A rchivist ’s top tips
BEST WEBSITES TO AID YOUR RESEARCH
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