Pentrich Rising: guide to sources

The Pentrich Rising is considered to be Britain’s last armed uprising.  In June 1817, a group of rebels led by Jeremiah Brandreth (left) assembled in South Wingfield with the intention of marching to Nottingham.  When they reached Eastwood, troops were waiting for them and many of the rebels were captured.  The ringleaders were later hung, drawn and quartered at Derby.

Published material

The rising is discussed in E P Thompson’s famous book, ‘The Making of the English Working Class’ (published 1963).  There are also a number of books about the rising, which can be found on the open shelves in Local Studies under ‘Pentrich’, including:

  • J. Neal (1895) Pentrich Revolution
  • John Stevens (1977) England’s Last Revolution: Pentrich 1817
  • Keith R Clark (2008) The Pentrich Revolution: a modern look at the places of interest
  • Michael Parkin (2014) 1817 – a Recipe for Revolution: reflections on the Pentrich Rising of June 1817

Original documents

An exhibition to mark the 150th anniversary of the Rising was held in 1967 and the catalogue for the exhibition can be found in Local Studies, with other books on Pentrich.  Archive collection D1667 includes a copy of the catalogue and photocopies of all the documents used in the exhibition.  Other documents include:

D239/M/F/8405 Letter from Philip Gell, London: is glad to hear of Sir Henry’s squadron; the recent rebellion should prove a useful spur to enlistment 16 June 1817
D239/M/F/10229 Notebook of Sir Henry FitzHerbert containing commodity prices, his account of the harvests, economic conditions, uprisings in Manchester and Pentrich 1812-1819
D2075/1 Brief for prisoners in case of the King against Bacon and others for high treason 15 Oct 1817
D2075/2 Coloured print of Jeremiah Brandreth, the Nottingham captain, endorsed a correct likeness by C Ward;  Size 21 x 33 cm 24 Oct 1817
D487/ZZ/1 ‘The Courier’ 25 October 1817, containing an account of the Pentrich rebellion trial in Derby 25 Oct 1817
D2943/F/9/4 (item 2) Copy of letter from ?JD Strutt to his cousin Edward, commenting on the trials following the Pentrich rebellion, describing the executions of Brandreth, Turner and Ludlum 9 Nov 1817
D4868/1 South Wingfield Association for the Prosecution of Felons Account book comprising: 1).  Includes expenses, 1819, of prosecuting those involved in Pentrich Rebellion, 1817 1819-1870
D1198/A/PI/1/1 Parish of Ripley: Baptism Register 1821-1886

At the front are minutes of the meeting on 13 Jul 1818 which resolved that the building of a church or chapel of ease at Ripley was necessary, giving the reasons for this, citing population, with probable reference to the Pentrich Rebellion

1821
D2836/5/1 ‘Pentrich Revolution and incidents of the trials of Brandreth, Ludlam, Turner and Wightman in the year 1817’ by John Neal, published in Ripley.  This account was first published as a series of articles in the ‘Ripley and Heanor News’ and ‘Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser’. [there is also a copy in Local Studies] 1895
D5851 Notes on ‘Preacher Ludlam’, taken from a local newspaper 19th Cent
D7247/6 Letter from Charles Willatt, Swiney Lane to the Hon. Frederick Strutt about Thomas Wheatcroft of Thacker Hill, Chevin, Belper and his involvement in the Pentrich rebellion of 1817 27 Apr 1896
D2631/2/13 ‘Survivor’s Story, a True Tale of the Pentrich Rebellion’, in ‘The Derbyshire Countryside’ magazine Jun-Jul 1957

There are also other sources that give a picture of the economic conditions and area at the time:

  • Q/SB/7 Removal orders, moving paupers to other parishes, 1710-1857
  • Enclosure and tithe maps of the areas, produced in the 18th and 19th centuries

Elsewhere on our blog, discover to what extent was the rebellion the result of a volcanic eruption on the other side of the world two years earlier – Mount Tambora 1815?

Church Registers

A guide to Derbyshire Anglican, Catholic and Non-Conformist church registers.

Derbyshire Record Office is also the Derby Diocesan Record Office for the Church of England.  Many non-conformist churches also deposit their records and registers.  Catholic registers, however, are mostly held elsewhere (see below).

