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Bishop's Transcripts vs. Parish Registers

Discussion in 'Search tips - discussion' started by DavidP, Jun 11, 2015.

  1. DavidP

    DavidP LostCousins Member

    Members may be interested in a problem that I have just been able to resolve concerning the accuracy of Bishop's Transcripts (BTs).

    It concerns a couple of my gg uncles, Richard Horner and James Horner.

    Richard Horner was b: Thirsk, Yorkshire 14 Nov 1796, d: 1872, bu: Thirsk 30 Jan 1872. I was able to get these details from the BTs via IGI and FMP. Richard's parents were James and Mary Horner (nee Sharow).

    I have a copy of an old family tree which also shows there being a son, James Horner, b: 21 May 1800 Thirsk, bap: 11 Jun 1800. However, I was not able to find this person on the IGI or FMP, nor in any census returns etc: I did find a James Horner of Thirsk son of James Horner, d: 27 Dec 1801, bur: 29 Dec 1801 in the BTs of Thirsk on FMP, but not his birth or baptism. Curiously there was a Richard Horner, son of James and Mary Horner (Sharow) in the BTs for Thirsk, b: 21 May 1800 and bap 11 Jun 1800 - odd??

    Now I know that it is not unusual for children to be named after an earlier child who had died, but all references to the first Richard Horner in census returns and even his gravestone indicate that he was the one born in 1796 (I have not got a death certificate.) So where did the second Richard Horner born in 1800 come from??

    I suspected that the BTs might have been incorrectly copied and needed to check the original Parish Registers for Thirsk- unusually, these were not available on FMP (several other parishes that I am looking at have both the BTs and the PRs on-line at FMP.) Through the good services of a lady in the North Yorkshire surnames internet group, I was able to determine that the PRs for Thirsk show: James, son of James and Mary Horner (Sharow) b: 21 May 1800 and bap 21 May 1800. This seems to indicate that an error in copying the name of James when the BTs were compiled.

    I suppose it just goes to show that wherever possible any fact should be checked and double checked, even if they are from a reputable source such as BTs .

    One problem solved, still several more to go!
     
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    All transcriptions are likely to contain errors, even those which were checked by somebody else (eg local registrars' submissions to the GRO). Whilst the main problems for modern day transcribers are the handwriting and the quality of the image, for contemporary transcribers it would have been boredom, and this would have applied whether it was the vicar/registrar himself who had to transcribe the entries or a subordinate.

    What is particularly interesting about the transcription error you identified is that (a) the mistake is round the wrong way - it is much more common for the father's forename to be duplicated, and (b) it appears that the father gave his name to his second son, not his first son, which hints that his own father was called Richard. However it may be that there was an earlier James.
     
  3. DavidP

    DavidP LostCousins Member

    Good spotting! James' father was Richard, and his father was Richard as was his father also. I have not found any James's earlier in the family so far - perhaps it came from his wife's side

    Interestingly James was brought before the North Riding Quarter Sessions in 1811 for disobeying an order of maintenance relating to his father, Richard Horner of Upsall
     

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