Monday, November 12, 2012

Finally! Lancashire Ancestral Research Un-plugged!

Lancashire is one of the most complex (and populated ) counties in which to trace ancestry. Lancashire originally had only about 76 parishes, and unlike most other England counties, was comprised by far of mostly (over 400) chapels of ease (chapelries) of the Church of England,  each of  which subdivided the parish to which it was attached. These numerous smaller chapels of ease and district chapels comprise a vast portion of its geographical tapestry and each one possessed registers of baptisms, and sometimes burials, and in only a few isolated cases, marriages, i.e. in the pre-1754 or, post-1837 eras.
Key Strategy: Always be certain to search for your ancestor[s] in ALL chapelries of a parish and their registers as well in the registers of its ancient parish.

Because of this unique attribute in Lancashire church records research, identifying each chapel's parish to which each was attached  is paramount to thoroughness in research. Accurately identifying all chapels was until recently fairly difficult, and especially required comprehensive, diligent study in more than one or two reference aids in order to accurately list all chapels and churches. 

However, today, I am thrilled to announce that starting November 12, 2012, FamilySearch's Wiki for Lancashire has just made researching in the county of Lancashire a much less formidable task! Editors and compiler-volunteers for the last 14 months have performed all the leg-work and due diligence to simplify and bring to you and your desktop or laptop--almost all available online resources at no or little cost--links to Lancashire's vast and complex tapestry of churches, chapels and parish registers' online data content!  The links to online data include to as late as the twentieth century! And, as accurately as can be determined--a formal List of all chapels of ease, chapelries, district churches, and parochial chapels lying within the boundary of each ancient parish, and with mentions of most or all other denominations found within each parish and/or township boundary (as of at least 1851).

For the first time, Lancashire researchers no longer have to do the nearly futile due diligent study to try to determine all chapels attached to a parish, because the Wiki user is introduced to not only a page for each chapel or district chapelry (with links to online data), but with also a link to the page[s] to the ancient parish (to which it was attached). *The Parish pages provides researchers with a comprehensive list of the names of all chapelries, district churches, and ecclesiastical parishes found within the boundary of each parish and, with available links to each's online data--plus much more!

So test FamilySearch's Lancashire Wiki's "Parish" pages today, and discover your family ancestry more quickly than ever!

Here are the links that take you directly to the critical pages:

 Have fun with these pages, and while you're at it--   Happy(!) Ancestry Hunting in Lancashire!!

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