Friday, September 21, 2007

Picking up the pace.

I was going to call this entry "What happened to August?" but then it might have turned out to be one of those backward looking, "too many things to do, not enough time to do them" posts, which would not do justice to the recent activity on the study. As it happened, from the point of view of new databases and active research, it was a fairly quiet month and, yes, that was fortunate, since I was busy doing other things.

But over the last few weeks there has been a veritable flurry of activity on the study.

I have sorted and sent off details for all but one of the seven marriage challenges recently announced. Most of them only had one or two Parry entries but the seventh, which I am still working on, is for Bromsgrove. With its proximity to the counties bordering Wales, it was no surprise to discover there are 71 entries to check.

Some members of the Guild have now started to carry out "birth and burial" challenges, as well. So I have my name submitted for three of those.

There have been updates to a few databases, as well as a new site launched. The City of London burials on findmypast now contains 190 Parrys, instead of the 167 that were there when I checked in April. Another decade has also been added to the Passenger lists – there are now 5395 Parrys listed for between 1890-1939. The new site is, subtitled the Official Non-Parochial BMDs Service. It is a pay-per-view site, at the moment covering items contained in RG4 and RG5 at the National Archives. As some of the Guild members have pointed out, there are some anomalies in the transcriptions, and some of the information is available on the IGI, so it isn’t necessarily worth paying to obtain more details at the moment. But it is certainly a site worth keeping an eye on, as the intention is to add more records and an index pointing to available information is always a help.

Correspondence, as usual, is an issue, with some long-standing items that I need to go through to check the information on, still to be answered. On the other hand, it is an exciting aspect of the study, with 8 new contacts since the beginning of August, several of which are researching Parrys in "my" area. Another pleasing aspect is their own locations – whilst most of my contacts are in the UK, with some American and Australian researchers, two of the newer contacts have been from France and Germany, which may provide some insight into the mobility of certain families. Being able to put the French researcher in touch with a UK member of the same family is an added bonus.

Of course, it is never possible to "clear" the correspondence. I managed to answer five queries one day – and by the end of the day every one had written back to me. Perhaps it’s an indication of the vibrant state of Parry research, although one wouldn’t think that's the situation looking at the Rootsweb mailing list and message board. I must start to regularly encourage more postings on there.

It’s certainly time to pick up the pace.