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Help and advice for GLOUCESTERSHIRE

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Detailed Changes

A note on the revision of the Gazetteer and the parish lists

May 2015

GENUKI has an established approach of structuring each county around pages related to the parishes broadly as they existed in the mid 19th century. . This works well as these are likely to be the main classification for sources of information from earlier periods, notably parish registers.

There are pages for some other places or areas where it is clearly helpful to understanding the information. For example, there are pages for the two big cities and for the Forest of Dean.

In attempting to improve and update the geographic information in the Gazetteer I have been checking how far the current structure of parish pages corresponds to the various available summaries of parish histories. There are:

  • the original file structure here
  • Phillimore atlas and index of parish registers
  • extensive lists showing the registers for each current parish and giving details of the history of each parish at the Gloucestershire Archives
  • The Historic Parishes of England and Wales: An Electronic map of Boundaries before 1850 by Cain and Oliver. This has recently been converted into a format useable in geographic information systems (gis)
  • The various historic gazetters from which extracts have been made available

There is no simple rule on how to deal with the various changes to parish structure so I have adopted the following approach. There should be a parish page for:

  • Every parish described as "Ancient" in Gloucester Archives lists
  • Any other parish with registers earlier than 1840 in those lists
  • Any other parish listed in the Phillimore atlas
  • Any other parish with an area defined in Historic parishes of England and Wales
  • Any parish page already in GENUKI unless there is an obvious reason to restructure it.

In practice the first two look likely to cover the majority of the parishes

The GENUKI gazetteer provides for the location of parishes to be descibed either as exact or approximate. A substantial number of the Gloucester parishes need exact locations. Again there is no simple rule for deciding where to locate the marker for a parish. However the maps available in gis format allow some choices to be made either automatically or by manual methods. I have adopted the following approach:

  • using the centroid of the mapped boundary unless this is obviously misleading (for example in some of the more oddly shaped parishes
  • Using a central location in a town or hamlet of the smae name of the parish if this is dominant in the parish
  • Using the location of the historic parish church where this likely to be the most useful

All this will be reviewed as I try out the various approaches

Towns and Parishes Old Introduction

This Town and Parish List aims to cover all the parishes for which original source material is available at the Gloucestershire Record Office (GRO). The list may therefore include references to some parishes which are now in Herefordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire &c. Parish groupings, and spellings have been adopted as available in the GRO Handlist, but please be aware when consulting other sources that there may be considerable variation to what appears here, both in presentation and in spelling. Specifically, some parishes may have been known by quite different names in the past - for example, the modern day village known as Guiting Power can in some records be found as "Lower Guiting".

Some parishes may be noted as being "ex. par." = extra-parochial.

" An extra-parochial area was land uninhabited in Anglo-Saxon times and outside the jurisdiction of any civil or ecclesiastical parish. No poor or church rates were paid, though tithes in theory went to the Crown. A resident could choose the nearest convenient parish for baptisms, etc."

[Ref: The Parish Registers of Herefordshire, J Harnden, 1987, ISBN 0 9512347 0 6]