Monday, October 23, 2006

Quieter weeks

The past couple of weeks have been fairly quiet from the correspondence point of view, which has been useful since I have had other things to do. But that doesn’t mean work on the Parry collection took a break.

I recently helped on the Guild stall at a local history fair and discovered that the Herefordshire Family History Society, (who were conveniently on the adjoining table), have now produced their marriage index on cdrom. Given the concentration of Parrys in Herefordshire, as well as my own family links there, this was one cd I just had to buy! Some of the entries will be on the IGI, of course, but there are others that aren’t. (Even for those that are, having such a second transcription will be useful for confirming the details of the entries, since it will be some time before I could check all of the parish registers myself). Another advantage of such indexes on cdrom, as opposed to searching an index such as the IGI online, is that the whole index can be viewed. This makes it easier to spot entries with variant spellings such as Pary, Parey, Parrie, Parrye, (and “ap Harry” with the “ap” as part of the first name). There are 891 marriages with just the “Parry” spelling so plenty to keep me busy there (and three of them are Parry-Parry marriages, which will add to the fun of identifying their family links!).

A weekend away in Kent gave me the opportunity to visit Banstead parish churchyard, which I had read contained a Parry tomb. Email correspondence with a member of the local History group, who kindly went and checked the churchyard for me, confirmed beforehand that the monument did exist and was accessible. Although there are no personal names on the actual tomb, it does have coats of arms on it, photographs of which I will put up on my web site soon. And I know who is likely to be buried in it from the details in the book, which are confirmed by the entries in the National Burial Index.

Coats of arms can be very useful for identifying links between families – as long as one can be sure that they are genuine and have not been assumed. Whilst in Kent, we visited Canterbury Cathedral and I had a bit a a surprise when I found a Parry tomb there – that of Edward Parry, Suffragan Bishop of Dover, who was also an Archdeacon of Canterbury. The tomb shows the same coat of arms as that on the tomb at Banstead – which also matches to the arms found in several other places around the country. But most of these families have no known connection between them - so I think it is definitely time for a ”puzzle page” on the web site.

The Guild Forum has again been the source of several possible sites for collecting information but, since I haven’t yet had time to follow any of them up, comments will have to wait for another blog entry.

And the lull in correspondence has obviously passed, since I received emails from two new contacts yesterday.

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