Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fully searchable marriage records now online at findmypast.co.uk

The following is from FindMyPast.com.

o   95 million fully searchable wedding records from 1837 – 2005
o   Eileen Dover, Holly Oakes and Mary Christmas all found in the records
o   The real Romeo and Juliet married in 1971

Have you ever met a Mary Christmas, Moana Lott or Anita Bath? Many may see these names as amusing but some women who have met the man of their dreams have taken their partner’s name, becoming the Butt of many jokes. Findmypast.co.uk, a leading UK family history website, has launched an easier way to search the marriages of English and Welsh ancestors online. Over 95 million wedding records from 1837 to 2005 have been made fully searchable making it easier to find the exact record you’re looking for.

It’s all in a name
The new fully searchable records have thrown up some interesting finds, proving that when taking a partner ‘for better or worse’; an embarrassing married name doesn’t put everyone off…
A selection of the married names found:
  • Holly Oakes
  • Eileen Dover
  • Hazel Nut
  • Queenie King
  • Mona Lott
  • Jean Pool
  • Joy Rider
  • Lily Pond
  • Anita Bath
  • Candy Barr
  • Kerry Oakey

Findmypast.co.uk has introduced the revolutionary MarriageMatchTM, meaning the end of mystery marriages and endless searching of the records. It will find all the possible matches within the records even if only one name is known. Alternatively, if the first or last name of the spouse is known you get an even more accurate list of possible spouse matches.

Keeping up with the Mary Christmases
It seems that a large number of Marys have continued the Christmas theme with their name and married someone with the festive surname, Christmas. There are over 50 Mary Christmases in the records and the earliest recorded Mary Christmas married in 1837 losing the maiden name of Cannon in Alton, Hampshire.

Where for art thou…
Findmypast.co.uk has discovered a pair of real star-crossed lovers in the marriage records as, in 1971, a ‘Romeo’ married a ‘Juliet’ in Lambeth, London. The family history website has also found the marriage records of Oscar Fingal Wilde to Constance Lloyd in Kensington, London in 1884, Jude Law to Sadie Frost in Westminster, London in 1997 and Kate Winslet to Jim Threapleton, in Reading, Berkshire in 1998.

With this record I thee wed.
Findmypast.co.uk has discovered that the most popular county to be wed in is Lancashire, with 11.66 million records listed between 1837 and 2005, closely followed by London with 11.62 million.

The five most popular towns to be married in were:

Registration District
Number of records
Birmingham, Warwickshire
Manchester, Lancashire
Sheffield,  Yorkshire
Leeds, Yorkshire
Bristol, Somerset

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at findmypast.co.uk, said, “As the first company to publish birth, marriage and death records online, findmypast.co.uk has always been committed to making family history research more accessible. This brand new way of searching the marriage records is a major breakthrough in family history enabling people to find their ancestors’ marriages more quickly and easily than ever before by using our revolutionary new tool MarriageMatchTMThanks to initiatives like this, family history is more popular than ever and we hope that we can help even more people to start uncovering their family’s past.”

The sophisticated new search facility will match up your ancestors' records, providing you in many cases with one definite marriage match, or a list of up to four most likely possible matches, saving you time and money.

The launch of these records is part of a year long project that will see findmypast.co.uk digitise over a quarter of a billion records. The reindexed birth records were launched in July 2010 and the death records will follow early in 2011.

The records
Findmypast.co.uk is the only place you can search the 1837-2005 marriage records all in one place. The online family history website has reimaged and transcribed the full collection, allowing researchers to search directly for their ancestors, making it much quicker and easier than before to find one person.

Findmypast.co.uk was the first company in the world to put the complete Birth, Marriage and Death indexes (BMDs) for England and Wales online on 1 April 2003. Previously these were only available offline on microfiche or in registry books, at a selected number of locations. This landmark achievement was recognised in 2007, when findmypast.co.uk won the Queen’s Award for Innovation.

For more information log on to www.findmypast.co.uk 

The marriage records can be searched for free for two weeks by going to:  

Using the reindexed wedding records
Findmypast.co.uk has developed the easiest and fastest marriage search anywhere online. We have created MarriageMatchTM: a highly intelligent search facility which enables you to find a marriage by searching just once, not twice.

One search per marriage
Previously you had to search for both spouses separately and match them up yourself as the records were not name-indexed. Now, not only can you perform just one search, MarriageMatchTM will actually match up your ancestors' records, providing you with one definite marriage match, or a list of possible matches.

When you receive a definite spouse match, we will also provide you with the volume number and page number for both spouses' records. These are essential when ordering marriage certificates, so this will save you time.

Search across all years
Findmypast.co.uk is the only place you can search the 1837-2005 marriage records all in one go. This means you will no longer need to enter a quarter and date range. To be able to search all years simultaneously is a major breakthrough in marriage searching, especially in cases when the marriage occurred earlier or later than you expected it to. Our vastly improved search will save you so much time and effort.

Solve your marriage mysteries
MarriageMatchTM also means the end of mystery marriages. If you only know one partner's name, search for their details and MarriageMatchTM will find all the possible matches. You can then view a record to check it is your ancestor. Alternatively, if you know the first or last name of the spouse, enter this information in your search to get an even more accurate list of spouse matches.

Gender recognition
Our intelligent search also identifies genders. In a list of possible spouse matches, your results will be ranked in order of their likely gender: people of the opposite sex at the top of the list, and people of the same sex at the end of the list.

The birth, marriage and death records from 1984 onwards were recorded in a computer database only so there is no original image for records post-1984.

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk (formerly 1837online.com) was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today.

Findmypast.co.uk has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

In November 2006 findmypast.co.uk launched the ancestorsonboard.com microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.

As well as providing access to historical records, findmypast.co.uk is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

In April 2007, findmypast.co.uk’s then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen’s Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement.

Findmypast.co.uk was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company who were awarded The National Archives’ contract to publish online the 1911 census, which it launched in January 2009.

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