Anglican (Church of England) Parish Registers

Parish registers are the main source for family history in the period before 1837 (when civil registration was introduced), and one of the key resource held at Derbyshire Record Office.  As a general rule, the registers do not record information about births and deaths; they record church ceremonies, i.e. baptisms, marriages, and burials.  Many of the parishes have registers dating back to the 16th century.  The earliest registers are written in Latin and we have produced a guide to help you understand the different entries – with just a little bit of knowledge and experience it is much easier than you might expect.

As a key family history resource, the registers are extremely popular and surrogates exist for the majority of items (on microfilm or DVD).  The majority of Church of England registers are also available online via the family history website Ancestry:

  • Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (marriages to 1754 only)
  • Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932
  • Baptisms, 1813-1916
  • Burials, 1813-1991

There are hundreds of Anglican churches and chapels across the county.  Our Parish Register Guide (published 2010) provides an alphabetical summary of all the parishes identifying how the parishes have developed over the last four hundred years, e.g. Alsop-en-le-Dale was originally in the parish of Ashbourne and Belper was originally in the parish of Duffield.  It also identifies those parishes that were once in Derbyshire but have now been transferred to other counties or dioceses (such as Mellor, now Cheshire, and Norton, now Sheffield).

For registers deposited since 2010 and other church records, you can search the online catalogue using the reference number in brackets after the parish name.

In the 17th-19th centuries, Derbyshire parishes sent an annual copy of all baptisms, marriages and burials diocese in Lichfield.  Known as the ‘Bishop’s Transcripts’ they do sometimes include information from registers that have not survived amongst the parish archives, or entries that were perhaps missed from the originals.

For other records created by the Church of England in Derbyshire, see our Guide to Anglican Ecclesiastical Records.

Non-Conformist Church Registers

Non-conformist is a catch-all term for all non-Anglican (i.e. non-Church of England) Christian denominations, including Methodist, Baptist, Congregational, Unitarian, Presbyterian, Quaker and Roman Catholic.

Some registers survive from the 17th century, but for most chapels registers only survive from the late 18th or early 19th century.  As a result of Hardwick’s Marriage Act of 1753, all marriages had to take place in Anglican churches, although many families may have continued to attend the Anglican church for their ceremonies and it is always worth checking the earlier Anglican registers.  Quaker and Jewish marriage ceremonies were also recognised as valid.  After 1837, marriages were required to be conducted by licensed persons and gradually more non-conformist ministers were licensed.

Under the Non-Parochial Register Act of 1840, all non-conformist and foreign churches (not synagogues) in England and Wales were required to send their registers to the Registrar General.  These are now held at The National Archives in series RG4, RG5, RG6 and RG8.  From 1880 non-conformist burial ceremonies were permitted in Anglican churchyards.

Burial registers from 1713 are held at The National Archives, with microfilm copies for Derbyshire Churches available at Derbyshire Record Office.

The information in the Non-Conformist registers can vary considerably, but they are likely to contain details of: births/baptisms, marriages, and deaths/burials.  The details given for each event also varies, but was normally very similar to that found in Anglican registers, although births and deaths are more commonly recorded.  Use the Non-Conformist Register List to see what records are available and check the online catalogue, searching the Title field for the place name and the word ‘church’.

Catholic Registers

Derbyshire Record Office’s holdings of Catholic Church registers is very sparse as they are designated repositories elsewhere for the preservation of catholic records relating to Derbyshire.  The majority of the county falls under the Nottingham Diocese, with records held at the Nottingham Diocesan Archives; churches in Chesterfield, Dronfield, Bamford, Clowne, Staveley, Hathersage and Spinkhill fall under the Hallam Diocese, whose records are held at Sheffield Archives.

As with other non-Anglican churches, after 1840, Catholic churches were also required to send their registers to the Registrar General.  However, with performance of Catholic ceremonies illegal before 1836, very few registers were submitted by Catholic churches.  Sometimes before the 1836 Emancipation Act, Catholic baptisms, marriages and burials may appear in Anglican registers with the word ‘papist’ or ‘recusant’ next to each entry.  Between 1754 and 1837, most Catholics married in Anglican churches to ensure their marriage was valid under English law.  However, many are not recorded in Anglican registers, either because a Catholic family refused to attend an Anglican church, or because the Anglican incumbent refused to conduct ceremonies for Papists.  In the absence of alternative burial grounds before 1855 Catholics were generally buried in Anglican churchyards, but not necessarily recorded in the registers.

Catholic registers held by Derbyshire Record Office are listed in the Non-Conformist Register List.

