Updated 21 Jan 2008
WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900
This article appeared on the Matlock Mercury website on
17 Jan 2008.
Published Date: 17 January 2008
Wirksworth history website nets a million visitors
By Julia Rodgerson
John Palmer updates his Wirksworth history site
The creator of a record-breaking Wirksworth website is celebrating its
John Palmer, who worked with worldwide web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, said he
has been thrilled at the success of his local history site.
Mr Palmer's family has lived in the town for 300 years.
After tracing his family roots he transcribed the Wirksworth parish
records and put them into a site in 1998, followed by adding Census
records and old postcards.
"This may be a world record for a website dealing with parish records,
local history and old photos," he said.
"I find the local history and genealogy of a community is far more
interesting than just one's own family. So the website just keeps
getting bigger and bigger."
See the website here
The free website has thousands of pages and photos and contains half a
million records, all encoded by hand.
Mr Palmer said each day about 1,200 pages are read by online readers
from over 100 countries.
Wirksworth mayor Cllr Andy Pollock praised the site.
"It's brilliant publicity for the town," he said.
"It's great to be able to find your origins and people who used to live
here and what they actually did. I have looked on there at the census
records which I find absolutely fascinating.
"Mr Palmer should be congratulated for his efforts."
Mr Palmer, now living in Dorset, said he visits Wirksworth about once a
year but most of his research is done on-line.
He added: "The records are very accurate, because my million readers have
spotted most of the mistakes and I've corrected them in a couple of minutes.
"People send me photos and text about Wirksworth and I can put them on-line
Mr Palmer also writes a monthly column in the Wirksworth Community
Anyone with photos of people or places around Wirksworth can email
Mr Palmer via the website and he will try to add them.
Last Updated: 17 January 2008 10:14 AM
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