centre on a parish called Ravenstone in the county of Leicestershire. By default it’s gone to give me the parishes within a five-mile radius and it lists them all down the left side. If I just highlight Huggleston and Donington or maybe these ancestors went to Coalville, Woodville, Heather  (spelt ‘Heather’ but it is pronounced Heether) and then there is Normanton le Heath.

maps.familysearch.org

So that is maps.familysearch.org and it covers the parishes for all of England and Wales.

 

3. My third tip is to use a website like TheGenealogist. Why am I using TheGenealogist? Well it has some very cunning little tools that allow you to search for the parents of somebody that is in the baptismal records.

TheGenealogist logo

Now here we’re looking for Mary Ann Evans in Chilvers Coton.

3-tips-to-find-english-and-welsh-ancestors-in-parish-records-mp4_000144713
Who is Mary on Evans? Well if you are literary minded then you might know George Eliot the English novelist, poet, journalists, and translator. She used a male pen name because it meant that her works will be taken more seriously.

Returning to TheGenealogist records, we have the parish records baptism here for Mary Ann and we’re going to click on the icon which gives us the detail that her father’s name is Robert Evans and that her mother’s name is Cristiana Evans. Well I’m going to use this useful  SmartSearch tool here that TheGenealogist have to discover: ‘The parents potential marriage’

3-tips-to-find-english-and-welsh-ancestors-in-parish-records-mp4_000180702_li

With a single click it returns to us the records for any Robert Evans marrying a Christiana and in this case we discover that they didn’t get married in Chilvers Coton, where Mary Ann Evans was baptised. They got married in Astley, Saint Mary the Virgin – which actually is about nine miles down the road. So, there you are, a very very useful facility on this website TheGenealogist.

So if you’d like to find out more about how to tease out your elusive English or Welsh ancestors then take a look at

www.FamilyHistoryResearcher.com


 

Send to Kindle

Nuneaton & North Warwickshire FHS Parish Records released on TheGenealogist

 

This Press Announcement came from the team at TheGenealogist:

 

TheGenealogist logo

 

TheGenealogist adds to its growing collection of Parish Records with the release of those for Nuneaton & North Warwickshire.

  • Released in partnership with the Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Family History Society there are over 454,000 new fully searchable records of individuals
  • Allowing the researcher to discover more than 300,000 people recorded within the baptisms from this area in the heart of England
  • Family historians can also discover the details of over 90,000 individuals from marriages and nearly 60,0000 people listed in the burials of Nuneaton & North Warwickshire

 

Nuneaton & North Warwickshire FHS worked with TheGenealogist to publish their records online for the first time, making 454,525 individuals from baptism, marriage and burial records fully searchable.

 

“The officers of Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Family History Society are delighted to be working with The Genealogist to bring their collection of baptism, marriage and burial transcriptions for north Warwickshire online…” John Parton (Chairman)

With some of the surviving records reaching back into the 1700s this is an excellent resource for family historians to use for discovering Nuneaton & North Warwickshire ancestors.

The records are also available on TheGenealogist’s Society website FHS-Online.co.uk where societies get 100% of the income.

This new initiative will provide for those researchers preferring online access, while allowing us to continue offering the data on CD.  NNWFHS members have opportunity to take out an enhanced subscription which includes access to the data.” John Parton (Chairman)

This is an ongoing project with the society working on transcribing many more records.

 

“We’re delighted to welcome NNWFHS to both TheGenealogist and FHS-Online. This release adds to the growing collection of parish records on both websites. These partnerships help societies boost their funds whilst bringing their records to a much wider audience, through online publication.” Mark Bayley (Head of Online Development)

 

If your society is interested in publishing records online, please contact Mark Bayley on 01722 717002 or see fhs-online.co.uk/about.php

 

All in one search for family history

 

Examples from Nuneaton & North Warwickshire Parish records

In these records can be found the famous novelist, poet, journalist and translator George Eliot, under her real name of Mary Anne Evans. She was born in Nuneaton and baptised at Chilvers Coton All Saints church in 1819 – she used the pen name of George Eliot in order to be taken more seriously as a writer.

