As I said on the main ISOGG Bulletin Board a couple of days ago – Wales is now way out in front of England in terms of key information going online – with both wills and parish registers going there, plus marriage licences.
It depends on how the website gets indexed by FindMyPast – but judging by the Pembrokeshire RO which I was in earlier this year - the files will be complete PDF copies of the original parish registers. The actual release post below says something slightly different.
So the PDF files will correspond in date coverage to the original parish register volumes. As far as I know, this information is not available anywhere online. Any index volume I have seen just gives the year ranges covered for baptisms, marriages and burials. The good ones give missing years in the sequence. They do not break the information down to the individual volume level. It may be this information is available from the microfilm copies at Salt Lake City – not too sure how those work for Wales. They are clearly involved as the post says:
Around 893,000 images containing 8,000,000 baptisms, marriages and burials from across Wales will be filmed by FamilySearch and transcribed by findmypast.co.uk. Some of the records date back to the sixteenth century, making it possible to find Welsh ancestors as far back as the 1500s. The records contain entries in English and Latin.
The records will be made available over the next two years at findmypast.co.uk with an index search available on FamilySearch.org. Free access to the images on findmypast.co.uk will be made available through all Archive Services in Wales*.
It would not be a lot of work for a company like FindMyPast to approach each of the individual Wales Record Offices - and copy their own shelf indexes into scanned PDF files. You have copy machines now which will turn A4 pages into PDF files automatically as fast as a normal copier works.
I would be very surprised if FindMyPast plans to index the parish registers. So we will all have to struggle with the handwriting.
It will be interesting to discover at the next WDYTYA where the NLW plans to go next. The obvious place from this work is to do all the Bishops Transcripts – which can plug holes left in the parish register sequences and can provide additional information in their own right sometimes.
This will gradually transform the way that Americans can do family history. You can set up the databases that will be of real, genuine help to folk in England and Wales researching Welsh ancestry. Any family history project needs to do this. You will have very soon the potential to trace people backwards and forwards using the same information tools we do. Can you make it work for you? When we see the first set of releases we will know what can be done – but in general I find FindMyPast indexing better and easier to use than Ancestry.
Brian Picton Swann
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Janet Crain
Sent: 02 November 2010 04:18
Subject: [walesdna] Parish Registers of Wales to go Online for First Time - Eastman's Online Genealogy Newsletter