A rchivist ’s top tips


Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - AROUND BRITAIN -

Ar­chiv­ist Daniel Wil­liams says: “Northamp­ton­shire re­searchers would be ad­vised to find out about the dis­tinc­tive char­ac­ter of the spe­cific area of this di­verse county that they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing. There were prom­i­nent non­con­formist tra­di­tions in some places, for in­stance, and the fen­land parishes in the north of the county were very dif­fer­ent from the nu­cle­ated vil­lages in the south or the ar­eas dom­i­nated by the royal forests.” Good start­ing points are the Fam­i­lySearch wiki page at fam­i­lysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/ Northamp­ton­shire_Ge­neal­ogy, and Genuki ( www.kell­ner.eclipse.co.uk/genuki/ NTH/).

In Fe­bru­ary 2015, Ances­try pub­lished a data­base of lo­cal bap­tisms and buri­als from 1813-1912 ( search.ances­try.co.uk/ Places/ UK/ Eng­land/ Northamp­ton­shire/ De­fault.aspx). In the mean­time it is cur­rently in­dex­ing re­main­ing parish reg­is­ters, due for launch in early 2016. Sim­i­larly, Find­my­past has scanned school log books and ad­mis­sion reg­is­ters ready for launch.

The Northamp­ton­shire Fam­ily His­tory So­ci­ety ( NFHS) web­site ( northants-fhs.org) is full of use­ful in­for­ma­tion about re­search in the area, and you can re­quest searches in its per­sonal names data­base – click 'Search Ser­vices'. Re­mem­ber that NFHS-com­piled mar­riage and burial records are also avail­able on Find­my­past – specif­i­cally 96,545 mar­riage records (1538-1975) and 431,683 burial records (1527-2006) at bit.ly/1NuhZbb. The record of­fice site isn’t as mod­ern as some, but does in­clude use­ful PDF guides to adop­tion records, parish reg­is­ters, boot and shoe records, ceme­tery records, friendly so­ci­eties, Northamp­ton­shire Yeo­manry, po­lice records, ve­hi­cle li­cens­ing and much more. Via northamp­ton­shire.gov.uk/en/ coun­cilser­vices/Com­mu­nity/ar­chives/pages/ open­ing-up-the-ar­chives.aspx you can also ex­plore re­sults of the vol­un­teer-led pro­ject to in­dex records of pa­tients at St Crispin's Hos­pi­tal, be­tween 1876 and 1912 – when it was the County Lu­natic Asy­lum. Daniel says vol­un­teers have now listed over 6,000 en­tries for pa­tients.

There’s a great web­site cel­e­brat­ing the boot and shoe trade at northamp­ton­shire­bootand shoe.org.uk. There’s also the Northamp­ton Bor­ough Coun­cil web­site, which de­tails use­ful mu­seum col­lec­tions ( northamp­ton.gov.uk/ mu­se­ums) in­clud­ing the Na­tional Shoe­mak­ers In­dex and the Northamp­ton­shire Reg­i­men­tal and Yeo­manry col­lec­tions. Sim­i­larly, Peter­bor­ough Ar­chives Ser­vice ( vi­vac­ity-peter­bor­ough.com/ li­braries-and-ar­chives/ar­chives) has the Kitchin Col­lec­tion – black and white pho­tos mostly taken in and around Peter­bor­ough from 1960 to about 1970 – plus an on­line cat­a­logue with 4,500 en­tries.

The Northamp­ton­shire Boot and Shoe web­site The Ar­chives, Her­itage and His­tory sec­tion of Northamp­ton­shire County Coun­cil's web­site

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