Friday, October 29, 2010

FindMyPast: Wales Parish Registers

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at FindMyPast.com. Please direct all inquiries to Debra Chatfield debra.chatfield@findmypast.co.uk.



FINDMYPAST.CO.UK TO PUBLISH THE PARISH REGISTERS OF WALES FOR THE FIRST TIME
* 8,000,000 records to be indexed in two years
* Records date back to the 16th century

Family history website www.findmypast.co.uk is making available online for the very first time fully searchable indexes and images of the parish registers of Wales. The project is taking place with the permission of the Church in Wales and Welsh Archive Services and findmypast.co.uk is working with FamilySearch International, the world's largest repository of genealogical records, to digitise the records.

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*.

Debra Chatfield, Marketing Manager at findmypast.co.uk, said: "It is fantastic that we will be able to make these records available to search online for the very first time. By making these records available family history researchers, old and new, can discover more about their ancestors and where they lived. We are looking forward to working with Welsh Archive Services and FamilySearch on such an important project for Welsh ancestry research."

David Rencher, FamilySearch Chief Genealogical Officer, added "Genealogical research in Wales has been very difficult for years and the opening of this amount of data for baptisms, marriages and burials will be a tremendous resource for those with Welsh ancestry. We commend all of those who have worked so diligently to make this happen and in such a dramatic fashion."

Catherine Richards, the County Archivist at Powys and Chair of the Welsh County Archivists' Group commented: "We are very excited to work with findmypast.co.uk and FamilySearch to make our parish registers available online. Making our records accessible to as wide an audience as possible is one of the main objectives of Archive Services across Wales. Records of baptisms, marriages and burials are a major resource for family historians and can reveal fascinating and surprising secrets back through the generations."

Findmypast.co.uk was the first company in the world to put the complete Birth, Marriage and Death indexes (BMDs) for England and Wales online in April 2003. Previously these were only available offline on microfiche or in registry books, at a selected number of locations. This landmark achievement was recognised in 2007, when findmypast.co.uk won the Queen's Award for Innovation.

For more information log on to www.findmypast.co.uk

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