Other Faiths

Very few archive records for other faiths have been deposited with Derbyshire Record Office:

  • Derby Hebrew Congregation – D3290
  • Sri Guru Singh Sabha Gurdwara Sikh Congregation – D6659
Further Reading

There are a very large number of books and other guides available in the Local Studies Library about undertaking family history research all of which refer to church registers.

There are also a wide range of online guides from The National Archives.

The Catholic Archives Society promotes the identification and listing of Catholic records and publishes an annual periodical which is available in Local Studies.  The Society itself does not hold any archive records but may be able to offer research advice.

Captain Mundy’s close shave and a game of ‘la chase’

Almost two hundred years ago, Captain George Mundy wrote a letter to his father, Edward Miller Mundy I on May 1st 1809, detailing an encounter with the French fleet in the Napoleonic wars five days earlier on Thursday, 27th April 1809. This letter is part of the Miller Mundy collection, which is an enlightening and fascinating insight into life at that time.

There are so many historical books, films and television programmes centred on the Napoleonic Wars, but to be able to read a first-hand account written by member of a family local and renowned to Derby, elevates your imagination and creates a much closer idea of what these seamen endured.

Captain Mundy's letter

HMS Hydra captained by George Mundy was anchored off Mongat, North East of Barcelona. He left his ship and writes that he

“arrived in the neighbourhood of the beach and immediately between me and the ship – a party of 200 French infantry that had marched out of Barcelona and came to plunder the village of Mongat – on the beach so heavy a surf that none of our boats could land, a squadron of men of war coming towards the Hydra”

He continues how he wished he could engage in ‘la chase’ – a chase, relying entirely on the wind and sea

“however it was to no purpose stewing and fretting and with a little exertion and some threats, I got a fisherman to launch me thro’ the surf and put me on board the old Hydra – never have I felt half the pleasure of getting alongside a good blazing fire after a long journey…as I did in putting my foot on the deck of my wooden residence – all the miseries I had been suffering vanished and I felt strong in my castle and able to undertake a good deal.”

Capt. Mundy’s delight at being back on board is clear, in spite of the considerable threat from the enemy fleet blocking their route.

And what happened next? After firing shots at the French infantry on the beach and faced with a whole squadron of Men of War, the Hydra managed to escape having used a secret signal to identify the enemy, and by skilled seamanship and bravery.

“soon under weigh (sic) and having given my friends at Mongat a few parting shots I made all sail towards the enemy advanced frigates (which I had then discovered them to be by their not answering the private signal) knowing that it was the only way to get off – that is to say by a little gasconade – by which I completely succeeded in escaping from the cul de sac – they had put me in, or rather shut me in – do not imagine that they were alarmed by the asserations and manoeuvre of the Hydra – no! The truth of the matter was that they took for granted that we supposed the squadron to be British and that we were joining them.”

Melanie, Archives Assistant

Building History – Getting Started

An introductory guide to the sources available for researching Derbyshire houses and other buildings

There are a large number of different sources available for researching the history of Derbyshire buildings, but the survival and availability of sources varies significantly between different places.

Most records do not relate to specific properties and it is very rare to be able to identify records based on the house number (and almost never using a postcode) as these are relatively recent inventions in comparison to the dates of the records.  Therefore, it is often best to search just by place name rather than house number or street name.

When was the property built?

For many properties finding the specific year it was built is often not possible, but it is usually possible to narrow it down to with a few decades or years.  Search the Land Registry website to see if the property has been registered.

  • Title Deeds should be the starting point and ought to be in the custody of the current owner (or their solicitor) if the property hasn’t been registered.  If the property has been registered then the deeds may have been kept by the owner at the time the property was registered, transferred to Derbyshire Record Office, or (more often) destroyed.
  • Maps  are the key source used for working out approximately when a property was built.

Who owned and/or lived in the property

  • Census Returns are particularly useful for identifying who lived in a property, the returns were made every ten years, and currently available to search and browse online between 1841 and 1911 (particularly via Ancestry and Find My Past).
  • Electoral Registers (available from 1832-1999) list voters at a particular property, although the descriptions are usually too vague to identify specific properties for most places before 1918.  Search the online catalogue using Reference ER* and entering the place name in the AnyText field.  No registers were made in 1833-1834, 1916-1917, and 1940-1944
  • Where they survive Rate Books record information about each property, owner, occupier and the rates payable.  You will need to know which pre-1974 local authority covered the area you are interested in and consult the catalogue for the appropriate archive collection.
  • Various Maps are available may have been created with schedules detailing owners and/or occupiers.

