Information just in from the team at TheGenealogist announces that it has extended its UK Parish Records collection with a new and exclusive release of 650,000 parish records for Nottinghamshire. These records can be used to find your ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials in these fully searchable records that cover parishes from this important East Midland county of England. With records that reach back to1633, this release includes the records of 56 parishes, including:
369,100 individuals in Baptisms, 168,000 individuals in Marriages and 112,800 individuals in Burials
You can use these transcripts to find the names of ancestors, parents’ forenames (in the case of baptisms), father’s occupation (where noted), abode or parish, parish that the event took place in, the date of the event, and in the case of marriage records the bride’s maiden name and the witnesses’ names.
Amongst the notable Nottinghamshire people that can be found in these records are the infamous Lord Byron and his brilliant mathematician daughter Ada, Countess of Lovelace. Both are buried in the parish of Hucknal Torkard. As well as nobility, in this collection we also come across the baptism of Amos Hind. He was famous for playing First Class Cricket for the neighbouring county of Derbyshire between 1876 and 1877. Amos died aged 82 in 1931.
TheGenealogist says “These additions bring our Nottinghamshire parish record collection to over 919,800 records.”
TheGenealogist has just released a new circa 1921 resource, covering 23 counties, with over one million records. These formpart of the Trade, Residential & Telephone record sets on TheGenealogist covering a period currently not served by a census.
The fully transcribed, searchable records released today will allow researchers to:
search on forename, surname and profession
search by street, town and county
look for a business name
discover your ancestors’ addresses
find professions listed
These 1921 directories cover the North, South, East and the West of England, the Channel Islands and as far up the country as Aberdeen. If you have ancestors who you are tracing in 1921, this new release from TheGenealogist adds a fantastic name rich resource to your family history research armoury.
Searching for householders within these 23 newly released county directories returns a good number of names from that time, including many that are still famous today.
For example, in these new records we can find Harry Gordon Selfridge, founder of Selfridge’s department store; Jesse Boot, who was behind the chemist chain that still carries his name; Winnie-the-Pooh’s author A. A. Milne; J.M. Barrie, who created the characters of Peter Pan and Wendy; plus the celebrated economist, John Maynard Keynes. You can read more about finding them in the records in our featured article at: https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/featuredarticles/2017/addressing-where-they-were-in-1921-571/
The areas covered in this release include:
Bradford and Surrounding Districts
Bristol and Suburberbs
Brixton and Clapham
London County Suburbs
TheGenealogist says that they will be adding further counties in the coming months.
TheGenealogist has expanded its UK Parish Records collection with the release of over 1,363,000 new records for Northumberland. These records make it easier to find your ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials in these fully searchable records that cover the ancient parishes of the northernmost county of England. Some of the records can take you as far back as 1560.
In this release you can find the records of:
903,314 individuals in Baptisms, 157,329 individuals in Marriages and 302,378 individuals in Burials
Use these records to find the names of ancestors, parents’ forenames (in the case of baptisms), father’s occupation (where given), abode or parish, parish that the event took place in, the date of the event, in the case of marriage records, the bride’s maiden name and the witnesses’ names.
In these records you can find Grace Horsley Darling, the famous lighthouse keeper’s daughter who saved the crew from a shipwrecked paddle steamer. She was born on 24th November 1815, at her grandfather’s cottage in Bamburgh in Northumberland and was baptised the following month.
Grace was the daughter of William and Thomasine Darling who, when only a few weeks old, was taken to live in a small cottage attached to the lighthouse on Brownsman Island, one of the Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland.
Her father ran the lighthouse there and she is famed for participating in the rescue of survivors from the shipwrecked paddle steamer Forfarshire in 1838.
It was carrying sixty two people when it foundered on the rocks, split in two, the survivors managed to clamber onto Big Harcar a rocky island and were spotted by Grace looking from an upstairs window. She and her father rowed out in a four man boat for a distance of about a mile and between them rescued the nine survivors.
TheGenealogist releases York Colour Tithe Maps and Yorkshire Directories.
TheGenealogist is very pleased to announce the release of the City of York and AinstyColour Tithe Maps, plus another significant batch of Yorkshire directories released in time for the Yorkshire Family History Show at York Racecourse.
To coincide with the return of one of the largest family history events in England, at the Knavesmire Exhibition Centre at the York Racecourse on the 24th of June and which is sponsored by TheGenealogist, today sees the release of a set of new records for York.
