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Wiltshire - Church Records and Indexes
A detailed guide is the Society of Genealogists' National Index of Parish Registers . Volume 8, Part 2: Wiltshire, compiled by Cliff Webb (1992) 114p. [ISBN 0 946789 52 5] "A Guide to Anglican, Roman Catholic and Non-Conformist registers, together with information on Bishop's Transcripts, modern copies and Marriage licences." This book gives details of the years covered and location of registers, BTs, copies, transcripts and indexes.
Wiltshire and Swindon Archives have Christening, Marriage and Burial Parish Registers and microfilm copies for most parishes. Note that they also hold much other material from parish chests, churchwardens' accounts, relief of the poor, etc.
They have a summary list of parish registers showing dates of holdings of christenings, marriages and burials for each parish. In their archive catalogue search, put the parish name under "place" and choose "Parish records" under "Collection type". This shows other parish records as well as registers.
Wiltshire and Swindon Archives have extensive holdings of Marriage Licence Bonds and Allegations. Over 75,500 Sarum Marriage Licence Bonds for the Diocese of Salisbury have been transcribed and published by Wiltshire Family History Society, there is a copy at Wiltshire and Swindon Archives and a microfiche copy at the Society of Genealogists. It is available for purchase as a CDROM from WFHS.
In some cases early parish registers have not survived, but Bishop's Transcripts may be available, usually with substantial gaps - it is always worth looking for both. As an example, Aldbourne PRs start in 1637. Aldbourne BTs exist for 1607-8, 1615, then there is a big gap to 1667-1677, 1698, 1707-1728, 1751-1752, 1756-1880. BTs for most parishes have a similar pattern, occasional years in the early 17th century, a gap for the civil war, many more survivals but still gaps in the early 18th Century, continuous from mid 18th Century. You will usually find these in the same place as the parish records are located.
Microfilm copies of many parish registers are in the Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. A list can be found online in the FamilySearch Family History Library Catalog, or the list may be purchased on CDROM from their Distribution Centres. Microfilms listed in the catalogue can be ordered for viewing at any Family History Centre of the LDS Church world-wide.
County Sources at the Society of Genealogists is a book published by the Society of Genealogists, edited by Neville Taylor (2000), 30 pages, ISBN 1-903462-27-4. It lists microfilms of original registers, transcripts and indexes, covering parish registers, non-conformist registers and marriage licences.
There is an index to all marriages up to 1837, several other marriage indexes and an index to burials for parts of the county, and a substantial proportion of marriages and christenings are indexed by the LDS Church. In many cases, coverage is shown on the relevant GENUKI parish page - see Wiltshire Towns & Parishes.
Nimrod Marriage Index is fully complete in one database for all of Wiltshire as far as surviving documents allow (about 265,000 marriages, including approx 6000 'stray' marriages from other counties). Earliest marriages date from 1538 when parish records began, and the Index goes up to 1837. Search fee - the whole county can be searched for one marriage, or all marriages for a surname etc.
Nimrod baptism and burial indexes include about half of all Wiltshire parishes transcribed for baptism and burial records. There is a search fee, and searches are made parish by parish. Records also include an index of Quaker births and deaths (1650 to 1837). They have other indexes.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints has two major sets of indexes of registers. The International Genealogical Index (IGI) covers about 170 Anglican marriage and baptism registers and about 40 non-conformist registers. It is available free on-line within FamilySearch, is available on CDROM at Family History Centers of the LDS Church and other libraries, and earlier versions are available on microfiche. TyeRoots provided a list of Batch Numbers and Parishes in the IGI, but this website is not available now. Hugh Wallis has made a comprehensive automated search across the known ranges of Batch Numbers, results sorted by place are in IGI Batch Numbers for Wiltshire. He also has a Wiltshire IGI Middle Name index . He says: "I have found over 4,700 different middle names (some of which are obvious transcription errors for each other) appearing in over 13,500 of the christening/birth/adult baptism and marriage records on the IGI for this region. This is out of a total of over 310,000 christening/birth/adult baptism and over 183,000 marriage records (representing half that number of marriages, of course, since there are two records in the IGI for each marriage) for these churches/chapels. This is all of the entries in the IGI for Wilts that have been extracted as part of the controlled extraction program."