 

For the settings of the stories, Mary drew on her Warwickshire childhood. Chilvers Coton became Shepperton. Shepperton Church is described in great detail in The Sad Fortunes of the Reverend Amos Barton, and is recognisably that of Chilvers Coton.

Nuneaton Chilvers Coton Church

Also to be found in these records are members of her family that she used as inspiration for some of her characters. For example the record for her sister Christiana Evans, baptised in 1814, contains a relevant note by the society that reveals: Sister of George Eliot. Christiana, ‘Chrissie’ as she was known to her family, was the original of: “Celia” in ‘Middlemarch’ & “Lucy Deane” in ‘The Mill on the Floss’.

 

If we search for Mary Anne’s brother, Isaac Pearson Evans who was born in 1816, there is a note which tells us that he was the brother of George Eliot and that he was the basis of Tom Tulliver in “The Mill on the Floss”.

 

Another person to be found in these records is a Henry Harper, born 1830, whose mother Anne has the note: Anne Harper – daughter of Rev. Bernard Gilpin and Mrs Ebdell (“Mr Gilfil” and “Caterina”) and was the son of “Mr Farquhar – the secondary squire of the parish” in “Scenes of Clerical Life” by George Eliot.

 

Additionally there is Isabell Adolphine Gwyther born in 1834 and Edward James Wilson Gwyther born in 1837, who share a mention that reveals: The Rev J Gwyther was Curate of Coton. He and his wife were the originals of “Amos & Milly Barton” in ‘Scenes of Clerical Life’ by George Eliot, “Milly Barton” was the mother of six young children.

 

Using these records you would also be able to find the death in 1836 of Christiana Evans, the writer’s mother.

Check out the parish records on TheGenealogist

Send to Kindle

Introduction to the Parish Records of England and Wales

Family History Researcher English/Welsh course

Parish Records

I was trying to explain, over the phone to a friend this weekend, what parish records were.

My friend’s understanding of family history was more or less at the beginners stage and so I found myself explaining how the parish is the smallest local administrative area in England and Wales even today.

In modern times a parish council looks after a civil parish that can range in size from a large town with a population of around 80,000 to a single village with fewer than a hundred inhabitants and is not connected to the church parish at all.

As confusion between this civil administration and the church parish had, by now, crept into our conversation I had to point there was a difference. The modern parish council was distinct from a parochial church council, which is the executive committee of a Church of England parish. This parochial church council had come out of the old parish vestry committee, which it had replaced in 1921.

Having got those two clear in his mind I then muddied the waters when I explained that this hasn’t always been the case and that at one time the church parish was also the arm of local government!

It is believed that parishes have been in existence from Saxon times (9th century) when they grew up around the Minsters.

For family historians the three most important records, at a parish level, are normally referred to collectively as the Parish Registers. They contain the names of our ancestors’ Baptismal records, Marriage records and their Burials. In England and Wales the parish register system, administered by the Church of England, had been in operation since 1538 and the reign of Henry VIII.

Nelson's birth in Church Register

Older registers will have been written in Latin and so we may need to be able to translate that language. There are various tools on the internet that may help, not the least of which is Google’s translation tool.

Even those later records, which are written in English, can vary tremendously in their readability and the amount, or lack of, information that they provide.

Sadly for family historians, many older parish records have not survived through time and so we cant expect to find full records for each parish that we are researching back to 1538.

With that proviso in place – a surprising number of parish records have endured.

Once a parish register is full it will normally find its way to be housed at the local Diocesan Office (often the County Record Office, but beware when a diocese covers more than one county). To avoid too much wear and tear, on these valuable old books, most have been microfilmed and can be viewed in the record office on microfilm readers and some have made it online at the large subscription sites.

If you want to learn more then I explain more about parish records in a lesson within the Family History Researcher course.

