Tracing your Family Tree ?
|Church records are a prime source of information about births, deaths
and marriages that date back further than the national records held by the
Public Records Office. These parish records are important documents and few
if any parishes have the facilities to preserve them properly. Thus they
are seldom actually kept in the parish.
This is the case with Bagshot's records. As for many other parishes in the Diocese, they are held at:
Surrey History Centre
their website is at www.surreycc.gov.uk/surreyhistoryservice where you can find out about the services they offer and how to access those services.
Bagshot parish goes back to 1874, records earlier than that are part of Windlesham parish. However Bagshot had a Chapel of Ease prior to 1874 and records of baptisms, marriages and burials in the chapel were maintained in separate registers entitled Bagshot St Anne or Bagshot Chapel. These records are held by the Surrey History Centre where they can be viewed on microfilm. Ancestry.co.uk have indexed the records and made them available on line. Ancestry is a subscription service but access may be available via your local library, LDS Family History Centre or Family History Society.
The local council have published a burial records. See www.windleshampc.gov.uk and follow the link for 'burial records'. There are no burials in the present St Anne's church yard, they are all in the cemetery.
Surrey Heath Museum has an extensive archive of local information, maps, newspapers and family data that complements the formal records held at Woking. For history about local families or background information about the area contact the museum by phone to ascertain whether they have material relevant to your needs and if relevant to make an appointment to discuss your needs. The museum, incidentally, is free and has a constantly changing programme of themed displays.
Surrey Heath Museum
The West Surrey Family History Society (WSFHS) has transcribed and published most of the available Surrey parish registers (including Windlesham/Bagshot), poor law records, and much more. These records can be invaluable to researchers. The society hold occasional Open Days and regular meetings in Camberley as well as in Woking, Farnham, Guildford, Walton on Thames and Pyford.
If you are 'doing' family history and your family came from Bagshot then you might be interested in the archive disc that records Bagshot as it is today.
I am always pleased to hear from people who have a connection with Bagshot. While I am not able to furnish information from old records, I do offer the opportunity to post questions here.
Births, marriages and deaths have been formally registered since July 1837. Copies of the registration documents are held by the General Register Office (GRO, previously called PRO). They are not available to researchers, but you can buy a copy for £9.25 from www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates. Some third parties offer to supply certificates, but will add a potentially large mark-up. I recommend to always buy direct from the GRO
Indexes are produced and these may be referred to. The indexes are prepared each quarter and list all events in alphabetical order. For each name is given the registration district and the volume and page on which the record is held, the date will also be known to 3 months by virtue of what quarter it is in. This is the date on which the event was registered, which, especially in the case of a birth, could be some weeks after the event.
The indexes were created manually, so it is not surprising that there are a few errors.
The 1837 Act introduced a Civil Marriage at a Register Office as an alternative to a marriage in the Parish Church. Some parents thought, incorrectly, that the registration of a birth was similarly an alternative to a baptism and so omitted to register their child's birth.
www.FreeBMD.org.uk is a volunteer project to transcribe the Indexes. Coverage is very good prior to about 1960. This is a source of the GRO index reference that you can quote to expedite the GRO service.
Searches for births and deaths are self evident. You can enter as many, or as few, criteria as you want.
Making a marriage search is similarly self evident - the result needs a little more processing. For most years the results will only list one marriage partner, potentially you have to inspect all the possibilities by clicking on the page number. This will display all the entries on that page. Later entries include the spouse's surname so that makes things easier.
For most dates there were 2 marriages on each page - thus you get shown the names of two males and two females with no indication who married who - you have to guess or chance your arm and buy a certificate to get the details. Early dates have 3 or 4 weddings to a page so there are even more choices.
From 1984 the BMD data was collected electronically, so there are no printed indexes. The data includes the mother's maiden name. They can be searched via www.ancestry.co.uk but without paying you don't get much data back. Your local County Library may have a subscription to Ancestry.
