Genealogy news roundup: Derbyshire parish records available on Ancestry

By Rosemary Collins, 28 September 2017 - 9:44am

Plus: PRONI launches Northern Ireland church collection; FamilySearch adds Dorset records; IGRS adds 5,000 Irish records

The registers include baptism, marriage and burial records

Millions of records from churches in Derbyshire have now been added to family history website Ancestry.

The website has added a searchable database of 2,331,253 parish records dating from 1538 to 1812, held by Derbyshire Record Office. The records are accompanied by digitised images of the original registers.

Ancestry has also added sets of later Derbyshire parish records, including 1,949,884 baptisms (1813-1916), 1,491,634 banns and marriages (1754-1932) and 631,828 deaths and burials (1813-1991).

The records provide details such as your ancestors’ names, dates of birth, marriage and death, the names of their parents, and their professions. Some of them can also be cross-referenced with a map of pre-1832 parish boundaries.


PRONI launches Northern Ireland church collection

The Public Records Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) hosted an introductory event to its new digitised collection of church records on Friday 22 September.

313 registers and other important volumes from 15 churches, dating as far back as 1642, are now available to browse on the computers at PRONI’s offices in Belfast.

They hold over 34,000 pages altogether. 10 of the churches are Church of Ireland, including St Anne’s Cathedral in Belfast and St Columb’s Cathedral in Londonderry, while five are Methodist organisations.

Lorraine Bourke, head of private records at PRONI, told Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine: “The church records have so much more than just the basic level of information you’ll get from civil records. There’s a huge amount of information that’s of interest to family members and researchers.”


FamilySearch adds Dorset records

Free family history website FamilySearch has expanded its collection of Dorset parish records, dating from 1538 to 1936.

The new additions consist of 241,846 birth, marriage and death records, of which 1,600 are accompanied by images of the original registers. The records are also available on Ancestry.

One of the most famous people to have lived in Dorset is Victorian novelist Thomas Hardy, author of books including Far from the Madding Crowd and Tess of the d’Urbervilles.

The records show that Hardy was baptised on 5 July 1840 in Stinsford, Dorset. His parents were Thomas and Jemima Hardy.


IGRS adds 5,000 Irish records

The Irish Genealogical Research Society (IGRS) has added a further 5,000 records to its early birth, marriage and death indexes.

The indexes now hold 24,500 birth records, 83,600 marriages and 16,800 deaths, bringing the total number of names to 259,500.

IGRS draws much of its data from obscure sources which aren’t otherwise available. For example, some of the new names come from the 1903 book Memoirs of the Fultons of Lisburn.

Non-IGRS members can search the marriage index for free and do a surname-only search of the birth and death indexes, showing how many records match their surname.


Findmypast expands Bristol collection

Findmypast has indexed more records from Bristol, including 139,000 baptisms, 80,000 marriages and 96,000 burials.

In addition, the website added over 6,000 baptism records from the Hertfordshire town of Cheshunt, accompanied by images of the original baptisms, and indexed 1,800 monumental inscriptions from Chiddingly and East Dean in Sussex.

Many of the records are also available on Ancestry and FamilySearch.

This week, Findmypast also transcribed the Dublin electoral rolls from 1898 to 1916, containing over 427,000 records. The records are already available for free on DublinCity.


St Helens Council wins HLF funding to create virtual archive

Memories of life in the Merseyside town of St Helens will be preserved online thanks to a new Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) funded project.

St Helens Council Library Service has been awarded a grant of £86,400 to create the St Helens Living Archive as part of the celebrations of the town’s 150th anniversary in 2018.

Members of the community will be encouraged to upload photographs, videos and stories of their own lives and memories of the town onto the website, alongside previously unseen images from St Helens Local History & Archives.

If you want to volunteer on the project and help preserve historic audio recordings, email


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