Friday, February 13, 2015

Weekly round-up 13 Feb 2015

Companies seem to like releasing information on a Friday.  Each week FindMyPast send out their “FindMyPast Fridays” email, listing all their latest additions and, this morning, Gerald Cooke, the Guild's Gloucestershire regional representative, also posted on the Forum that Ancestry had announced various Gloucestershire records are now available on their site. There's bound to be Parrys in those and perhaps I should start scheduling Friday as a day for exploring new records. 

However, are such records really “new”?

Last week's releases from FMP included Dorset parish records and the British Merchant Navy, First World War Medal Cards, 1914-1925.  As this fitted in with my intention to do some work on WW1 potential casualties, I took a look. In doing so, I realised that the source for the Dorset records was actually Family Search and, for the Merchant seamen, it was the National Archives.  Checking on the TNA site indicated that, not only are these records available from there, but that the index information can also be downloaded as a spreadsheet (up to 1000 entries).  For a one-namer, this is obviously a much more efficient way of collecting the data, than from FMP at twenty entries per page.

This just shows how important it is to plan and log details of research – so I don’t get caught out and waste time with a “new” dataset, which I might already have from another source, and also to consider these multiple sources so as to identify the best way of dealing with a particular “data collection” task.

I have spent some time this week collecting the index details of all the WW1 related datasets on the National Archives. I'm not yet ready to post about the casualties but, when I do come to do so, it seems important to consider the wider context of how many other Parrys fought and survived, or were otherwise involved in some way in serving their country.  So that research is ongoing.

A couple of other recent points of interest:
-          one of my other hobbies is metal detecting and I noticed from "Digging Deep", the latest news from the National Council for Metal Detecting, that the Chairman of the Crewe & Nantwich MDS is a John Parry. 
-          Yet another descendant of the Colston Parry family has posted on the Parry message board at Ancestry (I wish all the Parry families had so many descendants interested in them!)
-          A Guild Newswatch item was received for a Meryl Parry who passed away in January.

By a strange coincidence, when I just looked back at the details of that Newswatch item, I realised that the hospice mentioned just happens to be the same one that my final “round-up” item relates to. Yesterday, two Guild members let me know about an old family bible, which had belonged to a Parry family and has now turned up in a charity shop.  The shop staff were trying to find descendants. (Well, actually, one of the articles says "ancestors" – don’t journalists know the difference?!!!)

The story can be found through the following two articles:

I have looked for census information and can find the Parry family at the house in Llanfihangel, Montgomeryshire, through every census.  The bible was presented to the original owner, a John Parry, in the late 1830s by John Owens, a minister from Llanuwchllyn and, based on the 1851 census, it appears that, that’s where John Parry had been born. 

The shop does now have contact with descendants of the family so, hopefully, that’s one old bible which will be reunited with people who will treasure it.

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