Thursday, July 10, 2008

FindMyPast launches online parish records collection

NOTE from DearMYRTLE: The following was just received from our friends at Please address all inquiries to


Online access to millions of nationwide parish baptism, marriage and burial records pre-dating the civil registration of birth, marriage and deaths

UK family history website today announced it is adding the parish records from over 1,000 parishes across Britain to its existing collection of online family history records, offering online access to baptism, marriage and burial records dating as far back as 1538.

From today over 15 million parish burial records and memorial inscriptions will be available to view at, with a total of 7 million baptism, marriage and probate records being made available online later this year. The parish records collection brings together in one easy-to-search central place the disparate records from local parishes, which have been collated by local family history societies since 1911, coordinated by the Federation of Family History Societies.

The registers are particularly valuable sources of information for people seeking to research their family tree back further than the civil records of birth, marriage and death, which began in 1837, and the nineteenth century censuses.

Complementing the records from the National Burial Index and the complete registration of death indexes (1837 - 2006), which are also available to view at, the parish burial registers are a valuable source of information for family historians and genealogists looking to discover details about their ancestors, such as key dates, relatives of the deceased and the place of abode.

Thanks to the cross-database search facility at, you will be able to search for your ancestor by surname across all the parish records on the site without needing to know where in the country they came from, helping people to delve even deeper into their ancestors' pasts.

Elaine Collins, Commercial Director at said: "The parish registers are a key resource for people looking to trace their family tree as far back as the early sixteenth century and will help open up new avenues of research for family historians across the country from the comfort of their own home.

"With another series of Who Do You Think You Are? due to air this year, family history is more popular than ever and the extension of historical records being made available to view online will help even more people find out more about their ancestors and family tree."

Leading UK family history website (formerly was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.

Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today.

Findmypast has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 500 million records dating as far back as 1538. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.

In November 2006 findmypast launched the microsite in association with The National Archives to publish outbound passenger lists for long-distance voyages departing all British ports between 1890 and 1960.

As well as providing access to historical records, findmypast is also developing a range of online tools to help people discover and share their family history more easily, beginning with the launch of Family Tree Explorer in July 2007.

Over 1.7 million people in the UK have researched their family trees and has over 800,000 active registered users, revealing the mass appeal of genealogy and's position as the leading family history website based in the UK.

In April 2007 findmypast's then parent company Title Research Group received the prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise: Innovation 2007 in recognition of their achievement. was acquired in December 2007 by brightsolid, the company which won The National Archives' tender to publish online the 1911 census.