So the project is still growing, as we link Baptisms to GRO birth indexes and marriages to GRO records, and burials to the GRO index of deaths. Census records play a large part in the reconstruction of families as do deposited Wills, again the work of an early member Diane Featherstone, who collected and transcribed many of them.
We basically get a fact and try to build a family from it. The further you go back in time the more difficult it becomes, since many early records are short on information.
Having collected all the Births, Marriages and Deaths from the GRO indexes up to around 1950, we can search to find if we already have something that matches, and thus individual records are merged together, when we find something that looks like a match. This can cause errors and I would urge those of you who think they have a match to prove it with certificates, since we could not in anyway purchase every certificate we need to prove every event without a doubt.
We get lots of enquires asking for help, and we do our best to suggest best practices to prove the links beyond doubt. In most cases we get more information back from those enquires, thus building a better database.
The work of the Guild ‘Marriage Challenge’ has proved to be a great help in getting marriages from Parish records far away from our local areas. Members take on a challenge to find GRO marriage indexes in their local record office which contain Church records for a particular registration district. We have many such records already entered, we also add other facts like military service records, and electoral roll information, as well as probate and administration records. We try to record occupations and also link the families found in census records together.
So the basic facts of an individual born with in the years of the GRO indexes would contain birth registration, a Baptism if we have found one, any form of Military service, before or after a marriage. The marriage registration, and if not, a registrar office or Church marriage, if we have found it. Then census information, if we have found it between 1841 and 1911. The death registration, burial record and probate or administration record, also if we have found it.
All the information is entered into The Master Genealogist, anything from south of the Wash is also recorded in our Southern England database.
We have also taken information from members GEDCOM’S and the Birth Brief submitted by members over the years. Each fact is given a source, so you should be able to tell where the information came from, at times, when we can see sources we take information from members trees on Ancestry, and sometimes use un-sourced material as clues to find our own source.
A recent project to try to find those Canadian Featherstone’s will soon be added to our database. At present it in a standalone form and can be found as a separate tree on our web site at www.featherstone.org.