 Other useful sources

  • Search Picture the Past to see if any photographs are available for the property or street.
  • Sale catalogues are published accounts of properties at the point they are put up for sale.  Catalogues from the 1970s are available in the local studies library (indexed on site); earlier catalogues in the archives collections can be searched in the online catalogue, though rarely by property name/number.
  • Building regulation plans survive for a small number of pre-1974 rural and urban district councils and those that do are rarely individually listed in our catalogue.  Sometimes registers are available that can help identify a specific plan.  See our catalogue for a list of pre-1974 authorities where building regulation registers and/or plans have survived.  If the authority is not listed, unfortunately this means no plans or registers have been deposited at Derbyshire Record Office.
  • Local newspapers can often give detailed descriptions of properties, especially relating to sales.
  • Never discount that someone may already have undertaken some relevant research relating a specific property, street or town/village.  Search the onsite indexes and online library catalogue for details of relevant publications and articles.

Beginner’s Latin

A guide for family historians using church registers before 1733 when Latin is the official language, identifying key words and phrases to help you make sense of the records.

Although not the common spoken language in England, the official written language was Latin until 1733. Many priests did start using English before 1733, and it is very common to find entries during the Civil War (1643-1653) and Commonwealth (1653-1660) periods too. If you studied Latin at school, this will help, but beware Medieval Latin can be archaic and is quite different from Classical Latin.

A few words of warning before you begin
  • Abbreviations: Latin words and names are heavily abbreviated. Although the abbreviations are not always consistent, they are often found as a at the end of the word or a line across the top near where the missing letters should be: e.g. Johes [Johannes – John] or Rici’ [Ricardi – Richard]
  • Inflections: Latin is an inflected language, meaning that many words, such as personal names, have different endings according to their meaning. For example, Hannah filia Caroli Lomas et Hanne uxoris bapt. Meaning: Hannah daughter of Charles Lomas and Hannah his wife was baptised.
  • Spelling: There is no standard spelling of surnames and many place names; this doesn’t mean a name has been spelt incorrectly as all forms are correct. It is also very unusual to find a capital ‘F’,; instead ‘ff’ is used, but it should be translated as ‘F’. Letters ‘i’ and ‘j’, and ‘u’ and ‘v’ are used interchangeably; and sometimes a ‘c’ will appear where you might expect a ‘t’.
Form of Register Entries

Baptisms: can be identified by the use of words such as baptizat; baptizatus; baptisata; bapt.; baptizarus erat.

The typical entry reads: ‘NAME son/daughter of FATHER’S NAME and MOTHER’S NAME his wife’, e.g. Johannes filius Ricardi Milnes et Helena uxoris baptizat – John son of Richard Milnes and Helen his wife.

  • filius – son of
  • filia – daughter of
  • uxoris – wife of

Marriages: often abbrievated to ‘nupt’, but may also appear as uxorati sunt; conjuncti fuere

Burials: identified by the use of the word ‘sepulta’, often abbreviated to sepult’ or ‘sep

Other words commonly found include:

  • vidua (abbreviation: vid.) – widow
  • spurious/nothus/vliciatus – referring to an illegitimate child
Dates
  • Months: Januarius, Februarius, Martius, Aprilis, Maius, Junius, Julius, Augustus, September, October,  November, December
  • Roman Numerals are often used for the date which is squeezed on to the end of a line. Read the dates above and below the entry you are interested in to make sure you have recorded the correct information.

Did you know? Before 1751, the year began on 25 March not 1 January. Entries between 1 January and 24 March are usually entered using the “Old Style” or civil year; but we should understand the date under the “New Style” or the historical year. An entry dated 14 February 1726 actually took place on 14 February 1727 from our point of view. This explains how a child baptised on 8 June 1687 could be buried on 19 March 1687 – as 1688 didn’t actually start for another 6 days.

