DEVON-L ArchivesArchiver > DEVON > 1999-07 > 0933036758
From: "Sooty28" <>
Subject: Devon Parish Registers
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 1999 20:52:38 -0400
I was away on vacation when the discussion came up about the Devon Parish Registers and their filming by the LDS, etc. Don't want to start up another thread but the discussion brought to mind what has happened in the past in Kent and I thought some of you might be interested.
Kent parishes have limited coverage on the LDS I.G.I. as the LDS weren't allowed to film the parish registers there either and could only extract entries from some registers that had been published years ago. The Kent Family History Society came to the rescue and began publishing parish registers, Will Indexes, and other records mainly in fiche format. They (or Duncan Harrington who I believe did the filming) received permission to put the actual PRs on fiche and sell them to the members of the KFHS for a reasonable fee. They currently have a large selection of fiche available for purchase.
Then a few years ago something changed in East Kent and the LDS were given permission to film not only the Parish Registers held in the Canterbury Archives but also the Bishops Transcripts, Parish Chest Records, etc. Anyone with access to an LDS Family History Centre now can view any of these records on microfilm for a small fee. In most cases there are 4 parish registers (from c1530 to 1812 or 1813+) on one film.
Not only are these records now available thru LDS FHCs but they have been preserved from fire, flood, bombs or whatever for as long as the films themselves survive.
My question is why has permission been obtained for the Kent Family History Society to put some of the PRs on fiche and the LDS to microfilm them but similar permission has not been given in Devon? Surely the same objections exist in both counties but somehow in Kent these objections were overcome. Perhaps special concessions were agreed to or the powers that be in East Kent could see the value in preserving the records and protecting the PRs and BTs from further deterioration by having researchers make use of microfilmed copies.
My research in Kent has gone ahead by leaps and bounds in the past few years as a result of having access to the PRs and BTs whereas my Devon research has only progressed recently with access to the 1851 and 1881 census CDs. I wait in vain for St. Charles Plymouth and other parish records to become accessible to those of us who don't have access to the Devon Record Offices.
London, Ontario, Canada
London, Ontario, Canada