Many people will be aware of the Parish Registers and how useful they are, but not so many of us would be able to name all of the lesser used Parish records that would have found a place within the parish chest in our ancient parish churches.

Here are some other records that could be in the parish chest records for your ancestor’s parish and which I regaled my friend with in our telephone call:

  • The Churchwardens Accounts

  • Glebe Terriers and Tithe Records

  • Charity Accounts (possibly not of a great deal of use to family historians!)

  • Vestry Minutes

  • Petty Constables Accounts

  • Rate Books

  • Various other miscellaneous records

I had to stress to my friend that it is by no means certain that these documents will have survived the ravages of time, but that if they have then the originals should now be stored away safely at the relevant County Record Office for the church in question.

Cheekily, I suggested that he take out a subscription to my 52 weekly tutorial Family History Researcher Course to learn more – especially as he could have the first month for £1 (normal monthly subscription is £9.95 thereafter for the next 11 months. Cancel at any time, no questions asked and no hoops to jump through).

To pay in sterling: http://www.familyhistoryresearcher.com/trialoffer/

FamilyHistoryResearcher.com

I think he thought this was me offering “mates rates”, but actually it is my current offer to everyone. If you wish to pay in US dollars then I am currently offering a $1 trail for a month, consisting of four lessons, and then $14 a month for as long as you wish to remain, or until I’ve sent you lesson 52 which ever is the sooner.

To pay in U.S. Dollars: http://www.familyhistoryresearcher.com/specialoffer/

FamilyHistoryResearcher.com

.

Send to Kindle

Happy St David’s Day to my Welsh friends

 

Welsh Flag

 

A Happy St David’s day to all my Welsh friends and readers of this blog.

While many of the records for doing Welsh family history are the same as those for neighbouring England, there are some differences when it comes to researching in Wales, or Cymru as it is known in its own language.

For those of us used to finding our family records in the County Record Offices in England will discover that much is the same in Wales. Researchers will find that records of registration of births, deaths and marriages are exactly the same in Wales as in England, and that the Registrar General’s indexes cover both England and Wales.

The census is the same, except for an extra question from 1891 when all those aged 3 and over were asked whether they spoke English only, Welsh only, or both languages.

Anglican parish records are the same as those for England, and are kept in local authority archives in the same way.

Some of the differences, however, that can cause us to stumble are Common names, the favouring of Patronymics, the Welsh language, and that many families were not members of the Established Church.

Nonconformity, being more important in Wales than in some parts of England, may mean that you find that your ancestors didn’t go to the local parish church. In many chapels the language used was Welsh, and some of the records may also be in Welsh.

Because the country has its own language English speakers may find the place names to be unfamiliar to them.

Another difference, from the English system, is that in England the County Record Offices are (in most cases) the diocesan record offices and therefore hold all the records of the diocese, such as Wills, bishop’s transcripts and marriage bonds and licences, as well as parish records. In Wales, the National Library of Wales is the diocesan record office for the whole of Wales, and therefore holds all the bishop’s transcripts, marriage bonds and licences, and Wills proved in Welsh church courts.

The National Library of Wales or Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru is very important for our research as it acts as the main repository for family history research in Wales holding a vast number of records useful to the family historian – census returns, probate records, nonconformist records and tithe maps, to name but a few, will help at some point during research.

Learn more about English and Welsh family history resources to use to find elusive ancestors with the Family History Researcher Course,

————————

 

 

Learn more about English and Welsh family history resources which can be used to find your elusive ancestors with the Family History Researcher Course,

CLICK the image below:

Family History Researcher English/Welsh course

 

Send to Kindle

Hearth Tax Records from 1662 identify a family

HearthI have been looking into the English family tree for a client that lives on the other side of the world recently.

It was easy, using the census and BMDs to quickly trace the family line back from Surrey and the South London area in the 1960s to Shoreham in Kent around the middle of the 18th Century. There then followed a nice trail, in the parish church registers, of one generation after the next being baptised following obvious marriages of the parents. Suddenly, however, I lost the connection as one set of parents seemed not to have conveniently married in St Peter and St Paul, Shoreham.

