Tuesday, August 19, 2008

FindMyPast.com Extends Online Parish Records Collection

nline access to millions of nationwide parish marriage records pre-dating the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths

UK family history website findmypast.com today announced it has added 3.2 million marriage records to its Parish Records Collection at http://www.findmypast.com/parish-records-collection-search-start.action?redef=0. The new parish records, dating back to 1538, join the 15 million burial records already available to search on the site.

The Parish Records Collection brings together in one easy-to-search central place the disparate records from local parishes, which have been collated by local family history societies since 1911, coordinated by the Federation of Family History Societies.

The registers are particularly valuable sources of information for people seeking to research their family tree back further than the civil records of birth, marriage and death, which began in 1837, and the nineteenth century censuses.

Easy to search

Thanks to the cross-database search facility at findmypast.com, you will be able to search for your ancestor by surname across all the parish records on the site without needing to know where in the country they came from, helping people to delve even deeper into their ancestors' pasts.

Famous people in the parish marriage records

Among the famous names recorded in the parish marriages is writer Charles John Huffam Dickens, whose marriage to Catherine Thomson Hogarth took place in Chelsea on 2 April 1836, just one year prior to civil registration in England and Wales.

In the same year, on 5 July, engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel's marriage to Mary Elizabeth Horsley is shown in Kensington.

Both records have been contributed by the West Middlesex Family History Society.

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at findmypast.com said: "The parish registers are an essential resource for anyone trying to trace their ancestors back to the early sixteenth century. By publishing these records online, findmypast.com is helping to open up new avenues of research for family historians worldwide from the comfort of their own home."

Over the coming months findmypast.com will be adding parish baptism records to the website too.

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