Personal Names

Some names are generally quite obvious, e.g. Henricus (Henry), Edwardus (Edward), Robertus (Robert), Elizabetha (Elizabeth), Dorothea (Dorothy). But, there are some names that are a little more difficult, and others that are not as obvious as they may seem. Here are some common examples:

  • Antonius – Anthony
  • Carolus – Charles
  • Galfridus – Geoffrey
  • Gratia – Grace
  • Gulielmus – William
  • Helena – Helen
  • Hugo – Hugh
  • Jacobus – James
  • Johannes – John (beware Johanna for Joanne/Joanna)
  • Margareta – Margaret
  • Maria – Mary (sometimes Maria)
  • Petrus – Peter
Some examples from Derbyshire Parish Registers
  • Johes filius Rici’ Milnes baptizat – John son of Richard Milnes was baptised
  • Elizabetha uxor Thome Cartledge sepultus – Elizabeth wife of Thomas Cartledge was buried
  • Thomas Hand et Ellena Turner nupt. – Thomas Hand and Ellen Turner were married
  • ffranciscus Alwood de Newbold sepult. – Francis Alwood of Newbold was buried (note that ‘ff’ at the beginning of a word is the traditional form of the upper case ‘F’)
  • […] uxor Ed: Hurst sepult. – [Name unknown] wife of Edward Hurst was buried
Further Reading

There are practical online guides with activities available from The National Archives and University of Nottingham: Manuscripts and Special Collections, as well as a large number of published guides on Latin and other tips for using parish registers in our Local Studies Library.

Perfection in Accounting

Whilst we’re in coronavirus lockdown, one of the collections I’m working on is D517, the archive of the Miller Mundy family of Shipley Hall.  I had to nip into the office the other day (we go in regularly to make sure the environmental conditions in the stores are as they should be) so I took a quick look at a couple of items in the collection which needed some better descriptions.  These are two account books from the 1600s (reference numbers: D517/BOX/13/1-2).

Both books are large and parchment bound.  The first was an account book (1682-1697) belonging to Edward Mundy of Markeaton Hall.  I know very little about Edward but I can tell that he was an extremely neat and organised man, as his accounts are an example in financial perfection.

D517-BOX-13-1-Ledger apparel reduced

Edward Mundy’s ledger, 1680s (D517/BOX/13/1)

The book is divided into a ledger at the front and a journal or day book at the back.  If you’re not familiar with accounting practices, a ledger is arranged by type of expense, or the person or business which is being paid or charged, whereas a journal, also known as a day book, is a chronological account of money coming in and out.  Edward’s ledger crosses over two pages, one page with credit and one with debit.  There are numbers at the sides of the ledger and journal entries so that Edward could check his ledger entries against his journal entries and vice versa.

D517-BOX-13-1-Journal first page top

Beginning of Edward Mundy’s journal (D517/BOX/13/1)

Just look at that beautiful writing!  Edward Mundy really took his time to make the ledger and journal pleasing to the eye as well as practical.

From this book we can learn a lot about Edward Mundy’s business dealings, which include wool, sugar, and cotton, as well as his household expenses, what he spent on horses, clothes and shoes, and his ‘parish dues’.  Lots of people are named, including his servants Jarvis Woodruff and Hester Jenkinson.

The second book in this box is an even earlier ledger from 1661-1662 and relates to a textile business that seems to have been jointly owned or invested in by a John Tufnayle and Mrs Elizabeth Clerke.  Who these people are and how they are connected with the Mundys is not yet known, but the ledger is similarly well written:

D517-BOX-13-2 ledger Lixa

Ledger entry, 1661 (D517/BOX/13/2)

It doesn’t quite reach the perfection of Edward Mundy’s ledger, but it’s pretty good.  Here it looks as if the business is exporting textiles (baize, ‘bocking’ and ‘colchester’), possibly to Lixa in Portugal.

This large volume was only used as a ledger for a few pages.  Eighty years later, Charles Palmer from Ladbroke Hall in Warwickshire obviously decided it would make a useful book in which to (very roughly!) record the rents he was getting from his tenants.

D517-BOX-13-2 rental

Rent for the year 1742 (D517/BOX/13/2)

It’s hard to imagine a greater contrast in both organisation and handwriting.  Ordinarily I would say that eighteenth century handwriting was a pleasure to read, but definitely not in this case.

Derbyshire Parish Registers Online

A guide to accessing Derbyshire Anglican church registers from 1538 online via Ancestry.

 

 

What are parish registers?

Parish registers have been, and still are, created by all Anglican churches. They record ceremonies of baptism, marriage and burial. Between 1538 and 1753 all ceremonies were recorded in the same register, usually, though not always, chronologically. From 1754, marriages were recorded in a separate pre-printed register, and from 1813, separate pre-printed registers were required for baptisms and burials as well. For many parishes from 1754 there are also banns registers that record the reading of banns for three weeks prior to a marriage ceremony taking place. The banns are read in the bride and groom’s parish not just the parish in which the ceremony is taking place.

