A Tribute to Ted Wildy, and his Marriage Witness Indexes (MWI)
The UK Marriage Witness Index (MWI) was started in July 1988 by the late Ted Wildy - that's nearly 20 years ago at the time of writing (July 2007). Not only was this a unique resource, since at the time few Marriage Indexes also included names of Witnesses, it was also one of the first mechanisms for sharing of information electronically, providing the means to establish contact with others researching the same surnames by email.
Ted was also a tireless transcriber, and again at the forefront in making the results of his efforts available to others electronically. I was fortunate enough to establish mutual interests in both Gloucestershire and Derbyshire with him, and well remember him sending me his first 3.5" floppy disk of transcriptions by post, saying in his letter "I will put a 720k disc into the envelope ...", to which he'd added a handwritten note that "the disc is full!" - in those days 720k was a LOT of data - too much to download! :-)
Today we do it all the time, and of course we've come a long way since then, but let's not forget where we came from. To paraphrase Isaac Newton, we might be great men (or women!), but "if we have seen a little further it is because we have been standing on the shoulders of Giants", which for sure can be said of me/us, and GENUKI, since the data which Ted himself collected, and chivvied others into collecting helped lay the foundations of GENUKI as it is today.
Sadly Ted passed away in April 1997. We have much to be grateful to him and his followers for their efforts, and this page is dedicated to his memory.
Note: This page formerly contained information about searching and access to the MWI, now no longer available. You may still be able to find copies online of a snapshot taken on 5th February 1994 - files of the form ukwit???.zip where ??? is the Chapman County Code for a UK county. However these files will be of limited use as the snapshot contains less than half the entries which the database ultimately contained, and many of the contact addresses will be out of date. These files are nevertheless still available on some websites.