The British Vital Records Index (VRI) (first edition) covered baptisms and marriages for about 100 registers in Wiltshire, and the second edition has more. It is available for purchase as inexpensive CDs covering the British Isles, from Distribution Centers of the LDS Church (contact a Family History Center to find the one nearest to you) or order at the FamilySearch on-line distribution center (choose order/dowload products, search for 50028000 or Vital Records Index). Note that the dates we give are generally the first and last years included, there are gaps, the list of coverage on the second edition CDs indicates the actual years covered, not just the range. In some cases there are single entries from years outside the range covered systematically. The detailed lists of parishes and dates covered in the BVRI (2nd edition) are on-line in GENOOT. (Note: Craig's "Genoot" site is now defunct and the link will take you to the "Wayback machine" for the lists).
These files give very detailed information, with actual years covered and the number of entries in each period.
Wiltshire Family History Society Parish Register Transcripts, indexed by surname, cover baptisms and burials up to 1837 for about 80 parishes; most are available for purchase as books or microfiche, some on CD. Baptisms are being published on CD in groups of parishes. CP1 is 16 parishes south of Swindon, and CP2 is 14 parishes south and east of Devizes. The 3rd is for Mere and south-west Wiltshire, published January 2006. The next will be parishes around Castle Combe. Wiltshire FHS for purchase on microfiche or CD include Non-conformists indexes, covering the Registers deposited with the Public Record Office in 1837; there are an alphabetical index for the county, and transcripts in original order. Also available are indexes to Dean's and Bishop's Marriage Licence Bonds, and an index to Monumental Inscriptions (indexed by surname for the whole county, and by parish within surname). They also have a CD of confirmations from books in Wiltshire and Swindon Archives covering many parishes. All these are included in the Wiltshire FHS search service .
National Burial Index (NBI) is published on CDROM by the Federation of Family History Societies. Wiltshire Family History Society is contributing indexes. In most cases the Wilts FHS transcripts have further information, not included in the NBI. To obtain this extra information contact Wiltshire Family History Society (research enquiries), and please note a small charge will be made.
FFHS Online site has the National Burial Index for Wiltshire and the Wiltshire Memorial Inscription Index.
Pat Wilson of Wiltshire Index Services is donating her material in April 2006 to the Society of Genealogists. She published a CDROM indexing 15,000 Wiltshire marriages, and provides surname lists searchable free on line for about 50 parishes; microfiche transcripts of those registers are available for purchase. Quaker marriages, Wiltshire Monthly Meeting 1657-1837, are included. Added in Jan 2002, for seven parishes marriages are listed with surname and forenames of bride and groom, with year of marriage and parish. More parishes have been added in June 2003.
Wiltshire Index Service Burials Index like the Marriage Index in the previous entry is being donated by Pat Wilson to the Society of Genealogists. It covers about 180 parishes. Some are for long periods, e.g. 1566-1837, but about 60 cover 1800 to 1837, and about 20 cover shorter periods such as 1800 to 1812. About 126,000 burials are included. The index is available as a CDROM for purchase, or on microfiche for purchase; one fiche is a surname index showing the parishes in which the surname appears.
Wiltshire Parish Registers: Marriages were un-indexed transcripts published by Phillimore as 14 volumes in 1905-1914 and cover 75 parishes. They are available in major genealogy libraries. S&N Wiltshire Data CDs of Phillimore Marriages are for sale with full indexes by name to a facsimile of the original printed books (on their website, search for Wiltshire, or choose Data CDs, then Parish Records.