TheGenealogist has just added the colour tithe maps that cover the City of York and Ainsty to its National Tithe Records collection to compliment the gray scale maps and apportionment books that are already live. In addition it has released another 23 residential and commercial directory books to its ever expanding collection of Trade, Residential and Telephone Directories to help those with Yorkshire ancestors find their addresses.
The fully searchable records released online will allow researchers to:
Find plots of land owned or occupied by ancestors in early Victorian York and Ainsty on colour maps
See where your forebears lived, farmed or perhaps occupied a small cottage or a massive estate.
Discover addresses of ancestors before, between and after the years covered by the census in the Trade, Residential and Telephone Directories. (1735-1937)
Uncover details of the neighbourhood and understand communication links to other towns where your stray ancestor may have moved to.
For anyone with Yorkshire ancestors this new release from TheGenealogist adds colour to the story of where their family lived. To search these and the vast number of other records covering the country see more at https://www.thegenealogist.co.uk
Find out more about your Yorkshire ancestors
To coincide with the York Family History Show in June, TheGenealogist has added the colour tithe maps that encompass the City of York to its National Tithe Records collection and detailed directories covering both early and later records.
The Tithe maps already cover all of the available gray scale maps and accompanying apportionment books for England and Wales and now includes the colour maps for York City and Ainsty as well. With Tithe records you can find the plots of land that were owned or occupied by ancestors in the Victorian period and so this can help you see where your forebears lived, farmed or perhaps had a small cottage.
For example, if we wanted to find the plot where one William Gibb lived in the parish of St Cuthbert during 1845 we can do this by selecting Tithe & Landowner on TheGenealogist and then enter his name into the Master Search. In William’s case he was the occupier while his landlady was Ann Wilson and we can see from the description in the Apportionment book that he rented a house and gardens from her. The value is small and the Rector is only entitled to 6d tithe rent from the plot. This is in contrast to another example that we can find in the York tithes.
In the light of The York Racecourse being the venue for the York Family History Show, if we look for the owners and occupiers of part of the land on which the Racecourse sits we can see that it is both owned and occupied by The Freemen of Micklegate Ward of the City of York.
We are able to see an image of the apportionment book and this reveals in the description that the land is ‘Part of Knavesmire a stinted pasture’.
A ‘stint’ or ‘gait’ being a pasture that is limited to a certain number of animals. A person who has the right to graze their sheep or cattle on the stinted pasture may allow a fixed number of their livestock to feed there. Each grazier holds a certain number of stints and a formula will be in force that calculates the different value of each type of livestock. So one stint could equal one ewe with her lamb, while four stints may equal one horse.
TheGenealogist’s result shows us that this landholding was plot number 31 and this detail is extracted from the apportionment book. Clicking the icon for the accompanying map we can now see that the pasture is in the middle of the racecourse.
Anyone visiting the racecourse, whether it is for the family history show or to watch the races, can’t help but notice the old Terry’s Chocolate Factory next door. This art deco style facility, which no longer manufactures chocolate, was built in 1926. The company has, however, a long and rich history connected to York and by searching within one of the twenty three Yorkshire Trade, Residential and Telephone directories that have also been released by TheGenealogist this month, we can find the listing for the company. If an ancestor had a business then the commerical listings in the directory can help us find where they may have worked. In the 1897 Kelly’s York Directory we can find Joseph Terry & Sons Limited, manufacturing confectioners and see that at that time they had factories at Clementhorpe and at St Helen’s Square in York. The later address being where the family business had started and Clementhorpe was the factory on the River Ouse that allowed them to better distribute their products and import the raw materials – this move allowed Terry’s to really take off as a confectioner. We can, likewise, find the competing company of H.J. Rowntree & Co. within the same directory. It shows us that Rowntree’s had their business premises at Haxley Road and Tanner’s Moat.
Directories can also be useful to find the addresses of residents, the railways that served the area and read about communications links to other towns. These may be of help to the family historian who has ‘lost’ an ancestor as they could suggest where a person may have travelled and can be a great compliment to a census record. In the case of a head of the household we may be able to find an address different from that recorded in the decennial census. This may help fill in the gaps of where a stray ancestor moved to between the census. It can also add to our understanding of the place where our ancestors lived.
Sir Joseph Terry had been the Lord Mayor of York and in the year of this directory, 1897, he is still listed as an alderman and a magistrate. Similarly, John Stephenson Rowntree had been a past Lord Mayor and he too was an alderman and magistrate in this year. The 1897 Kelly’s York Directory reveals that they both lived at Mount Villas on The Mount; from this we can work out that they were close neighbours in York. The racecourse is also listed in this publication as having an address of Knavesmire, The Mount and so in the same area of the city.
