Friday, 20 April 2018

Two updates in one week!

I don't usually have two major updates in a week but it has happened this month!

Here is an overview of today's import of 1,183 new data sets!

Findmypast has added new documents for Somerset, Northumberland, Rutland and Nottinghamshire.  These include parish registers for a variety of parishes.  See details here.

I have spent hours this week going through the digital films available from FamilySearch looking for memorial inscriptions in Suffolk.  This has resulted in an addition of 246 data sets to the OGI.

Another find was this document found on the Wiltshire Record Society's website.  It includes 209 graveyards and extracts of memorial inscriptions.  These are all now linked by place in the OGI.

My greatest impression this week was of the many researchers who, over the past 150 years or so, have spent years of their lives transcribing records in churchyards all over the country.  I know this continues today with billiongraves and findagrave, etc but here are some examples of old notebooks written long ago recording the names and dates from headstones.  I wonder if these men died young due to so much outdoor exposure or, perhaps, the opposite effect.... a longer life due to so much fresh air!

Mr Burdon reviewed hundreds of churchyards in Suffolk.  His works are now filmed and available to view at through their catalog.

Mr Whitehead is another who worked tirelessly recording the names, dates and inscriptions on thousands of headstones.

There are also bound volumes available which include the works of researchers such as G H Lawson who also devoted much of his life to the recording of headstones.

The above examples are only those I have reviewed this week but I have come across dozens of people who have specialized in this field.  Their contributions have helped to locate missing children, siblings, parents, etc.  Take a look at these headstones from my own family tree.  The amount of information on one headstone can expand your pedigree chart in new directions.

If you wish to get involved, take a look at who collect cemetery transcriptions and photos from around the world.  Other sites collecting gravestone data are and  They are always looking for contributions which will help others find their ancestors.  As I have discovered with my own line, even those not christened and lived to adulthood were buried in churchyards.

This weeks additions have benefited from those individuals who have transcribed headstones.  This has brougth the OGI total to over 374,000 data sets.  

I will leave another post as soon as there are new entries added to the site.

Thanks to all those signing up as Friends of the OGI (see the bottom of the home page of  I now have over 700 names and emails of those wishing to stay in touch with the updates to the site.  I hope to eventually have a regular mailing list to inform of new updates and blog entries.

Until the next updates!


Tim Manners

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