Friday, January 27, 2012

Canterbury Cathedral records to go online at

The following is from FindMyPast.

  • Project announced to increase access to over a million baptism, marriage and burial records dating back to 1538
  • First time that images of the original parish records from East Kent churches will appear online
Today leading UK family history website has announced that it has been awarded a contract by Canterbury Cathedral Archives to publish online for the very first time historic records from the archive. The first phase of the Canterbury Collection project will see a browsable version of the parish registers of the historic Archdeaconry of Canterbury go online in the coming weeks at

An estimated 270,000 images containing over a million entries will be published on the website, covering parish churches from a wide expanse of East Kent, including:
  • the city of Canterbury
  • the towns of Faversham, Wye and Elham
  • Thanet
  • towns along the east Kent coast stretching from Whitstable in the north round to Hythe in the south
The launch has been timed to coincide with the temporary closure of Canterbury Cathedral Archives for refurbishment, so that family historians and local historians can continue to enjoy access to these fascinating records until the Archives reopens in autumn 2012.

From the initial online launch in February, visitors to the website will be able to browse through the scanned pages of the parish records to search for their ancestors. At the same time, will start to transcribe the records, with a view to creating an index and making them fully searchable on the website later this year.

Paul Nixon, Content Licensing Manager for, said: "We're really looking forward to seeing these invaluable records from Canterbury Cathedral Archives go live on, strengthening the site's position as the natural home for UK parish records."

Canterbury Cathedral Archivist Cressida Williams, added:  "Working with findmypast has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to expand access to these records to a worldwide audience. This resource will be a great asset for anyone with an interest in the history of this part of Kent."

The Canterbury Collection will join an impressive array of UK parish records at, including records from Manchester Archives, Cheshire Archives, Plymouth & West Devon Record Office and Welsh Archives, in addition to over 40 million parish records from family history societies throughout the UK in partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies.

Anyone wishing to be notified when the Canterbury Collection becomes available can register online at to receive a newsletter.

Leading UK family history website (formerly 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. 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 launched the 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, 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,'s then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement. 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.

About Canterbury Cathedral Archives
Canterbury Cathedral Archives collects, cares for, and provides access to, records relating to Canterbury Cathedral, the City of Canterbury, parishes in the historic Archdeaconry of Canterbury, and other local institutions and families. The Archives closes on 31st January for refurbishment work, due to reopen in Autumn is working with the Cathedral Archives on 'the Canterbury Collection', made up of registers of parishes in the historic Archdeaconry of Canterbury.

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