It is almost three years since we set out to develop a website dedicated to the Southern part of Warwickshire where we shared a mutual interest. We did not wish to be involved in a Committee structure, neither were we particularly interested in financial gain; our aim was to contribute to the family history community, and to this end we became members of the Family History Federation..
Many family historians subscribe to the commercial sites, where there is an abundance of information; many do not. For the latter group, we provide a means by which they can identify 'persons of interest' and then follow them up, via their local library, or through us. We answer every e-mail query, but do ask that you use this form so we can try to ensure you are not a robot. We will then do our best to help you move onwards with your searches. When we send you information, we do appreciate your replies, since it lets us know your searches have been successful... or not !
Up until now, we have concentrated on providing indices to the Church of England Parish register entries for the core period 1754 – 1916, progression is now being made to earlier records, and we index them whenever we find them. If you have access to any registers which have not been deposited at the Record Office, we would be very pleased to transcribe them and add them to our collection.
At times we have been severely challenged by the handwriting of some of our clerical friends ! We wish to extend our thanks to Familysearch, FreeBMD, FreeREG and Pickard Trepess (PPP) whose transcriptions are invaluable, and which have helped us to make sense of what we are seeing.
We have also been working on the Non Conformist registers; by definition, these are registers for churches and chapels outwith the Church of England. We include registers from Methodist (of all aspects), Baptist, Presbyterian, Quaker and Roman Catholic churches. Registers deposited within the Quaker group [RG8] contain entries for individuals who appear in more than one register. Some of the information is duplicated, some is not. Therefore, we have decided to include all the entries and we have recorded the appropriate reference number so that anyone interested in a particular surname, may view all of the information available.
Whilst transcribing the Non Conformist records, we have been aware of the mobility of Warwickshire residents, and therefore have decided to expand our searches to include areas outside that strictly defined as South Warwickshire, so as to capture these families who have 'strayed'. Included in this expansion are data from both Church of England and Non Conformist registers, in the hope that they will facilitate searches for your more mobile ancestors. For indexed entries which lie outside of the South Warwickshire area, you are advised to contact the local Family History Society who may be able to offer more detailed information, often through their own Bookshops.
Information within the Catholic registers has been difficult to transcribe, partially because of illegible handwriting but mainly because the Priests have, on many occasions, attempted to record the names in a form of Latin. The use of 'us', 'is' and 'um' at the ends of what would otherwise be an English name, has caused confusion, as too has the use of a single Christian name, eg. Anna, which has been used for Annie, Anne, Ann, Hannah and Nelly. Maria also presents problems for the understanding of the child's name. On the whole, the surname is correct, but the Christian name must be viewed with caution. To try to resolve this problem, extensive use of the GRO Index registers has been used and names are presented in our Index in Anglicised form. There is much need for lateral thinking !
As we continue with the Parish Register transcriptions, we have also been developing our War Memorial investigations. Our webmaster has been very busy with the records and is continually expanding this section of the website, which now contains information on thousands of soldiers commemorated on War Memorials around the County. We hope the Towns and Villages section of the website, together with the Parish Locations Maps, will be of particular help to those unfamiliar with the South Warwickshire area. Local knowledge is important to us; if you live in the area and have any additional comments to make, we would be pleased to hear them.
If you would be interested in joining our small transcription team, or have any information (documents & photographs of soldier casualties) to supplement our collection, we would be delighted to hear from you…please click here. We work with a small group of volunteers who help us with transcriptions; in particular Bob, Ian, Sheila and Wendy. We would like to acknowledge their contributions which have had a significant effect upon the volume of transcription we have been able to achieve, and we would also like to thank Ian, in particular, for his help through his frequent visits to the Warwickshire Record Office. Financially, we are supporting the site, but if you would like to make a small donation towards the hosting costs, we would be very pleased to accept i
The site Menu will provide you with links to the numerous Parish baptismal, marriage and burial indices we have indexed, along with a Master Database for each series, and the commemorative pages built for each man or woman listed on all our local War Memorials. The work is on-going; please come back if your Parish does not appear on our list, since it will before too long.