Friday, 18 April 2014

A-Z Challenge 2014: P is for Parish Registers
You have traced your ancestors back using birth, marriage, and death certificates - which go back to 1837. 
You have followed them through the censuses - the ones useful to the genealogist are 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, and 1911 (bearing in mind any privacy rules).

So, where do you go next?  The answer is today's letter: P is for Parish Registers.  These were records of baptism, marriage, and burial.  There MIGHT (I repeat 'might') be birthdates in there.  There MIGHT be other tidbits of information in there.  But your main expectations should be the church rites: baptism, marriage, and burial.

You will (hopefully) have got an idea of which parish to look at from your earlier searches in the civil records and the censuses.  Now download a small freeware program called Parish Locator which will show you lists per county and parishes within a radius of another parish.  If you are fortunate enough to have relatives in Devon or Cornwall, there is a thriving OPC community (Online Parish Clerks, whose objective is to collect genealogical records and may have what you are seeking; a link to Devon is here, and Cornwall is here).  Or, if you are REALLY fortunate, you may have relatives in South Devon and can go here - the South Hams Resources pages, which contain transcriptions of many parish registers.  Happy hunting!

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A-Z Challenge 2014