Sunday, January 01, 2012

The moving target - parish registers

[For background to The Moving Target series of posts, see the story so far]

I've always found parish registers fascinating - they're an interesting read, irrespective of the individual families involved.

Wing's parish registers for the period 1546 to 1812 were transcribed in the early 1900s by local historian A. Vere Woodman and published by the Bucks Parish Register Society in 1914. I have a copy of this, and so far I have found them to be pretty reliable. Doing my own transcription of this period, particularly the earlier, more unreadable years (which likely would have been in better condition when Woodman looked at them a century or so back) would be nice but wouldn't advance the one-place study much. This means my focus should be on the 1813+ period.

I've already transcribed the burials register up until 1909, the latest date that has been filmed by the LDS and thus the latest date accessible to me in NZ. I won't be able to progress this until any subsequent images are available.

The marriages are the key area which does feel like it is currently a bit of a gap in the study. It would be nice to do these consecutively from 1813, but the extra information provided on marriage entries from 1837 makes that later period much more valuable in establishing family lines. The marriages to 1881 have been extracted in the IGI but this doesn't contain all the information recorded, and if it's anything like the baptisms there may well be omissions.

Speaking of baptisms, I have already covered off the 1813 to 1870 period. It would be lovely to extend this up to at least 1911 in the first instance, but I don't think this would add quite as much as the marriages would.

I'd worked out  the number of entries involved in each register on previous times that I have ordered the various films. It looks like the marriages average out about 10 a year, less than I had expected - and while each one takes a while to transcribe, the good thing is that I can just complete and upload individual years if I wanted to, rather than completing the whole register. So I think I will go ahead and order in the LDS film of the marriages starting in 1837 and see how I go.


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