TheGenealogist’s National Tithe Record Collection covers all counties of England and Wales and so can be used to find where your English and Welsh ancestors lived at the time that this great survey took place between 1837 and the mid 1850s. The Trade, Residential & Telephone directories also encompass the whole country and can be useful both as research tool and as a valuable insight into the lives of our ancestors. They are a useful resource for tracing ancestors, particularly if they had a distinctive trade and can be used as a census substitute for the years prior to 1841 or after 1911 and also to provide information on their whereabouts between census years.
In time for the snap general election, TheGenealogist is adding to its Polls and Electoral records by publishing online a new collection of Poll books ranging from the late 19th century to the early 20th century.
These new records released today offer a tantalising snapshot of our ancestors interaction with the Church and the State of the past.
Find the names of people and their ‘place of abode’ in the electoral registers
Discover the nature of their qualification to vote, such as possessing a Corn Warehouse, a Workshop, a House, or owning a Brewhouse
Some of the earliest records in this release reach as far back as 1209 when the king who was known as Johan sanz Terre(John Lackland) ruled the country
The Parish Records are one of the most useful of all resources for family historians as they can be used to find the baptism, marriage or death of an ancestor at a time before the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths
The records cover 35 different registers of people who were entitled to vote in Wakefield, West Yorkshire and other constituencies situated in Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset and New Westminster in Canada. These have been added to our Poll and Electoral Roll collection covering millions of records.
At the same time TheGenealogist continues to expand its vast Parish Record collections with the addition of 100,000 new individuals added for the County of Worcestershire and additionally the Registers of the Parish Church of Rochdale in Lancashire that covers the period between 1642 and 1700.
Also being released at this time are some records that will take the researcher all the way back to ancient times!
The Roll of Mayors of the Borough and Lord Mayors of the City of Leicester records the names of men holding that office from between the 10th year of the reign of King John in 1209 and all through history to 1935.
The Worcestershire Parish Records were added through a partnership with Malvern FHS while the electoral records are taken from the official lists produced to record who was entitled to vote in the various parliamentary elections.
TheGenealogist launches millions of new Parish records as well as their New British in India Collection
TheGenealogisthas just announced three important releases to coincide with the Who Do You Think You Are? Live show covering Britain and British India.
Over 2.5 Million people in the latest release of Parish records!
Augmenting the substantial Parish Records that are already available on TheGenealogist comes the release of more than 2.5 million people for two major counties:
Hampshire Parish Records (Bishop’s Transcripts) (886,616 individuals)
This brings their total number of records to 3,199,820 with coverage of
Baptisms: 2,379,836 (1538 to 1940)
Marriages: 495,034 (1538 to 1940)
Burials: 324,950 (1538 to 1940)
Durham Parish Records (1,697,206 individuals)
This brings their total number of records to 1,850,068 with coverage of
Baptisms: 1,253,273 (1556 to 1919)
Marriages: 198,845 (1540 to 1896)
Burials: 397,950 (1538 to 1939)
These will be a boon to Family Historians looking for key events in the lives of their ancestors.
The British in India Collection
The TV series ‘Indian Summers’ starring Julie Walters created in many a fascination with India under British rule. This new record set reveals information about those ancestors that lived in the subcontinent, their lifestyle and the communities that they lived in.
Millions of British people went out to India in the past and so many family historians will have an ancestor that made the journey. For some, India would turn out to be their last resting place and among their ranks were merchants, soldiers, sailors, civil servants, missionaries and their families.
To browse the Image Archive for relevant photographs search for the tags ‘India’ and more specifically ‘Hill Station’ for pictures like the one below.
Parish Records of British in India
Headstone Records of British Cemeteries in India
British War Memorials in India
East India Registers
Indian Army and Civil Service Lists
Image Archive – British in India
The release of The British in India Collectionon TheGenealogist now allows family historians to search for ancestors who went out to British India in a very broad-ranging set of resources ranging from the early 1800s up to the 1920s.
These records make up part of the Diamond subscription to TheGenealogist
TheGenealogist have just sent out an announcement:
TheGenealogist Launches Various London Educational Records
TheGenealogist has just released a batch of London school and university records to join its ever growing educational collection.