While the GRO is a convenient single sourse for copies of certificates they actually only hold copies and the originals are held by regional offices and copies can be obtained from them. www.ukbmd.org.uk lists those local Registries for which index data is available on the Internet (unfortunately Surrey is not among them). A particular advantage of at least some of these is that the database gives the mother's maiden name in situations where the GRO index does not.
Before 1837 there was no registration. All there is are Parish Records of baptisms, marriages and burials. Not everyone was baptised, and baptism might be several years after birth. Some clergy annotated baptism records with the age or date of birth of the person.
Parish Records are now held by County Record Offices, usually on microfilm - not by churches. Copies can be purchased and Family History Societies might well have copies. As well as filling in Parish Records, clergy were required to send a list of all baptisms, marriages and burials to their Bishop each year. These are known as Bishop's Transcripts and may also be available - especially useful for any Parish Records that might have got lost.
Catholic and nonconformist records are more problematical than C of E.
www.freeREG.org.uk is a sister volunteer project to FreeBMD and aims to transcribe Parish Records. It is not yet very comprehensive, but none-the-less always worth trying. If you luck is in and they have a transcript of an event you are interested in then you will find that the transcript comprehensive including any notes the clergy may have written in the margin.
www.familysearch.org (LDS - Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints a.k.a. Mormons) have a lot of Parish Records and/or Bishops Transcript data in their search engine. They also have data that has been "submitted by a member" - it is as well to check to see the source of any data you find in order to decide how much confidence you want to give it.
Many local websites will have Parish Record transcripts in whole or part for their locality - the problem is finding them!
The National Burials Index is a collaborative activity by the Federation of Family History Societies. Libraries and local family history societies may have copies.
Censuses have been carried out every 10 years since 1841. 1911 is the latest that is accessible. 1841 contains less information about each person than the later ones.
The dates of the censuses were:
The 1881 census has been transcribed by the LDS and is available on www.familysearch.org With it being provided free by them, the 'commercial' service providers provide it for free as well.
Coverage of more censuses is provided by the various 'commercial' services including www.ancestry.co.uk www.findmypast.com www.1911census.co.uk www.ukcensusonline.com All have different services. All allow you to get some amount of data for free but then you probably need to pay to get complete data - though the free data could be enough to point you in the right direction. I have also found that in some cases their census data has been transcribed separately and so contain different errors - which can be useful (not that they contain errors but that if one is wrong another might be right).
Local libraries and local family history societies may have a subscription to some of the commercial services. For example Surrey County Libraries have a subscription to a world-wide version of Ancestry and to FindMyPast. These are available free of charge if you use the computers in the libraries. You can pre-book up to an hour on the library computers. Library staff will be pleased to show you how to access the service.
There is a problem with transcriptions of old handwriting, particularly where the shape of letters differs from what is commonly used today, and when doing searches sometimes you have to make inspired guesses as to alternative, or simply wrong, spellings that may occur.
www.freeCEN.org.uk is yet another companion to FreeBMD etc - but has very limited coverage.
Ann from the WSFHS says "I have for many years run an online forum for discussion about family and local history in Surrey (the whole of the ancient county). We have the best part of one thousand participants world wide. It's all free and folk can join and leave as often as they wish. The home page is at: http://lists.rootsweb.ancestry.com/index/intl/ENG/ENG-SURREY.html"
Other links I've found useful enough to bookmark include
I hope this helps and has not repeated too much of what you knew.
I have accumulated this list of further genealogy-related web sites from various sourses. Ssome are free, some are commercial.
I have been told that the newsgroups soc.genealogy.methods and soc.genealogy.britain can prove useful.
I apologise if any of these links fail. They all worked when I put then on but, regrettably, web sites do come and go. Even more annoying are those websites that re-structure their content and leave one's carefully recorded 'bookmarks' yielding a "page not found" message
If you can recommend other useful information to provide here, or updates or corrections to what is here, then I will be pleased to hear about them.
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Data provided only for personal background information. While every effort has been made to provide correct information no assurance as to its accuracy is given or implied. Check any facts you wish to rely upon.