Newsletter No. 6
The list of Parishes currently covered can be found at http://www.cornwall-opc.org/Par_new/parishes.php. If I mention names of new OPCs and those 'in-waiting', inevitably I'll omit someone, so many thanks to all our new volunteers.
Please keep in touch and let me know when you are ready to publicise your role.
At the time of writing this, I'm aware of 3 OPCs who don't seem to be contactable by email. Messages are not returned as being undeliverable, but neither are replies received. I've been trying for several weeks and will continue for a while, but eventually I'll have to give up. Please remember to check your spam / bulk mail folders. If someone isn't contactable online, then there's little point in them being an Online Parish Clerk! A possible exception to this is if all their resources are on their own website.
We have obtained the services of some volunteer transcribers, who don't wish to become full-blown OPCs, or whose Parish of interest is already covered. Some of them are also part of Michael McCormick's Census team. With these kind souls, it's more difficult to keep track of who is transcribing what, so we have 2 partially completed projects underway. One is the transcribing of Phillimores' Marriages into a format suitable for C-PROP, our searchable database. So far there are 90 Parishes online.
The other is the transcribing of Bastardy (or Bastardry - are they interchangeable?) Bonds. Most of us discover unmarried mothers in our family trees, so these bonds are extremely useful items for researchers. At the moment, they are being added to our central website, linking from our Parish pages. (For other items, see below*.) When I remember, I also send copies to the relevant OPCs. If there are Bonds linked from your page(s) and you've not received copies, please send me a reminder!
N.B. If anyone with a 'classical' education would be prepared to transcribe some of the earlier Bonds, I'd be very grateful to hear from you. (Several of us had to choose between Latin & German when at school.) Particularly for pre-1800 examples, this would be an excellent way of contributing to our total online resources.
Suggestions for other transcribing projects are always welcome.
Central Website / Parish Pages
The central website has frequent additions, so it's always worth checking the Resources section, or the Parish pages, for updates.
A gentle reminder - this website is often a researcher's first contact with us as a group, so it's important that we don't allow it to become too out-of-date. Finding broken links or an inactive email address can turn people away, to search elsewhere and maybe on commercial sites. When you have the time to send me updates for inclusion, please do.
Donations are still coming in at varying rates and we've added a Banns section to the available searches. There is also a Soundex option available for surname searches.
For those of you for whom the recent hour change has meant longer dark evenings, perhaps now is the time to add some of your accumulated certificate data? (See http://www.cornwall-opc-database.org/contributions.php)
Amongst the online information which has broken down some brickwalls, is that for Strays (where the abode/place of residence is given as somewhere in Cornwall, but the ceremony took place elsewhere, sometimes in the Parish of a parent/grandparent). If anyone finds examples of these in Parish Registers, then please send to Bill O'Reilly (email@example.com) or me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The current total is approaching 700,000 records.
The Malcolm McCarthy Collection
Malc (who signs himself on the Cornish Lists as being 'from Sunny Padstow') has offered his transcriptions of various documents from his Collection, the only condition being that they are made available online. Since we're all doing a valuable job, whether or not we have our own websites, I've started adding these as other links from our Parish pages*, rather than offering them to OPCs.There are exceptions to the latter, when the later documents would not comply with our 'hundred year convention'. So I've started sending these to the relevant OPCs. Many are of auctions and name plots of land, houses, farms etc as well as people, so they will be useful in expanding our knowledge of our individual Parishes.
Tips and Tricks
For calculating the 'actual 'year, from one given as the regnal year (e.g.the 12th year in the reign of King George III), see http://www.albion.edu/english/calendar/Regnal_Years.html.
If the cleric in your Parish insisted on using ecclesiastical terminology, then the same website has a useful search function for finding the dates, in each year, of religious festivals etc. See http://www.albion.edu/english/calendar/Ecclesiastical_dates.html.
Coming soon . . . more tips and tricks.
Other OPC Schemes
The Leicestershire scheme has been activated again, with a new coordinator. Details of this (and other UK groups) can be found at http://www.onlineparishclerks.org.uk/. (In deference to Cornwall, it's called UK Online Parish Clerks, rather than English - grin!)
P.S. 7 November 2007
Tips & Tricks continued
Helpful urls for responding to enquiries concerning current Parish details:-
For Church enquiries - http://www.truro.anglican.org/directory/chatoe.htm
For Parish Council enquiries - http://cwic.cornwall.gov.uk/cwic-sql/pc_lst.asp
Labels: Newsletter No. 6