Sunday, January 07, 2007

Holiday’s end

Well, the decorations came down yesterday and are boxed up, ready to go back in the loft, so I guess that means the holiday season really is over. Time to get back to "work".

Not that I actually stopped working, of course! Even with visitors around, it was still possible to carry out a few of those "mindless cut and paste" jobs. As I mentioned earlier, I have been thinking that I should perhaps re-adjust my priorities and do something with the civil registration entries. So, over the holidays, I had a look at Parrys on the FreeBMD site - only 45,515 births, 27,054 marriages and 32,523 deaths.

And there’s already almost 2000 new entries added to those, since they updated the site on 5th Jan.

That just goes to show what a major task transcribing the details of the civil registration indexes would be – yet alone then attempting to identify who each entry relates to. It’s a good job some of the Parrys used distinctive names. There were quite a few I recognised from queries or my own research. But in a few years time, the DoVE project will probably be on-line, which might render the current indexes obsolete.

One advantage of collecting some of the entries would be that I could submit requests to the Guild Marriage Challenges, where members are looking up church records for particular registration districts. This enables members to discover the full details of the event, making it much more likely they can identify the people concerned. However, I doubt it would be appreciated if I submitted a request to the current challenge for Liverpool – with 1141 Parry marriages in that district within the relevant timespan, it could be a good way of destroying the enthusiasm that’s been shown for the project.

So, still some thought needed as to what I do with regard to the civil registration indexes.

During the holidays, I have also been working on extracting the rest of the details for the Parry entries in the NLW probate indexes on A2A. This should enable me to identify their relevant parishes, which will be useful at the moment for sorting out those Parrys from Carmarthenshire, in particular, and for deciding whether any other probate items could be relevant to them. I haven’t yet transcribed the four items I received just before Christmas, but I have had further parish information sent to me by the local researchers. Amongst that, I noticed an entry for a Griffith TWYNING. I don’t think that’s a very common surname and I wonder whether it could relate to the Twining’s Tea company – there are a couple of references to Twinings in the book The Parrys of the Golden Vale, about the family of CHH Parry. This could be a lead with regard to how that family really connects to others who use the "fess and three lozenges" coats of arms. Something to bear in mind, at least.

There have been a couple of useful web sites mentioned on the Forum – a Directory for Cuba from 1960 netted one Parry, there was another Parry in a cemetery index from Sleaford and today I found three Parrys in the New Bedford (Massachusetts) Whaling Archives.

But I mustn’t get too sidetracked on such "new" things – I still have seven people to email with regard to Parry messages received over Christmas, two of whom are new contacts, so that is a good start to the year. Let’s hope it continues (now all I need to do is pursuade all these contacts that they really want to contribute to the study – I wonder how long it would take to collect all the BMD indexes if every Parry researcher helped?)