Especially before the establishment of civil registration for births, marriages and deaths in 1837, the parish registers are the key source available to family historians.

 Which parish registers are available on Ancestry?

Images of the original parish registers are arranged into four ‘record collections’ as follows:

  • Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812 (note: this only includes marriages to 1754)
  • Derbyshire, England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932
  • Derbyshire, England, Church of England Baptisms, 1813-1916
  • Derbyshire, England, Church of England Burials, 1813-1991

In addition to these collections which have been provided in association with Derbyshire Record Office, there are also the following categories which do not include any images or refer to all entries in the original registers as they are transcripts from published sources:

  • Derbyshire, England, Select Church of England Parish Registers 1538-1910 (similar to IGI)
  • Derbyshire, England, Extracted Church of England Parish Records (taken from published sources including Phillimore’s Derbyshire parish registers: Marriages and Derbyshire Record Society’s Chesterfield Parish Register 1558-1600 and 1601-1635.
Searching the Derbyshire parish registers

You can search across all the records and categories available on Ancestry using the general search from the home page. Alternatively, if you know your ancestor was baptised, married or buried in Derbyshire, we recommend specifically searching the Derbyshire parish registers.

1.  From the top menu, click ‘Search’ and then select ‘Card Catalog’:

2.  In the title field, type Derbyshire, followed by the type of record you are searching for (i.e. baptisms, marriages or burials) and then click ‘Search’:

3.  Select the collection covering the date range you wish to search:

From here you can then enter the details of the person you are searching for, including specifying a particular place, or just simply typing Derbyshire.

Alternatively, you can also browse a specific register without using the search facility at all – this is particularly useful if the search has not returned any relevant results but you are sure the event did take place in Derbyshire (unfortunately, it is never possible for the transcripts in the searches to be completely free from human error). To browse, select the parish name from the list on the right:

Once you have selected the parish name you are interested in, you then need to select the date range you wish to browse. Some of the date ranges do overlap, and you may find you need to check both. Particularly if the date range is very long, you may want skip ahead rather than clicking through each page one at a time. You can do this using the small tool at the bottom of the page and jumping ahead to a different page number (this may take a bit of guess work).

Unfortunately, many of the earlier registers are not arranged in an obvious chronological order and identifying the correct page is therefore awkward. In these cases we recommend browsing the register page-by-page until you find the correct date and entry type (i.e. baptism/marriage/burial).

Errors on the databases

Unfortunately, as thousands of registers were added across the four collections in one go, there have been some errors in the labelling on the Ancestry site.   We have been meticulously working through each register on the four datasets to identify the errors so that Ancestry can correct them.  Most of the errors are minor and concern the links for the ‘date ranges’ covered for each parish.  However, some of the errors are much more significant as the register has been labelled up as the wrong place.  The process of correcting the errors is taking much longer than we had anticipated, so please continue to bear with us.  In the meantime, here is the list of post-1813 baptism registers that are mis-labelled:

For Baptisms in the parish of … see under …
Chesterfield, Christ Church (Stonegravels) 1876-1886 Holy Trinity (Stonegravels District) 1839-1886, pages 211-264
Chesterfield, St Augustine (formerly Iron Church) 1876-1896 Chesterfield St Mary and All Saints for baptisms 1876-1896
Chinley with Buxworth 1873-1916 Glossop 1874-1916
Cotmanhay and Shipley 1885-1904 Codnor 1881-1904, pages 109-263
Derby, St George (mission) 1886-1916 Derby St Luke
Derby, St Christopher 1903-1916 Derby, St Thomas 1903-1916
Derby, St Dunstan 1900-1904, 1907-1916 Derby, St James 1900-1904, 1907-1916
Derby, St Werburgh 1896-1916 Derby, St Osmund (Osmaston by Derby), pages 56-144
Eckington 1813-1832, 1869-1890 Derby, St Paul 1813-1890
Elton 1813-1861, 1862-1914 Etwall 1813-1861, 1862-1914
Handley 1871-1897 Staveley 1865-1897, pages 270-292
Hartington 1813-1900 Monyash 1813-1899, pages 1-106
Hatton 1886-1916 Marston on Dove 1887-1916
Hulland 1838-1896 Snelston 1838-1896
Long Eaton 1813-1852 Sawley 1813-1852
Osmaston by Ashbourne 1813-1901 Norbury 1813-1916, pages 109-162
Peak Dale 1890-1916 Wormhill 1891-1916
Renishaw 1887-1913 Eckington 1887-1913
Rosliston 1875-1916 Newhall 1833-1916, pages 1-35
Shirebrook 1844-1897 Staveley 1844-1897
Shottle Hazelwood
Smalley 1813-1916 Longford 1813-1916, pages 159-end
Tansley 1840-1890 Middleton by Wirksworth 1840-1889, pages 68-121
Twyford 1852-1911 Barrow on Trent 1852-1911

‘Atypical’ day for record office staff

During the month of April we are taking part in the #archive30 Twitter campaign. The campaign assigns specific themes to each day and today is ‘A Typical Day’. Given the current situation, that is a very interesting theme to write about!