Researchers can use this new data to find ancestors who attended or taught at a variety of Educational establishments within London between 1831 and 1927. Also listed are the names of those who held high office in the institutions, such as the patrons; deans; visitors and professors, in the case of universities and the principles, masters and governors in the case of the schools.
This release covers the names of those who graduated from the University of London between 1836 and 1926 – while for King’s College London, it also provides a list of Fellows from 1847 to 1920, registered students for 1920-1921 and those awarded degrees in 1920 and 1921 as well as the prizes given at King’s.
With a number of school records, joining this London release, researchers can also find old boys who served in World War I. For example it is possible to track down men serving with the colours in the Great War in the case of the Old Wilsonians, as listed in The Wilsonian Magazine. For those Old Alleynians and Old Haberdashers, who perished in the war, their names and often a photograph are recorded in the First World War Roll of Honours for both Dulwich College and the Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hampstead School.
The list of records included in this release are
University of London Historical Record 1836-1926
The Skylark Magazine from Haberdashers’ Aske’s Hampstead School 1918
The Wilsonian Magazine April 1914-April 1919
University College School, London Register 1831-1891
Royal College Of Chemistry, Royal School Of Mines And Royal College Of Science Register Of Associates
Record of Old Westminsters Vols 1 and 2 earliest times -1927
CAPTAIN JOHN DUDLEY WHYTE of the 8th Service Battalion, Royal Sussex Regiment, was born on the 5th July, 1890. He attended Dulwich School between 1902-8 and after this he went up to London University, having obtained an Andrew’s Scholarship at University College, and shortly afterwards he was awarded a Law Society Studentship.
Like many of his generation, his life was cut short in action during the First World War. Who knows what he may have made of his life, but by using a combination of two of the newly released records we are able to discover his achievements in his earlier life.
The Dulwich College Roll of Honour includes a picture of the deceased officer in uniform and a potted history of his academic and military career. We learn that at University College, London in 1910 he was awarded a Scholarship in English History, and also a Scholarship for Research in History. The school’s roll of honour tells us that in 1912 he took his B.A. degree with honours in History.
By then searching for him in the University of London Historical Record 1836-1926, also made available by TheGenealogist in this new release, we find John Dudley Whyte listed among the students in 1912 awarded a Second Class Bachelor of Arts (Internal) degree in History. By continuing to search further within the University of London records we locate his name again in 1913, now as an external student of the University College and London Day Training College. This would point to him training to be a teacher as that was the purpose of the London Day Training College which, by that date, was a school of the University of London. The start of World War I ended that path for him. The Dulwich College Roll of Honour explains that ‘being a member of the London University Miners Training Corps he obtained a commission in September, 1914, as 2nd Lieutenant in the 7th Battalion Royal Sussex Regiment, and trained at Colchester, being promoted temporary Lieutenant in November. When the 8th Battalion was converted to a Pioneer Battalion he transferred and was promoted temporary Captain in January, 1915. In May, 1915, he moved to Salisbury Plain and crossed to France in July. For some months his company was engaged on forestry work behind the lines with the 18th Division, but during the winter they were on the Somme, with headquarters at Albert. He took part in the July advance and was killed in action at Bernafay Wood during the night of 13th—14th July, 1916, and was buried at Danzig Valley Cemetery.’
By using these records you can find out a lot more about your ancestors who were educated in London between 1831 and 1927. These records join an ever growing collection of family history resources at TheGenealogist.co.uk
TheGenealogist is adding to its Court & Criminal records by publishing online a new collection of Quarter Session rolls and books from Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Surrey and Middlesex covering dates from as far back as the 16th century and up to, in some cases, the Victorian period.
Also released at this time are the Middlesex Colour Tithe Maps to join the grayscale maps of the National Tithe records already available on TheGenealogist. This latest issue covers parishes in the County of Middlesex and will allow researchers to view the plots where their ancestors may have owned or occupied land at the time of the survey which took place at the start of Victoria’s reign.
The Quarter Session records were produced by local courts traditionally held at four set times each year. Being made up of two or more justices of the peace and presided over by a chairman, they sat with a jury at Epiphany (in January), Easter (March/April), Midsummer (June/July) and then at Michaelmas (September/October).
