Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Errors and Discoveries

Recently, I was checking the references for marriages to send to the upcoming challenges, confirming the FreeBMD transcriptions using the images on Ancestry, and also searching for the items on the IGI. Whilst doing this, I was surprised to notice a quarter which seemed to have no Parry references (March 1846). The image on Ancestry is a typed one and the surnames ran from Parrott to Parsison.

Since there were references on FreeBMD for that quarter, I had a look at their image, which turned out to be handwritten. Initially I had thought that perhaps a whole page had been missed out when the typed indexes were produced but it soon became obvious that it was just the Parry entries which were "missing" from the typed version and that they ran over several pages in the handwritten version.

The solution? The typed version shows no heading for the Parrys – so there are only five entries which should be Parrott, from an Ann to a Susannah, then the first names start again with Ann but, because the “Parry” is missing, it looks like they are all Parrotts as well

I wonder how often such a thing might happen with a less common name, where it is unlikely to be spotted? At least with Parry, I know there will always be some of them in every quarter so would be suspicious enough to investigate if I found none.

A couple more sites mentioned recently on mailing lists – the Museum of Freemasonry (which also has information on other similar societies) has a searchable catalogue which produced 16 results. Many of them related to the fact that there was a company by the name of Parry who produced some of the medals and regalia. But there were also a few books written by Parrys, which reminded me that I have still not decided on the best way of recording such things.

The London Gazette site was also mentioned. I have come across that one before but again, it should be on my “to do” list because it needs proper organisation and a systematic approach to tackle it, since a search over the whole current date range produces 14803 Gazette Editions that contain the name!

Finally, the discovery – yet another “fess and three lozenge” reference. Found in a Surtees Society publication of the Visitations of the North (Yorkshire and Northumberland) for the family of Baguley, “gold a fess between three lozenges azure” (p120, which is p136 if you use the page box in adobe). Somehow I think this one could be an error, since their normal coat of arms is just three lozenges, and the note does state that the shield is not recorded elsewhere. But it just shows how easy it might be for a single reference to mislead people.

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