For all of us, things are anything but typical at the moment and record office staff are finding ways to adapt to this new way of working. The majority of us are working from home on various tasks including working through collection information to improve our catalogue lists. Some staff still pop into the office for short periods of time to undertake essential maintenance, including cleaning and monitoring environmental conditions to make sure we can keep our collections safe (we tweeted about that yesterday).

A couple of us, however, have taken on a completely new role. Both myself and Sarah, Manager of Derbyshire Record Office and Local Studies Library, have been volunteering as call handlers at Derbyshire County Council’s Community Response Unit. The Unit helps those who need extra support at the moment, those who may have no friends or family who they can call on and who are self-isolating because they or a member of their household is at risk from Covid-19.

As call handlers we pass on requests from those who need help to amazing teams of volunteers from over 200 different organisations throughout the county who can help with shopping, fetching prescriptions or offering a befriending service.

CRU 3

Community Response Unit staff at work

We have been volunteering a few days a week over the past three weeks and it’s fair to say that no two days are the same. Working there is quite different from our usual roles but playing our small part in supporting those in the community who need extra help at this time is very rewarding.

If you are a Derbyshire resident and need help, or know someone who does, then visit the Community Response Unit webpage or phone 01629 535091. The phone line is available Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm and Saturdays 9am to 1pm.

…don’t forget to follow us on Twitter at @FranklinArchive.

Family History – Getting Started

A guide to where to start with your family history and the main types of record to help you.

The first thing to do, is to gather together as much information as you can from present day family members and any family documents you have at home.  Record what you already know such as names, dates and place of birth, marriage and death, then use this to work backwards and fill in any gaps.

Civil Registration of births, marriages and deaths: A national system of registration was introduced in England and Wales on 1 July 1837.  Search the indexes online, e.g. www.gro.gov.uk or www.freebmd.org.uk. Order copy certificates from www.gro.gov.uk or the local register office.

Church registers: as far back as 1538 (and up to the present day), church records that provide information about when people were alive through baptism, marriage and burial registers.  Registers for Anglican churches in Derbyshire can be consulted via Ancestry up to 1916 for baptisms, 1932 for marriages and 1991 for burials.  Free access to this site is available from all Derbyshire libraries.  See guide to Parish Registers Online. Before 1733, almost all of the entries in the church registers are recorded in Latin.

Similar registers are also available for a large number of non-conformist churches. Some are available via Find My Past (also be accessible for free in Derbyshire libraries), with others available on microfilm or as original documents in the archive search room.

Consult the Parish Register List and Non-Conformist Register List for details of the records available.  For more recent registers added to the church collections, please search the online catalogue using the reference number given in the summary guides (Parish Guide and Non-Conformist Guide) or by searching in the Title field as follows:

  • Church of England: place name and the word parish, e.g. Alfreton Parish
  • Non-conformist: place name and the word church (or chapel if applicable), e.g. Gresley church.

For some churchyards and civil cemeteries, local groups have produced Memorial Inscriptions, recording the details of memorials and gravestones in and outside churches, these are often useful for identifying family relationships.

Censusa national census has been taken every ten years since 1801, and from 1841 detailed returns listing individuals have survived.  The returns are available online (for example on Ancestry and Find My Past) up to 1911, and microfilm copies are available to 1901 at the record office.  From 1851, the returns include place of birth, and more detail is added over time making them very useful for helping to trace ancestors who may have moved around.  Depending on the date and place of residence, for some ancestors you may be able to identify the house they lived in, but house numbers and even street names are quite uncommon in most rural and semi-rural towns.

Bishops’ Transcripts: in 1598, parishes were ordered to send an annual copy of all baptisms, marriages and burials for the year to the church authorities.  For some parishes, the ‘Bishop’s Transcripts’, or BTs were made until the late 19th century and can be very useful when the original registers are hard to read or if a register is missing.  Both BTs and parish registers can contain entries not found in the other.  Derbyshire was part of the Diocese of Lichfield until the mid-19th century, so the BTs are held at Staffordshire Record Office.