As it happened I had noticed that the Hearth Tax Online website http://www.hearthtax.org.uk/ had published a 1664 Kent Hearth Tax list and with one click I was able to see the return of names for the various parishes of the county.

Scrolling to Shoreham I found one incidence of the client’s family surname and so we can suppose that if we could trace his line back that this is where it would point to.

While this Hearth Tax payer in Shoreham may have been an ancestor, I can not advise my client that this is definitely so. What I have told him is that his family may well have been living in this village at the time that Charles II’s government hit on the idea of taxing his citizens at 2 shilling a hearth in the late 17th century. It helps us see where the tree is possibly pointing as we do more research in the primary records.

Hearth Tax Online

The hearth tax was a type of property tax on the dwellings of the land payable according to the number of fireplaces the occupiers had. The 1662 Act introducing the tax stated that ‘every dwelling and other House and Edifice …shall be chargeable ….for every firehearth and stove….the sum of twoe shillings by the yeare’. The money was to be paid in two equal instalments at Michaelmas (the 29th September) and Lady Day (25th March) by the occupier or, if the house was empty, by the owner according to a list compiled on a county basis and certified by the justices at their quarterly meetings. These quarterly meetings conducted within each county were known as the Quarter Sessions. The lists of householders were an essential part of the administration so that the returns of the tax could be vetted and for two periods 1662-6 and 1669-74, one copy of the relevant list was returned to the Exchequer and another was held locally by the clerk of the peace who administered the Quarter Sessions.

Taken from the Hearth Tax Online website http://www.hearthtax.org.uk/ 

 

Learn more about resources you can use to find elusive ancestors with the Family History Researcher Course:

 

Learn more about English and Welsh family history resources which can be used to find your elusive ancestors with the Family History Researcher Course,

CLICK the image below:

Family History Researcher English/Welsh course

 

Send to Kindle

English Occupations: Finding More About Your Ancestor

A contact asked me about occupations recently and so I found them this really helpful article by professional genealogist Rosamunde Bott. I am sharing it here for everyone to read.

tracing ancestors in the uk

English Occupations: Finding More About Your Ancestor
By Rosamunde Bott

Whilst rooting around in your family history, you will learn what your ancestors did for a living – at least as far back to the early 1800s. This is often one of the most fascinating aspects of discovering who your ancestors were. Whether they were a lowly agricultural labourer, or a highly respected surgeon or magistrate, the curious and wide range of English occupations can lead you to further knowledge of how they lived their lives on a day to day basis. For some people it can be exciting to discover that a creative gene, such as writing or painting has made its way down to the present.

Much of this information can be found on the census, at least back to 1841, and sometimes beyond depending on the availability of records. Some earlier parish records did mention a man’s occupation, and other records, such as directories, wills, property deeds and tax records can also give occupational details.

Many of you will have come across occupations that are now obsolete, and will often need further explanation. What, for example, is a night soil man? Or a calenderer? Or a fag ender?

The first of these might have been found in any large town or city, emptying dry toilets in the days before plumbing. Not a job I would like to imagine any of my ancestors doing – but fascinating nonetheless.

The other two are connected to the textile industry, and will usually be found in those industrial areas where cotton was being produced – for example, Manchester. A calenderer was just a generic term for a textile industry worker. A fag ender was someone employed to trim off loose bits of cloth known as fags.

If you trawl through the census records for specific areas, you will of course find a wealth of occupations connected to that area’s industry. Sticking with Manchester for the moment, you will find many jobs associated with the cotton industry, and among the weavers, winders, packers and piecers you might also come across Fustian cutters (cloth workers who trim corded cloth), beamers (people who handle materials before weaving), billiers, billy roller operations or billymen (all terms for cotton spinners) or even an impleachers (cloth weavers).

When you find that an ancestor’s origins are in a particular area, it is worth while finding out about the major industries there, because this will no doubt have had some effect on your ancestor’s life, even if he (or she) was not directly involved in it.

