Monday, 19 December 2011

Top 10 Archives... No.2

We're almost at the top spot in our countdown of the Top 10 most frequently requested documents at the Record Office. In at Number 2 are our Parish Collections, otherwise known amongst staff as the '850s'; because this is the reference number the collections are given.

Anything with the class mark 850 represents aspecific parish within the Diocese of Worcester. The 850 number will have a suffix of the parish name to distinguish it from the others, ranging from 850 Abberley to 850 Wyre Piddle.

The Parish Collections contain a wealth of information which would be of interest to the Family, Local and Social Historian. They can date from the Sixteenth Century to the present day. The fact that parish registers are amongst these records held will keep them firmly in our top 10. However, they are not just about parish registers. Below are some examples of the other types of sources you may come across within the collections:

Parish registers
Churchwarden's accounts
Queen Anne's bounty
Highways accounts
Vestry minutes
Poor relief accounts
Settlement papers
Parish meetings
Charities
Church schools
Tithe/enclosure/glebe
Constables accounts


The amount of information does vary considerably from parish to parish but you can clearly see how, whether your interest lies in tracing the history of your family, your house, the school, epidemics, population studies and more, you may find some useful information contained within this very valuable class of records.

You can search our holdings of parish registers from home using our online parish registers index.

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