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How the Anglican Record Project came about

I was born and brought up in Ireland (Rathfarnham Parish), but have lived abroad since leaving school nearly 40 years ago, mainly in England but also for short periods in Germany and France. I have been interested in tracing my family history since getting married and having children, but I wanted to do more than just consult the records, such as parish registers. I wanted to give something back.

It all started with an overgrown churchyard (Longcross) in Surrey, England in 1990. I decided to do something about it and enlisted the help of other parishioners to remove brambles and rhododendron that were obscuring many of the gravestones. As we cleared away the vegetation, more and more memorials appeared and I decided to record and map them, so that the genealogical information on them would be protected against future advances of undergrowth, accidental or deliberate damage and weathering.

I then thought it would be useful to compare the newly discovered gravestones with the burial register. This was initially just to help with deciphering faint inscriptions but it eventually developed into an attempt to produce an all–encompassing record of the parish from its creation in 1847, by including baptisms, marriages, banns of marriages, burials and monumental inscriptions, with an alphabetical index.

And so the project was born. I quickly developed my transcription rules and presentation format, both of which have remained almost unchanged since I started. But I needed a name for this new enterprise, so I decided on the rather grandiose title of ‘The Anglican Record Project’ with the equally ambitious strapline:

‘the transcription and indexing of registers and other documents/sources of genealogical interest of Anglican parishes in the British Isles‘.

That left me a pretty wide field in which to operate! For practical reasons, I also subsequently separated the recording of monumental inscriptions from the transcription of registers. And the start and end dates of each transcript were dictated either by the dates of the original registers or by the amount of free time I had to consult them! Since then I have produced a further 28 volumes of register transcripts of both Irish and English parishes.  They cover either:

  1. my local parish (in England);
  2. parishes that feature in my family tree or;
  3. random items that I come across in record repositories – more of which later.

I have also recorded the monumental inscriptions of a further nine churchyards, mainly in Cornwall and Wiltshire. I provide copies of my work to the local incumbent and relevant record offices and family history societies, as well as the Society of Genealogists in London and the Representative Church Body Library (for Irish parishes).

And why do I do it? There are four fundamental reasons: it makes the genealogical data more widely available; it also makes it more easily accessible; it protects the original registers from excessive handling and it preserves the information should the registers be damaged or destroyed. A motivational clue is to be found in the last verse of Psalm 100 ‘Jubilate Deo’.

The following transcribed material is available at the RCB Library. The first category includes parish registers that contain entries relating to ancestors in my own family tree:
Parish
(County, Diocese)
 Baptisms 
 Marriages 
  Burials  
 Source
Delgany, Christ Church
(Wicklow, Glendalough)
1666–1779
1666–1777
1666–1779
Original registers in local custody and subsequently deposited at RCB Library
1777–1819
1777–1819
1777–1819
1819–1840
1819–1840
1819–1840
1840–1865
1840–1865
1840–1865
1866–1900
1866–1900
1866–1900
All entries in the five volumes above have been included in a separate master index.

Parish
(County, Diocese)
 Baptisms
 Marriages
  Burials 
 Source
Delgany, Christ Church
(Wicklow, Glendalough)
1901–2000
1901–2000
1901–2000
Original registers in local custody, some subsequently deposited at RCB Library
Parish
(County, Diocese)
 Baptisms
 Marriages
  Burials 
 Source
Barragh [Kildavin], St Paul’s Church
(Carlow, Ferns)
1799–1805
1799–1805
1799–1805
Original registers in local custody
1831–1879
1830–1844
1838–1878
1845–1903
Newtownbarry [Bunclody], St Mary’s Church
(Wexford, Ferns)
1799–1903
1799–1903
1799–1903
 Original registers in local custody, some subsequently deposited at RCB Library
Clonegal [Moyacomb], St Fiaac’s Church (Carlow/ Wexford/Wicklow, Ferns)
1792–1831
1792–1831
1792–1831
 Original registers in local custody
1831–1903
1831–1906
1832–1903
1878–1903
1845–1903
1878–1903
 Original registers in local custody
 All entries for the four parishes above have been included in a separate master index.
Parish
(County, Diocese)
 Baptisms
 Marriages
  Burials 
 Source
Kilgarvan, St Peter’s Church
(Kerry, Ardfert & Aghadoe)
1811–1850
1812–1947
1819–1850
Original registers at RCB Library
1878–1960
Kenmare, St Patrick’s Church
(Kerry, Ardfert & Aghadoe)
1819–1950
         
The second category contains registers or register copies that I have discovered during my research into my own family history:
Parish
(County, Diocese)
 Baptisms
 Marriages
  Burials 
 Source
Templeshanbo, St Colman’s Church (Wexford, Ferns)
1800–1814
Original register in local custody and subsequently deposited at RCB Library
         
Parish
(County, Diocese)
 Baptisms
 Marriages
  Burials 
 Source
Dromiskin Parish Church
and
Manfieldstown Parish Church
(Louth, Armagh)
1791–1839 1805–1903 1802–1907
Based on Canon JB Leslie’s History of the Kilsaran Union
1824–1856 1824–1850 1838–1884
Kilsaran [Castlebellingham], St Mary’s Church
(Louth, Armagh)
1818–1840 1818–1844 1818–1900
Based on Canon JB Leslie’s History of the Kilsaran Union
Stabannon Parish Church
(Louth, Armagh)
1688–1750
1698–1754
1698–1751
Based on the ‘Garstin transcript’ and Canon J B Leslie’s History of the Kilsaran Union
1765
1782–1847
1778–1844
1782–1864
1845–1876
1865–1907
The above three transcripts augment the material already held at the RCB Library.
         
Parish
(County, Diocese)
 Baptisms
 Marriages
  Burials 
 Source
Cloghran Parish Church
(Dublin, Dublin)
1782–1864
1738
1732–1864
Based on an unattributed transcript
1782–1839
The above transcript augments the material already held at the RCB Library.
         
Church
(County, Diocese)
 Baptisms
 Marriages
  Burials 
 Source
1917–1922
Original registers at National Archives, Kew (London)
Fermoy Garrison Church
(Cork, Cloyne)
1920–1922

Mark Williams
E–mail: williamsfamilycrookham@btinternet.com

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