24/04/2014 - Permalink

Hanging judges, captains of industry, empire builders and a few Shropshire lads

Related topics: Community

Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk will, on Saturday 26 April 2014, publish online for the first time parish records held by Shropshire Archives, as the latest instalment of their ‘100 in 100’ promise, to launch 100 record sets in 100 days.

Spanning 1538 to 1900, the Shropshire collection comprises approximately 2.1 million fully searchable transcripts and 155,000 scanned colour images of the parish registers.  A selection of Anglican, Methodist and Non-Conformist registers from well over 200 Shropshire parishes from Abdon to Yockleton are included in the collection.

Many notable Shropshire lads and lasses can be found within these records, including Charles Darwin, Wilfred Owen, Clive of India, hanging Judge Jeffries, and A E Housman.  A number of early industrialists such as John ‘Iron Mad’ Wilkinson and Tom Farnolls Pritchard can also be found, reflecting the important role the county played in establishing Britain as an industrial powerhouse.

The Shropshire collection adds to findmypast’s extensive parish record collection, the largest available online.  These records allow family historians to go as far back as the 1500s.  With more parish records still to come as part of the ‘100 in 100’ promise, family historians can now explore their more distant roots more easily than ever before.

Debra Chatfield, a family historian at findmypast.co.uk, said:

“The Shropshire Collection is one of the largest regional parish record collections we have ever published online and contains some truly wonderful gems.  Family historians or people looking into their past, wherever they are in the world, can now search this historical goldmine and uncover the fascinating stories of their Shropshire ancestors. There is plenty of intrigue in the records to pique the interest of social historians too.  With our adjoining Cheshire parish collection already available, these records could prove invaluable to anyone with missing Cheshire ancestors who may have crossed the border.”

Tina Woodward, Shropshire Council’s deputy Cabinet member responsible for visitor economy, said:

“Making these records available online for the first time is a great step forward for access to Shropshire’s fantastic archives.  We hope that people across the world will uncover Shropshire ancestors they never knew they had and renew their connection with our wonderful county.”

The collection is being launched to coincide with the Discover Shropshire day, a gathering of local heritage organisations, speakers and musicians who all have something important to impart about the history of the county.  It will take place at Shirehall, Abbey Foregate in Shrewsbury, where experts from both findmypast and the Shropshire Archives will be on hand to showcase these fascinating records.

To learn more about the records visit www.findmypast.co.uk.  For further information about Shropshire Archives call 01743 255350, email archives@shropshire.gov.uk, or visit the website www.shropshirearchives.org.uk.

Further information

The new Shropshire Records at findmypast.co.uk joins an ever growing resource of official parish records from local archives, including Cheshire Archives & Local Studies, Manchester City Council, Plymouth and West Devon Records Office and the Westminster Archives, with many more in the pipeline, due to go live in the coming months.  In addition, over 40 million parish records from family history societies can be found at findmypast.co.uk in partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies.

The 2.1 million Shropshire Parish records are made up of

  • 1,130,000 baptisms
  • 190,000 marriages
  • 20,000 banns
  • 790,000 burials

They contain 720,000 unique names.

For further information please contact: dcthomson@hotwirepr.com / 0207 608 2500

About findmypast

Leading family history website findmypast was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003, winning the Queen’s Award for Innovation.  findmypast has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 1.8 billion records dating as far back as 875 AD.  This allows family historians to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military, census, migration, parish, work and education records, newspapers as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.  The company runs the official 1911 census website for England & Wales in association with The National Archives and has digitised several other record sets from the national collection.  findmypast has also partnered with the British Library in a 10-year project to safeguard the future of the world’s greatest newspaper archive.