Updated 6 Dec 2000

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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by John Palmer, Dorset, England.

Deciphered, transcribed, compiled, indexed, formatted and copyright © 2000, . All Rights Reserved.

Here's what's involved. I've got to put the boring bits somewhere.
So if you want to be bored, read on!

The original Wirksworth Parish Registers are now kept at:
              Derbyshire Record Office,
              New Street,
              Derbyshire DE4 3AG
              phone: 01629-580-000

The Registers were written at the large and magnificent church of
St.Mary the Virgin, Wirksworth, Derbyshire whose origins may go
back to 700 AD.

Permission to copy the Registers was obtained from:
               Derbyshire Record Office
               Incumbent at St Mary, Wirksworth
               Genealogical Society of Utah

Microfilm of the Parish Registers (loaned by the GSU) has been
used as the source of the entries in this database, backed up
by Ultra-Violet examination of the Registers (deposited at DRO)
  GSU=Genealogical Society of Utah
  DRO=Derbyshire Record Office, Matlock
           Event Coverage   GSU ref:  Item Roll DRO ref:
             Type  Years                          D3105A/PI
             CMB   1608-1662  104104-2  7    111  1/1
             CMB   1662-1697  104104-2  8    111  1/2
             CB    1697-1726  104104-2  9    111  1/3
             MB    1697-1726  104104-3  1    112  1/3
             CMB   1726-1748  104104-3  2    112  1/4
             CMB   1748-1762  104104-3  3    112  1/5
             CB    1763-1790  104104-3  4    112  1/6
             CB    1790-1812  104104-3  5    112  1/7
             C     1813-1825  104104-4  1    113  2/1
             C     1825-1839  104104-4  2    113  2/2
             M     1754-1757  104104-4  5    113  3/1
             M     1757-1761  104104-5  1    114  3/1
             M     1762-1774  104104-5  2    114  3/2
             M     1775-1784  104104-5  3    114  3/3
             M     1784-1790  104104-5  4    114  3/4
             M     1790-1808  104104-6  1    115  3/4
             M     1809-1812  104104-6  2    115  3/5
             M     1813-1828  104104-6  3    115  3/6
             M     1828-1837  104104-6  4    115  3/7
             B     1811-1812  104104-7  3    116  5/1
             B     1813-1830  104104-7  4    116  5/2
             B     1830-1837  104104-7  5    116  5/3

Initial copying was done from microfilm of the Registers produced
by The Genealogical Society of Utah on 8 Dec 1981 and kindly loaned
to me for use at home on an adapted microfiche reader.

The Bishop's Transcripts for Wirksworth, held at Lichfield Joint
Record Office, were used as a secondary source to cross check the
interpretation of the Register microfilm as primary source. LJRO
kindly donated photocopies of the Transcripts.

Efforts at deciphering unreadable entries were firstly made with
the aid of "Internal checking" against related readable entries
already in the database. Further progress was made with the aid
of UltraViolet illumination of the original Register, causing the
page to glow and throw faint writing into relief. Finally, the help
of an expert at Latin and reading Old Handwriting (palaeographer)
was called in for about 100 entries which, though clear, defeated
my efforts to understand them.

After repeated application of these methods of deciphering, an
unsolved residue of unreadable entries still remains:
               Baptisms 159 from 30,355 (0.5%)
               Marriages 57 from  7,215 (0.8%)
               Burials  154 from 25,737 (0.6%) 

The whole project took about 3 years, and something around 2,500 hours
at the computer, plus about 50 days at the Derbyshire Record Office. 
"Learning time" made up perhaps 30%.

Records were typed into a "Masterfile Professional" database run on
a Colossus 486 PC with 24 Mb RAM. About 10 Mb of data has been
produced, and 20 Mb of Indexes. Use of a database allows indexing
on any of the 9 fields of primary data:
               Event      (ie Christening, Marriage or Burial)
               Relation  (ie son, daughter, wife, husband, widow)
               Firstname of relative
               Surname of relative
               Comments  (from the record or sometimes mine)
Secondary data was obtained from this primary data. For example:
              Surnames   and frequencies
              Firstnames, genders and frequencies
              Placenames and frequencies
              Gaps in records
              Christenings counted by month and year
              Marriages    counted by month and year
              Burials      counted by month and year
              Very high burial rates ("Local Mortality Crises")
              Day of Week of Christenings

From this data, tentative estimates can be made of the following:
              Population and its change with time
              Surname mobility
              Life expectancy
              Type of Disease causing high burial rates

These estimates make use of the classic work of English
historiography and demography:

              The Population History of England 1541-1871
                 by E.A.Wrigley and R.S.Schofield
                 published by Cambridge University Press
                 ISBN 0 521 35688 1

A FREE SEARCH SERVICE is being offered to anyone with a genuine
interest in any of the 5,604 surnames listed for dates not
outside 1608-1837.
The excellent search and indexing facility of the database can
be put to good use to track down maiden names, brothers and
sisters, cousins, Aunts and Uncles, extending family trees,
discovering ages etc.

The Wirksworth Parish Database now appears on ZIP disc, microfiche
and Web-site.

The ZIP disc is not for sale, is kept 100% up-to-date, and contains
9 different indexes which allow very powerful searching and ordering.
This is now the prime medium of the database. Memory size is 30 Mb.

The Microfiche is for sale, is very cheap and easy to view, does not
require a computer but of course cannot be kept up-to-date. There are
14 microfiche in the set.

The Web-site is free (to online users), is kept 100% up-to-date,
contains much associated data, but for reasons of available space 
only displays one index. Memory size of the complete Web-site is 5 Mb.

   For more information about any of the above, contact the Author:
        John Palmer. e-mail: john.palmer@wirksworth.org.uk

Deciphered, transcribed, compiled, indexed, formatted and copyright © 2000, . All Rights Reserved.