Friday, June 13, 2008

Generous genealogists

I received 23 copy marriage certificates at the end of May, the results of Stage 2 of the Bristol Marriage Challenge. That’s 40, out of the 48 Bristol district entries up to 1871, that have now been accounted for. (The 51 marriages shown on FreeBMD is an exaggeration due to transcription errors). The details from several of these latest ones will be of interest to other researchers but I need to get them typed up first – not all of the challengers send out results electronically since some prefer to transcribe directly from the registers onto blank “certificates”. But, having received well over 300 certificates since I started submitting entries to the challenges, I’m certainly not going to complain about a bit of typing up.

I went to the WDYTYA? LIVE event at the beginning of May and spotted a few Parrys in some second hand books. There weren’t enough references to justify buying the books, but staff on the stall were kind enough to let me transcribe the entries. It reminded me of the first time I asked a bookseller if I could do that – it was soon after joining the Guild, so the concept of one-name studies was still new to me, and I’d found one or two entries in each of several separate booklets of apprenticeship records. Again, there wasn’t enough to justify buying them, but I wasn’t sure what kind of response I might get from the bookseller, a gentleman easily identified by his hat. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find that, in return for just putting the series of books into order in their box, I was free to transcribe anything relevant. It was only in April, when the bookseller died, that I learnt of his past contributions to genealogy. Howard Benbrook’s recollections of Don Steel probably encapsulate what many of us visitors to the fairs experienced, and Stuart Raymond’s his wider contribution.

No wonder he had understood the one-namer’s goal.

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