For example, shoemakers are known everywhere – but a shoemaker working in Manchester would probably have had a different experience to a shoemaker who worked in a more rural area, or on the coast. Is he making shoes for factory workers, agricultural labourers, fishermen or for the well-to-do?

If your ancestor moved around, it was very likely it was to find work. Undertaking a bit of historical research on the local industries can give you a good indication of why your ancestor moved from one town to another. My own great-great grandfather started out as a bricklayer in Newcastle-under-Lyme, and moved to Birmingham where he became a builder and employer. You only need to find out about the building boom going on in Birmingham in the mid-19th century to work out why he made the choice to move!

Some occupations can lead you to finding further documentation. For example, workers in skilled trades may well have started out as an apprentice, and you may find the apprenticeship records at the local record office. These can give you further details about his origins and parentage.

If your ancestor worked for a big company, it may be worth finding out whether there are staff records in existence. If the company still exists, they may even keep their own set of archives.

Not only are occupations interesting in themselves – they can lead you to find out further information, whether it is more family records, or information about how your ancestor lived, and under what conditions. Much information about trades and occupations can be found on the internet, and there are many books about various trades and industries. The Society of Genealogists publishes a range of books entitled “My Ancestor was….”

Old English occupations are varied and wide-ranging, and they can tell you much about your ancestor. Make sure you always follow up this line of enquiry and find out as much as possible about what he (or she) did for a living.

Ros is a professional genealogist and runs a UK ancestry tracing service for UK and international researchers who need help with their UK ancestry. Ros offers a one-stop-shop tracing service for all UK ancestors, or record look-ups in Warwickshire and Birmingham. Find out more at Tracing Your Ancestors

Article Source:  English Occupations: Finding More About Your Ancestor

As a professional genealogist Ros has contributed some material to the Family History Researcher Course.

Sign up now and get a FREE month’s trial!

Report3 Free 1 Month v1

Send to Kindle

Murderous Madam and the Policeman

George Le Cronier's Memorial, Green Street, St.Helier.

I’ve been having a look at the S&N newsletter, that popped into my email box at the end of the week.

What caught my eye was a fascinating Victorian murder story that took place in the St Helier streets quite local to where I live. I’ve come across it before in the book The Policeman and the Brothel by Theodore Dalrymple, but this is the first time that I’ve seen it written from the family history records point of view!

It was fascinating to see the Illustrated London News report from March 7th 1846; the census records, with the tell tale blanks for the occupations of the young  prostitutes, and the criminal records showing the killer was transported for life to Van Diemens land. Also to be seen is the huge monument for the murdered policeman in Green Street cemetery, a picture of which can be searched for in TheGenealogist’s growing Volunteer Headstone Database that now includes many Jersey burials.

 

The newsletter isn’t just about this story. They begin with a look at what will be coming online from their group throughout 2015:

Parish Records, detailed County and Tithe Maps, millions of new Medals Records, more Grave Memorials from the Volunteer Headstone Project, records of Railway Workers from Pensions to Staff Movements, Jewish records, detailed Street Maps, Passenger Lists, Emigration Records and more War Memorials are all going online at TheGenealogist this year.

And then we hear that this month they’ve released more War Memorials, Parish Records and have now added the 1911 census for all Starter and Gold Subscribers! You can make the most of this with £30 cash back on an Annual Gold Subscription, making it just £48.95 for the first year!

There’s no better way, they suggest, to start the new year than with some special offers – you can claim £50 cashback on a Diamond Subscription to TheGenealogist, and save £££s in their New Year Sale over at S&N Genealogy Supplies. The news letter also takes a look at 2014 in a review.

Finally, there is that interesting article I’ve already drawn you attention to above about Ancestors that fell foul of the law. As the S&N team write in the email, these are always fascinating subjects for family history research and I would say none more than a Victorian murder story of a notorious Madam who escaped the hangman’s noose!

 

The Genealogist - UK census, BMDs and more online

Send to Kindle