Author Topic: Reading "challenging" parish registers in your local archives  (Read 226 times)

Offline Gen List Lass

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  • Jane ANDERSON nee DODD, 2 x g grandmother.
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Reading "challenging" parish registers in your local archives
« on: Tuesday 26 March 19 08:44 GMT (UK) »
In my local archives where I am almost a resident, the staff is always helpful if a film of a parish register is illegible. They bring out the original and turn over the pages for me to where I am stuck. Then an ultra violet torch is provided to magically reveal unknown details. Between me, the chief archivist and anyone else knowledgeable enough hanging around, we can usually thrash out a valid transcription.

Recently I visited the neighboring counties archives and had a problem with legibility. I queried why the register had faded so much as to reveal nothing, yet a full transcription was online at a price. I'd been sitting next to the online transcriber all morning without realising and he'd now left.

As I left at closing time, I whinged once again about the faded handwriting and a more senior member of staff mentioned getting the original out AND the ultraviolet lamp! So it's not what you ask, its who you ask!

How much help do you get from your local archives and does it depend on whether you are a "regular"?

Gen in NBL UK
UK - Northumberland, County Durham: ANDERSON,   DODD(S), EDWARDS, ELLIOTT/ELLET, FENWICK, GREY/GRAY, MEW(ES)/MUSE, MOORE, OGDEN, RYDER-TURNER, SPARK(E)(S),STEWART, TILLEY, WATSON, WHINNEY/BEWHINNEY
Sheffield: TURNER
Middlesex: RYDER
<br />Aberdeenshire: EDWARDS, BRODIE<br />Angus STEWART, DIXON, PETRIE
Australia, Adelaide: STEPHENS
Ireland: McCormick, Quinn

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Offline River Tyne Lass

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Re: Reading "challenging" parish registers in your local archives
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 26 March 19 10:11 GMT (UK) »
I have felt very frustrated on occasions when I have come across a boxed microfilm which says 'very faded' and sure enough find that the pages look almost blank.

However, after seeing your post Gen, in future I am going to chase up if there might be an original and an ultra violet torch available.

I have often wondered why these boxes of almost blank pages are kept for all the use they are.

I have sometimes been offered a magnifying glass but this is not much use if a page is mostly white.

I have also sometimes wondered how things get online from a seemingly blank page.  I just presumed someone had contacted the Church to look at the original.

Regarding help I think it is the same as anywhere else - some people are more helpful than others or even more knowledgeable than others.  At my local archives they sometimes ask people to fill out questionnaires about the service and I always make a point of complimenting those who show a helpful attitude.

Thanks for posting about this Gen. :)
Conroy, Fitzpatrick, Watson, Miller, Davis/Davies, Brown, Senior, Dodds, Grieveson, Gamesby, Simpson, Rose, Gilboy, Malloy, Dalton, Young, Saint, Anderson, Allen, McKetterick, McCabe, Drummond, Parkinson, Armstrong, McCarroll, Innes, Marshall, Atkinson, Glendinning, Fenwick, Bonner

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