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Mid Kent Parish Registers

Discussion in 'More Kent Resources' started by Jonathan C, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Jonathan C

    Jonathan C Member

    I don't want to teach Grannies or Grandads to suck eggs 'cos I don't know how well known this resource is, but I've been finding CityArk, the online catalogue of the Medway Council Archives Service both interesting and useful.

    On the left side of the home page is a link to Parish Registers Online, and this leads to a description of whats available which in turn leads to high quality scans of original registers for a reasonable number of parishes in the Rochester / Medway area, which of course are individually listed.

    It's not yet indexed but it's a great browse, particularly if you know the parish you're interested in.
     
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  2. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    I agree, Jonathan. And don't worry about your grandparents' diet. I only discovered the CityArk site a short while ago and have already found baptisms, marriages and burials of several ancestors. It's my own fault for not finding the site sooner. Had I remembered to go to GENUKI, I'd have been quicker off the mark.
     
  3. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Can someone please tell me how I can find out which parish registers certain villages or towns, e.g. Yalding, belong to. At Family Search I found the baptism of an ancestor in Yalding. I'd like to find the original parish register entry if possible, but Yalding isn't in the CityArk list of Kent parish registers. There are other places, too. Somewhere there has to be a list, but I couldn't find one in Genuki either.
     
  4. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Have you looked at the maps at FamilySearch.org The link goes to the England wide page simply zoom in on Kent and you will see the parishes. You can turn things on and off including seeing the modern map of the area, satellite views, as well as the exceptionally useful 1800s OS Maps of the area. This allows you to easily switch between modern, satellite and old OS maps to view the towns you are interested in and the boundaries show you which parishes those towns are in.
     
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  5. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    No, I hadn't looked. In fact, I hadn't even known that Family Search had such a wonderful facility. Thank you very much indeed Alexander. I've now searched, though it's almost midnight here in Finland, so my eyes are a bit heavy. As far as I can tell, Yalding should be a parish in its own right. It may be simply that CityArk doesn't have complete records. I'll look into that during the daytime. One more question. What do PR and BT mean in the descriptive box that appears? e.g.
    Yalding is an Ancient Parish in the county of Kent.

    Other places in the parish include: Collier Street and Collier-Street.

    Records beginPRBT
    Yalding 1559 1716
    Separate registers exist for
    Collier Street 1848 None
     
  6. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    That bit I copies has come out all squeezed up. It should read Records begin PR BT , with 1559 referring to PR and 1716 referring to BT
     
  7. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    Not 100% sure but I'd reckon it was PR meaning Parish Records and BT meaning Bishop's Transcripts. Thus suggesting there are Parish Records from 1559 and Bishop Transcripts from 1716.
     
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  8. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    One week later, I've just noticed I didn't thank Alexander for pointing out the obvious to me and for not saying something like "Wake up. Surely even you can work that out."
     
  9. Cathy

    Cathy Moderator Staff Member

    I was looking at the list of parishes covered in a new set of Kent transcriptions on findmypast just after reading this thread so Yalding jumped out at me. Parish Register transcriptions only in this collection announced last week (11 April). For Yalding they cover 1559-1900 baptisms, marriages and burials. Some other places in the Medway area not as well covered. eg Gravesend marriages only from 1813-1837, no baptisms or burials for Gravesend. The transcriptions are from the Kent Family History Society.
     
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  10. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Cathy, thank you very much. I've been so busy these past few days that I hadn't noticed the new set of Kent records at findmypast. While on the subject of Kent records, I'd like to say once again (first time in my first posting on 14 March) how brilliant the CityArk website is. Before I knew about it I had bought 4 CDs for parishes of interest (Cobham and Cuxton) from the Kent FHS. I have now discovered that the same parish registers are available on the CityArk for free. Still, I don't begrudge the KFHS the price of the CDs - after all, they need money to keep up their good work.
     
  11. haitchdt

    haitchdt LostCousins Member

    it can be useful to use the last census record showing the family to decide which parish church to start with
     
  12. haitchdt

    haitchdt LostCousins Member

    Just to clarify 'Medway' is a Unitary Authority within the county of Kent,. Geographically and historically its Kent but since about 1997 the admin was seperated. So Cityark great as it is has its limitations outside the main Medway Towns area
     
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  13. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The CityArk website has now closed - see the Kent resources page for the new link.
     
  14. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Thank you, Peter. This is a disaster of a major kind and I wish we'd been warned beforehand. Or perhaps we were; but I missed any warning. The new website is more difficult to use but I'm here attaching the instructions given to us yesterday by Brenda Paternoster of the Kent Family History Society. They helped me and will surely help other puzzled researchers.


    http://medway.gov.uk/archives

    Click on search the collections
    Click on online archive
    Click on Parish Records
    select the church you want to search
    beside Hierarchy browser click on the + symbol
    Click on the + beside incumbent
    Click on + beside marriage registers
    click on the register you want to view
    If that register has been digitised go up the page a bit to where it says Digitised Version and click on the .pdf link
    The whole register should open (very big books will be in two halves)
    If there is no Digitised Version it means that the register is probably too recent (I think the cut-off is 75 years for marriages) but it will be available on film in the archives.
    Yes, the system is a bit cumbersome and takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get to the register you want to look at it is much easier to go from page to page than it was with the old CityArk
     
  15. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, it took me quite a while to figure out how to get to them, and if I hadn't known they were there I wouldn't have persisted. A plague on archivists and their hierarchical indexing!

    On the bright side, because they're now in PDF format you can download them to your own computer, something that only needs to be done once (for each register).
     
  16. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Well, yes, but they were a 1000 times easier to download before. :(
     
  17. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    If enough people complain perhaps they'll make it as easy again.....
     
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  18. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Well, I tried to complain but the form one has to fill in for doing so is even more impossible than their new online archive. It refused to accept my foreign address, telephone number and e-mail address - so I didn't get very far! :mad::mad::mad:
     
  19. Gillian

    Gillian LostCousins Star

    Further to my grumbles about the demise of CityArk, there's been discussion about the same thing on the Kent Family History Society global list. One of the correspondents came up with a solution https://sourceforge.net/projects/pkpdfconverter/ which enables you to download the full pdf of the parish register and then convert pages to jpg. You can convert all the registers if you want and that way create your own archive. The images are very high quality. I know because I've done it (with the correspondent's help, I have to admit!)
     
  20. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, but I thought we agreed that the real problem is the fact that they're harder to get to? Having them in PDF format is actually easier for many purposes, and if you only want a few entries out of each register it's probably simpler to screenshot the relevant entries than convert the whole file to JPGs.

    I'd also be wary of downloading a free program that only has one review, and that from nearly 2 years ago.
     
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