ENGLISH CDs -ESPECIALLY WILTSHIRE
- check this site out for CD-ROMS
An explanation is taken from Eastmans Genealogy letter
Wiltshire (England) Parish Records on CD-ROM
This week I had a chance to use a new genealogy CD-ROM disk:
"Wiltshire Parish Records, Volume 1 - Salisbury." The records on
this disk include:
* St. Thomas 1570-1812
* St. Edmund 1559-1837
* Baverstock 1559-1812
* Norton 1663-1812
* Colerne 1560-1575 and 1640-1651/2
The Wiltshire Parish Records disks are produced by S&N Genealogy
Supplies in England. I was quite interested to use Volume 1 since
the first American immigrant of my name came from Downton, a tiny
village just outside of Salisbury.
The "Wiltshire Parish Records, Volume 1 - Salisbury" CD-ROM was
created with Adobe Acrobat, a great choice as far as I am
concerned. All the required software for Windows 95, 98 and NT is
included on the CD-ROM itself. Anyone using Macintosh or UNIX or
other operating systems can probably use the same CD-ROM by first
downloading the appropriate free software for the needed operating
system from http://www.adobe.com I tested this CD-ROM on Windows
NT version 4.0.
The "Wiltshire Parish Records, Volume 1 - Salisbury" disk requires
a password in order to view the information. The required password
was included with the disk, so that wasn't any problem. I assume
that the password is used to discouraging illegal copying of the
disk. (The entire disk is copyrighted by S&N Genealogy Supplies.)
The Wiltshire Parish Records CD-ROM disks contain W. Phillimore's
transcripts of marriages from various Wiltshire registers. These
transcriptions first appeared in a set of books printed in the
early part of the twentieth century. The Wiltshire Parish
Registers that I looked at were originally printed in 1907. S&N
Genealogy Supplies has scanned the books, creating images of each
page. These images have been electronically enhanced to improve
readability and then placed onto CD-ROM disks. An index of every
name was also created.
Looking at the CD-ROM is more or less the electronic equivalent of
reading the printed book. You can either leaf through the pages
one at a time or else look up a name in the index and then go
directly to the referenced record. All of the images that I looked
at were very clear and easy to read. I printed a few pages on a
rather ancient LaserJet printer, and they all looked very good,
much better than a typical photocopy made from a printed book. I
wasn't able to copy and paste with the normal Windows Clipboard
commands, however. The same is true of most other genealogy CD-ROM
disks that I have seen, with a few exceptions.
To test the software, I did a search for my own surname. I didn't
find the original progenitor of the American Eastmans, but I did
find a reference to some familiar-looking names. I have not seen
the printed version of the Wiltshire Parish registers but have
previously searched other materials from Wiltshire. The names and
dates of several people found on this CD-ROM matched those of the
records I searched earlier. The other Eastmans mentioned
apparently were the sisters, brothers, cousins and other relatives
of the man who came to Massachusetts in 1638.
I was pleased to see that searching for a name always resulted in
a "hit" in exactly the right place on the resultant page. Some
other genealogy CD-ROMs I have used have similar indexes, except
that they only take you to the required page. The user then has to
read the entire page to find the item of interest. However, the
"Wiltshire Parish Records, Volume 1 - Salisbury" not only takes
you to the page, but it also highlights the name in blue. When
searching through hundreds of "hits," that one little feature can
save a lot of time.
I only examined Volume 1, the disk for Salisbury. Looking at S&N
Genealogy Supplies' catalog, I noted that they also have similar
disks for many other areas of England. The company will be
releasing still more records on CD-ROM in coming months.
"Wiltshire Parish Records, Volume 1 - Salisbury" sells for £19.95.
That is roughly $33.00 in U.S. funds. Surprisingly, that price
includes shipping to any place in the world. If you purchase by
credit card, there is no need to obtain a check or money order in
British pounds. The credit card companies will handle the currency
conversion for you.
Wiltshire Parish Records on CD-ROM are available from S&N
Genealogy Supplies' Web site at: http://www.genealogy.demon.co.uk
The following article is from Eastman's Online Genealogy
Newsletter and is copyright 2000 by Richard W. Eastman. It is
re-published here with the permission of the author.