Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Finding Wiltshire Church Records at Ancestry.com

My Ancestry.com subscription recently was updated to a World subscription, so I have been enjoying many more record collections.

Perhaps the biggest contribution to my genea-happiness has been finding Wiltshire record collections.  As many of my readers know, I have a great-grandfather, Thomas Richman (1848-1917) who was born in Hilperton, Wiltshire, so fully one fourth of my father's ancestry is from Wiltshire.

When I gained the World subscription, I immediately went to see what resources they have for Wiltshire.  I looked at the Ancestry Card Catalog for Wiltshire, and see that there are 15 record collections:

These Wiltshire record collections fall into three groups:

1)  Church Records:

*  Wiltshire, England, Church of England Deaths and Burials, 1813-1916 (database and images, 379,758 entries)

*  Wiltshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1916 (database and images,   967,311 entries)

*  Wiltshire, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1916 (database and images,   1,759,381 entries)

*  Wiltshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (database and images, 3,676,914 entries)

* Wiltshire, England, Quaker Births, 1636-1837 (database, no images, 1,575 entries)

*  Wiltshire, England, Marriages, 1538-1837 (database, no images, 522,232 entries)

*  Wiltshire, England, Quaker Deaths, 1542-1897 (database, no images, 1,811 entries)

2)  Wills and Probates

*  Wiltshire, England, Wills and Probate, 1530-1858 (database and images, 105,144 entries)

3)  Stories

*  Swindon 50 Years Ago. Reminiscences, Notes and Relics of ye Old Wiltshire Town ( 0 entries)

*   Wiltshire: Collections for a History of Seagry (0 entries)

*   Highways & Byways of Wiltshire (0 entries)

*   Record of the Harris family descended from John Harris born 1680 in Wiltshire, England (133 entries)

*  Deacon Samuel Haines of Westbury, Wiltshire, England, and his descendants in America, 1635-1901 (416 entries)

*  The ancestry and posterity of John Lea, of Christian Malford, Wiltshire, England, and of Pennsylvania in America, 1503-1906 (653 entries)

*  Wiltshire and Its Worthies (187 entries)

Before this access, I had used the parish registers and Bishops's Transcripts from individual parishes on FamilySearch microfilm at the FHL Library or the San Diego Family History Center on loan from Salt Lake City.

For Hilperton, the early church records (before 1813) available to me were only the Bishop's Transcripts, that is, a transcription of the parish records by a cleric or a clerk sent on a regular basis to the Bishop of the church for Wiltshire.  I don't have images of these records, but I listed the records for my surnames of interest in 1993.

Now, with the availability of the pre-1813 Church of England parish register collection above, I can see and save the actual parish register pages.  I want to compare what I listed from the Bishop's Transcripts with what I can see in the Parish Registers on Ancestry to discover what I missed in 1993 until the present.  I've already found one mistake that I, or the Bishops Transcript clerk, made that affected my family tree.

What about FamilySearch Historical Record Collections, Findmypast, and MyHeritage?  I've been checking them too, but as far as I can tell, Ancestry is the only site with indexed records and digital images for Wiltshire parish registers.


Disclosure:  I have a complimentary all-access subscription from Ancestry.com, for which I am thankful.  Ancestry.com has provided material considerations for travel expenses to meetings, and has hosted events and meals that I have attended in Salt Lake City, in past years.

Copyright (c) 2020, Randall J. Seaver

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