Find the names of people before the courts that include those indicted, witnesses, as well as the names of the Justices of the Peace and the Clerks
Some of the earliest records in this release reach as far back as 1549 for Middlesex and 1591 in Worcester
Indictments can range across a wide number of offences. These include Larceny, Housebreaking, Assault and Riot, Running Unlicensed Alehouses, Receiving Rogues and Not Going to Church on Sunday
We may be amazed at some of the cases that came before the magistrates. One example we found was in 1613, before the Worcestershire Justices, where Margaret Lewys stole ‘an old towell’ at Feckenham. Other proceedings include one involving Daniel Steane who was fined 20s at a private session at Wolston, Warwickshire in 1631. His indictment was for ‘selling less than a full quart of his best ale for a penny’ – showing us that consumers, back then, were equally as concerned with short measures of alcohol as they are today.
Searching these new records, for your ancestors, may also find them appearing in the many Orders handed down by the JPs. These can include the names of people at the bottom rung of society who were in need of financial help from their communities. An example of such, from the Easter 1625 session in Warwickshire, is the case of Anne Harte of Hampton in Arden. Her husband having been ‘pressed for a soldier out of this county and have left her destitute of maintenance and one child’, the Justices of the Quarter Sessions made an order to the effect that Hampton in Arden pay her 4d weekly and find her work; plus, if she were to get sick, the parish officials were to pay her more ‘until this court take order to the contrary’.
Orders for the upkeep of illegitimate children can also be found in these records. In Michaelmas 1632, Katherine Singleton was to have ‘10s out of the treasury towards the keeping of a bastard child’ that had been left with her by a man who had promised to pay her to look after the child and had not returned.
From riotous Luddites to the gentry sitting on the bench, all echelons of society can be found in these fully searchable Quarter Session records for Warwickshire, Worcestershire, Shropshire, Surrey and Middlesex. To search these and the many other records, including the National Tithe Records on TheGenealogist, go to: www.thegenealogist.co.uk
The data subscription site has just launched a new collection of Police Letter Books for Hampshire. This is an intriguing mixture of promotions, retirements, movements, and other observations about Police officers in this county from 1891 to 1911. In amongst its pages you will be able to trace the career of your Hampshire police ancestors as they rise or fall.
These records reveal names and collar numbers of officers promoted, reduced in rank or dismissed from the force for committing various acts of misconduct. The misdemeanors often seem to involve alcohol, ranging from accepting a glass of beer to being drunk on duty. For those more competent officers who were commended for their actions in the pages of these documents, you can read the actions that had been seen as deserving of inclusion in the Letter Books.
In addition, TheGenealogist has released the Colour Tithe Maps for Northumberland. These maps join the previously released greyscale maps for the majority of the country that are already published on TheGenealogist.
Contains over 600 colour maps, linking to over 62,000 tithe records for this county
These maps are a fantastic resource that enable you to see where your ancestors owned or occupied land in Northumberland
The only online National collection of tithe records and maps
The searchable schedules, or apportionment books, contain detailed information on land use and these are linked to the maps on TheGenealogist. Clicking through from the transcript to a map will jump straight to the plot for an individual and can reveal buildings, fields, houses, rivers, lakes, woods and also cover villages, towns and cities.
A case study using one of the new record sets
The Ups and Down of a life on the beat
The latest release of Police Letter Books for Hampshire is an eclectic mix of details of promotions and removals of officers (postings from one place to another), as well as recording such things as additional pay and a number of disciplinary matters that were handed out to the policemen of the Hampshire County Constabulary.
If we search for one late Victorian police officer in the records, named John William Walsh, we can see that P.C. 82 J W Walsh had set out on his employment in the force around 1893. On the 12th June of that year, our 3rd class Police Constable appears first in the Letter Books when he was being sent from headquarters to serve at Kingsclere Police station. As this officer appears no less than nineteen times in the records between 1893 and 1911, we can see that he was a career policeman having probably set his sights on progressing through the ranks. By the end of that same year, on the 8th November 1893, he had been transferred to Totton and promoted to 2nd Class Constable.
So far so good for John Walsh. In 1898 he had made 1st Class Constable and then the job took him to Brockenhurst.
January 1900 sees a blip in his job prospects when he failed his Sergeant’s exam, which is duly recorded in the records – but he bounces back a few months later. By the 18th June 1900, when he gets his coveted promotion to Sergeant and is ‘removed’ to Petersfield the same day, we now see that he has been allocated collar number 14. He crops up in the Police Letter Books in a note of an entitlement to extra pay for 13 days in 1905 and then in 1906 saw him reach the pinnacle of his career as he is promoted to Inspector!
What could possibly go wrong?
These new records on TheGenealogist show that, conversely, 1906 was also the worst year for John Walsh’s path up the ranks of the Hampshire County Constabulary. Promoted to Inspector in January 1906; in October he was on the way back down!
