Findmypast adds 1.7 million Devon parish records online

By Steve Harnell, 20 November 2014 - 10:51am

Findmypast has added more than 1.7 million new parish records to its Devon collection in partnership with the South West Heritage Trust.

Findmypast logo 2014

Among the new records added by Findmypast to its Devon Collection is this baptism record for crime writer Agatha Christie (Credit: Findmypast)

Findmypast has added 1.7 million new parish records online to its Devon Collection including baptism details of legendary crime writer Agatha Christie.

Working in partnership with the South West Heritage Trust and the Devon Heritage Service, the records span six centuries from 1538 to 2001. In total, the Devon Collection now runs to six million records and is described as the most comprehensive resource for parish records in the county anywhere in the world.

The fully searchable transcripts and scanned colour images are of handwritten parish registers held by the record offices in Barnstaple and Exeter. 

Among the many notable Devonians to be found within the new records is crime writer Agatha Christie. Her baptism record appears in the parish register of Tormohun in 1890 under her maiden name Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller. A colour scan of the original, 124-year-old handwritten document (see above) can now be viewed online for the first time and shows that Agatha was born on 15 September 1890 and baptised on 20 November of the same year. Her parents were recorded as Clarissa Margaret and Frederick Alvah Miller, a gentleman, and they resided at Ashfield Tor. 

Agatha’s records can now be viewed online alongside those of other influential Devonians, including literary icon Samuel Taylor Coleridge, satirist John Gay, explorer Sir Richard Francis Burton and the father of computing himself, Charles Babbage. 

Irene Andrews of the Devon Heritage Service said: “We are delighted that, after a lengthy process of preparation involving a lot of hard work by a large team, people will now be able to access high quality images of the majority of Devon’s parish register entries online for the first time ever through Findmypast.”

Family historians with Devon ancestors will also be able to make use of the Devon Wills Index 1163-1999 which has recently been added to Findmypast who acquired the collection from Origins.net. The index contains more than 250,000 records proved by 30 courts.

Many probate records for the county of Devon and the Diocese of Exeter were lost in 1942 when the Probate Registry was destroyed in the Second World War Blitz. The index reveals where copies, transcripts, abstracts or extracts of original testamentary documents may be found and if they have survived. Each record includes a transcript of the original record that will list the testator's name, the year of probate, place and any additional notes as well as court details, document form, source and reference code.

TAKE IT FURTHER

►  Find out more about the new Devon records here

 

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