My reading this week included an short but interesting article on English parish registers which led me to a useful resource on British records.
I started in the FamilySearch blog with an article by Diane Sagers “English Parish Records: How to Access, Use, and Interpret Them” who was reporting on a presentation by Paul Milner at the BYU FH Conference last summer.
This is a good summary and worth reading.
Two items jumped out of the page at me.
- The quote from Paul Milner “Always go to the original records when possible; don’t stop with indexes.” Very true – if you want amazing findings – usually well worth the effort.
- The paragraph “Many of these records can now be accessed online. “When searching records online, if a result says ‘no image’—it means no image is attached—not that no image is online. Check other sources, and you may find the image. For example, if a parish register image is not online, check by location in the bishop’s transcripts,” Milner said.
This starting me thinking about where online you can find parish registers. The big 4 came to mind: FamilySearch, FindMyPast, Ancestry and Scotlandspeople. Then I remembered the increasing number of Irish sites becoming available too (see recent articles in this blog).
Fortunately the article included a valuable suggestion that I was forgetting: DustyDocs “Links to Free websites in the British Isles containing Parish Records.” And yes this does mean the site includes resources for Wales, Scotland and Ireland. It also includes the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, and Australia and New Zealand!
After you select your country you are given a lot of interesting links to Searches by Surname and Guides. At first I tried to Search for a Town or Parish and put in some of my favourite parishes. This worked well.
My favourite way to use the site is to Select a County first – then I got some links at the county level before selecting a parish. I certainly found many things I didn’t know existed online.
Either way the site is full of interesting links and I hope you enjoy exploring it as much as I did!