The Police Letter book for the 18th October 1906 sadly reveals that our Inspector, of nine months, was to be reduced in ranks to that of a 1st Class Constable. This must have been devastating for him and his family as he was not just going down one rank, to Sergeant, but back to where he had been eight years before. His offence: being drunk while on duty in Holdenhurst Road, Bournemouth.
A lesser man may have considered his position in the police, but not John Walsh. From the records we find the newly numbered P.C.165 removed from Bournemouth to Farringdon on the same day that he had been busted down in rank. A year later, in 1907, and he has been promoted to Sergeant for the second time in his police career. He is posted to Basingstoke with this rank with yet another change in collar number to 35. It was on the 22nd November 1911 that we see he had climbed further still. It was not quite to the rank that he had lost in 1906, but J Walsh was now a Sergeant Major in the force and was removed to Winchester.
Using these new records on TheGenealogist has enabled us to follow the ups and downs of one particular police officer who, like many of his colleagues, came a cropper through partiality to a drink. If you have Policeman ancestors from Hampshire then search this collection to find interesting mentions of them as they are removed to new stations across the county, are commended for catching thieves, receive promotions, or are sometimes disciplined for their actions.
The Genealogist has added to the millions of its UK Parish Records collection with over 282,000 new records from Essex, Cumberland and Norfolk making it easier to find your ancestors’ baptisms, marriages and burials in these fully searchable records covering ancient parishes. Some of the records go back as far as 1672.
Also released are another 43,000 new war memorial records.
The new release of War Memorial records means there are now over 350,000 searchable records. This latest release includes war memorials from London, along with further English counties includingCumbria, Berkshire, Warwickshire and Suffolk. The collection also stretches across the globe to encompass new War Memorials situated in Perth, Australia and the Province of Saskatchewan in Canada. Fully searchable by name, researchers can read transcriptions and see images of the dedications that commemorate soldiers who have fallen in the Boer War, WW1 and various other conflicts.
In amongst these newly published War Memorial records are those from St John’s Church in Bassenthwaite, Cumbria. This is a fascinating WW1 roll with men who died or served and includes information such as that for Louis Willis Bell who died in Rouen as a result of poison gassing. Another notable entry is that for Isaac Hall. This soldier enlisted in January 1915 in 7th Border Regiment and was discharged on the 21st March 1917, because of wounds resulting in the loss of his left leg.
Example of Parish Records on TheGenealogist:
Parish Records can sometimes unearth fascinating stories
We are all aware that parish records give us those all important dates and names for our ancestors – but in some cases they reveal interesting stories as well. When a vicar, or parish clerk, feels the person they are entering in the register needs an extra explanation, over and above the date and name of the person, then some fascinating historical details can emerge for researchers to read.
As an excellent example of this we can look in the parish records for All Saints Church, in Maldon, Essex. Here we find the burial of one Edward Bright in the year 1750. Edward, a Tallow Chandler and Grocer, who died when he was in his late twenties, had an unusual claim to fame.
The entry in the parish register on TheGenealogist reveals that he was an extremely large man, weighing 42 stone (588 pounds) and was in fact believed to be the fattest man in England at the time.
Edward Bright by David Ogborne http://www.itsaboutmaldon.co.uk/edwardbright/) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
The notes for his burial on the 12 November 1750 in the parish register explain that Edward had to be buried in a special coffin as he was so large. To remove the casket from his room above his shop, special provisions were needed requiring structural modifications to the wall and stairs to aid his final journey to All Saints.
Having arrived at church on a carriage, more unusual procedures were used to get the deceased to his final resting place. Edward’s coffin would have been far too heavy to be borne by pallbearers up the aisle to rest before the congregation during the funeral service. Also it would have severely taxed the muscles of those men who would have normally lowered it manually into the grave. The logistics, in this case, needed rollers to be used to slide the coffin up to a brickwork vault and then a triangle and pulleys were used to lower poor Edward into his grave.
The parish register entry did, however, not just dwell on the problems of burying a man of such large proportions. It went on to also record a number of positive attributes that Edward Bright had – so giving us a picture of the man that he was. We can see that he was well thought of by the vicar and community of this 18th century Essex parish. The register tells us that he was: “… A Very Honest Tradesman.A Facetious Companion, Comely In His Person, Affable In His Temper, A Kind Husband, A Tender Father & Valuable Friend.”
As we have seen here, sometimes a parish register can give you so much more than just the date that your ancestor was baptised, married or buried.