Cemetery records: copies of cemetery records from 1855 to the 1990s are available on microfilm and DVD.  The registers tend to include more information and there is usually a grave register to help identify the location of the grave itself.

Consult the Cemetery Records Guide on our website for a full list of the records available.

Wills and Probate: by at least the 13th century the Church had succeeded in establishing a jurisdiction in testamentary matters, which it retained until the Court of Probate Act 1857.  Most early Derbyshire wills are to be found amongst the records of the Diocese of Lichfield held at Staffordshire Record Office and can be accessed online via Find My Past. One exception was Dale Abbey manorial court which exercised its own probate jurisdiction until 1858.  Wills of persons holding property in more than one diocese were proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC), see The National Archives guide to Wills or Administrations before 1858 Guide for more information.

Between 1858 and 1928 wills (and letters of administration to 1875) for many Derbyshire residents were proved by the Derby Probate Registry and copies are available on microfilm or DVD – search the catalogue using the person’s name and reference D96/*.

Wills after 1928 can be ordered online from the Probate Service.

There are also thousands of wills amongst family and estate collections, particularly where they form part of a bundle or series of deeds to prove the title to property.  The best way to search for such records is to search for the individual’s name in the ‘Any Text’ field in the online catalogue.

Guides to doing family history:  there is a lot of information online about how to research your family history, and we have lots of general and specific guides (for example relating to ancestors in particular trades, those who broke the law and those who emigrated) in the local studies library to help as well.

Find out more about your ancestors using records for digging deeper.

Record Office on Lockdown – new research guides, new catalogues, new resources

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about how the work we would be doing from home now that we were unable to have physical access to the archives and local studies collections – well here’s how we’ve been getting on.

Not on the original list of lockdown labours, though still we hope very useful, are a new series of Research Guides to help discover the incredible collections we hold and the best resources to use depending on what it is you are trying to find out.  From tomorrow (Thursday 16 April), we will publish a new Research Guide via the blog every 3 days or so – with the aim that even seasoned researchers will find out something new.

As you might expect, we have received far fewer enquiries from customers than we normally would – between the 1st and 15th April 2019, we received 132 email and postal enquiries, this year we have received just 21.  Mostly, the subjects of the enquiries were familiar to us (house history, getting a copy of your own baptism certificate, researching a family coat of arms, locating the graves of ancestors), but a request for information from someone researching a documentary about Robbie Williams was a little out of the ordinary!  Although our ability to answer emails is somewhat reduced while we cannot access the collections, we are certainly doing our best – including in relation to Robbie Williams.

Most of us are engaged in converting old catalogue lists and other information that can be published online (via our catalogue) so that we can share as much as possible about the collections with everybody around the world:

  • over 500 entries from the Local Studies authors index typed in anticipation of being added to the online catalogue
  • almost 70 detailed biographical files researched and formatted, to make it easier to find other records in the collections relating to the same individuals or families
  • hundreds of individual descriptions for apprenticeship indentures, bastardy bonds and other records that had previously only been summarised.

Several old handwritten and typed (i.e. typewriter) lists have been re-typed so that we can import them into the online catalogue.  We had thought we might have to wait some time before the information would be publicly available, but we hope the first lists will be available from next week.  These collections will include:

  • D8252 Frederick C Boden (1902-1971), miner, author and lecturer
  • D5440 Chesterfield, Bolsover and Clowne Water Board
  • D1661 Diocesan Ecclesiastical Dilapidations records for Derbyshire parishes
  • D9 Dakeyne family of Darley Dale – this was one of the first collections to be deposited with the county council, way back in 1922. Back then the record office didn’t exist and although a rough list of the contents was created back in the 1960s (following the appointment of a County Archivist in 1962), we will finally get the list published in time for the 100th anniversary of its deposit!
  • Plus the detailed descriptions of apprenticeship indentures.

Lots of us are beavering away on converting various other lists that have never been converted to a digital format, so there will be plenty more of these to come in next few weeks.

Several resources for schools have been published online (particularly for teachers doing amazing work with the children of key workers, and for all the parents who have unexpectedly found themselves home-schooling).  In particular there is a mini timeline of Derbyshire history from prehistory to the 21st century – we will need to wait a little while longer yet to see what the historians make of the current world situation!