Monday, October 15, 2012

Amanuensis Monday - Parish Records - English Style

First let me say sorry for being absent for the past bit and not posting on this our beloved blog. Life gets in the way of things we love doing and so it has been. Andrea has kicked me in the can, so to speak and we are back in swing and hopefully posting at a more regular interval!

Second WE HAVE A NEW WEBSITE!!! LOCATED HERE... Love love love it! I won't talk too badly of our last website hosting place other than to say we had two varying opinions on what "professional" should look like, so we chose another and have been feverishly building a new one for ourselves and our clients, so ENJOY! We believe the new hosting will bring our clients closer to realizing our potential as Genealogists and gives us a greater web presence! Genealogy services, Native American Research, English Research, Headstone Photography.

OK!! Parish Records! WOW, there is a lot to talk about in this area. A few things records are so vitally important in this thing we do called Genealogy studies, without them we wouldn't be able to honestly trace back with proof our ancestors and things about them. Another thing is that prior to 1733 unless you can now read Latin or old Latin, you won't be able to actually use the document itself unless it has been transcribed. That is a whole other blog, hundreds and hundreds of years of records for each continent and the millions of people who have walked this earth...what. a. task!

Ok, back to records, in the early 1500's the old King, Henry the 8th, set out to rule that Priests record Marriages, Baptisms, burials for each of their communities. Some were astute at keeping weekly records of these events and turned them in as stated. Others were not so astute in keeping tidy records and either didn't do them on a consistent basis or as some records show, only recorded partial records.

Let me point something out here in regards to these records, you will note that it says Baptisms and Burials. Sometimes children weren't baptized straight away, sometimes even as far out as a year or two, so if you are looking for birth records and cannot find them, be aware that if the Parish record has a date, it doesn't hold as a true "birth date" of a child. The other thing is burial dates, again these are recorded as actual dates the person was commissioned to their resting place. Depending on the time, the traditions a person might have died days, a week before this actually burial record time. So again, a cautionary tale on using and looking for exact dates with these types of records. Marriages you get an exact date, what you lack here are again depending on the year, the brides maiden name, her parents names, and the area in which they lived when they were joined in marriage.

Over the years, changing of Kings, rules and regulations information that was very lacking early on had increased over the years and a wealth of knowledge can be gleaned from them. The English civil war lost many records and also resulted in very poorly kept records. Then there are the times when the Church of England took rule and the churches deemed Non-Conformists kept strict records of their parishioners but those papers were kept hidden for fear of persecution.

There are a few places you can locate free records... but for the most part, like here in the states, these records and their transcriptions are generally on paid subscription sites.

Here you can access 'official' records

I have included some examples of Parish Registers so that you can see the differences in styles and how information had changed over the years. The hardest thing is translating Old English or even Latin and the fact that thousands and thousands of records are sitting waiting to be scanned or they are lost. So here is to your hunting and if you need assistance, contact us!!!

HAPPY Hunting
~Alisha and Andrea

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1 comment:

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