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Methods and Standards

I would like to think that I had solid documentation for everyone in these descendants lists. But this would have left out too many people whose relations got in touch and told me of their relations existence. At best I might say that this is an unfinished work that can be continued by a later generation, or two, or three.

The enormous advantage in England and Wales is that birth, marriage and death records are publicly available for these events after 1837. That said there is the little problem that the full records, the certificates are a tenner a pop which is a little expensive for a project of this size, which could easily include several thousand people by the time it is, if ever, finished. The bonus is that the indices for these records often give sufficient information to identify the relevant events of the descendants of the GGGG-Grandparents. Where the indices are unclear, usually for identical names possessed by many people, I have purchased the odd certificate. Finally If I can find where critical living people might be, I have got in touch and asked for assistance.

A limitation of the English birth, marriage and death records has been that since 2006, the government has stopped supplying the indices to the internet firms for them to promulgate. So this means we cannot easily find, save by physically visiting one of the half-dozen major record offices to consult their microfilms, anything about these events after 2006.

Another invaluable information source are the censuses from 1841 to 1911 plus the 1939 register which last includes precise birth dates. I, at least, am eagerly awaiting the release of the 1921 census in 2021, but the 1931 census was destroyed, there was non in 1941 so we will then know nother more of these until 2051 when the 1951 census will be released - and I shall not be around for thaat.

Prior to 1837, and particularly in England and Wales again, we have farily complete church records of baptism, marriage and burial. Perhaps half of those events for 1750 onwards are on record and further some transcript has been made for the internet data providers.

There are other records that are commonly available. The most striking for a researcher is the wills and the indices to them which, particularly since 1858, give the precise death date of anyone who left a will. And some people, particularly maiden aunts, give a whole litany of all their relatives with small bequests for many, though the rule of a tenner a pop also applies to obtain the full will. Fortunately there has been no cessation of access to the probate indices since 2006 and they are kept up-to-date within a month of any probate issue.

So I have tried to find the relevant index records for all the above for all those who lived in England and Wales. Broad brush I have been delighted how much I have managed to find. Then I have included in my Notes for each person at least the transcript of the indices. But the Notes for each person are not included in this sub-project, to find the descendants of our GGGG-Grandparents, though they are on my master database and is available for all people known to be deceased on my web-site, right here, that is.

The above sounds impressive but it does not quite apply outside England and Wales. In Scotland the indices are not as informative as the English and Welsh ones and the parish records are quite thin by comparison. In Ireland the same applies but they restrict access for people who are less that 100 years from birth. Australia has some good records but again there is this age restriction, Canadian records are also invisible for people born in the last 100 years. The USA is much the same but we have few relatives who are known to have gone there. Anyone who worked in India during the days of Empire is quite well recorded and very available over the internet. Then most other countries have no publicly available records and very few with any internet access.

I said above that several people have contacted me with informaiton on their close relatives. I have accepted this with gratitude as it gives some future researcher the opportunity to try to confirm or extend their information when it becomes available. (I do hope there will be a future researcher! Same as we have had a load of past researchers who have given me manifold hints to investigate further, not to mention my brother Martin's marvellous work on the post medieval Powyses and Lybbes.)

The final word is that none of these charts is complete, nor can they be as more people continue to be born. So I will continue to be grateful for anyone who can get in touch and tell me what they know. Further some of the 'facts' I have written down may not be factual, so please get in touch to tell me of anything that concerns you.

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