DEVON-L Archives

Archiver > DEVON > 2003-08 > 1060349532

From: "Terry Leaman" <>
Subject: Re: Fwd: [DEV] OPC scheme
Date: Fri, 8 Aug 2003 14:32:12 +0100
References: <> <003401c35d5d$a371ed00$d5e4e740@oemcomputer>

Hi, I wasn't going to get involved in this thread- But feel I must to
counter Luke's message- The Devon Record Office does not make the rules- it
actually owns very little, most of the huge archives are actually owned by
other people and deposited with the Record Office for safe keeping (either
voluntarily or compulsorily) The rules governing access are laid down either
by law or by the owners. I know there are records which are recorded as
withdrawn from public view at the request of the owner. The owners can
remove the records from the Record Office at any time they see fit- in some
cases they have to prove that they can be properly stored under various Acts
of Parliament. All Church of England Parish records are still owned by the
Church authorities and the DRO can only do what the church authorities will
allow them to do, this is why permission is required to publish the
information on the web. It is only thanks to the hard work of the Archivist
John Draisey that we are now able to purchase, for Personal use only,
microfiche of registers which are already filmed. Microfilming is an
expensive and time consuming business so the amount that can be done is
obviously limited.
Many records like Hospitals, Asylums etc are governed by the same law as the
census , in other words they are sealed for 100 years (unless you have and
can prove a family reason for access- this does not include genealogy).
Many records simply do not exist any more, Devon wills being a prime
example. In the case of Tormoham - it was reported way back in the mid 1850s
that the contents of the parish chest had disappeared.
But Please DO NOT blame the Devon Record Office for something over which it
has no control.
Terry Leaman
OPC for Torquay and DFHS representative on Devon-L
Visit my web site at for information and photos
about Torquay
List owner for Eng-Devon mailing list
Joint Co-ordinator for DFHS/FreeCen 1861 Devon census transcription project-
go to for details
----- Original Message -----
From: "Luke Gassien" <>
To: <>
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2003 4:32 AM
Subject: Re: Fwd: [DEV] OPC scheme

> Hi Alan (and other listers)
> Paul was referring to the records of the church wardens, poor law, tax
> records, wills, bastardy bonds, and many other documents.
> The problem is, the regulations put forth by the DRO vs. the CRO and what
> made available is quite different from on county to the next.
> (which is vastly aggrevating when your ancestors lived 2 miles from the
> Dev/Con line)
> Most of the NON-PR parish information isn't (at least to the best of my
> knowledge) avaialable to be ordered. I suppose it would be in either
> or Plymouth records offices. But as an OPC living on the other side of
> world, that doesn't do many of us any good.
> The other issue that should certainly (and am quite surprised hasn't been)
> mentioned is this: Devon OPC's because of those same differences between
> the policies of the DRO and the CRO, are severely handcuffed.
> That is to say... A Cornwall OPC doesn't have to do anything but post
> transcriptions on a website.
> in Devon. that's not the case, the procedure of obtaining permission to
> publish your transcriptions is not easy.. I'm still waiting for a reply on
> that issue myself. However my understanding is that the current Chief
> Records Officer is doing a lot to make it easier to persue this type of
> publication, which is something we should all be very thankful for.
> The records that Paul was referring to are what puts the flesh onto the
> bones.. the bap's mar's and bur's only find the bones themselves. And
> though that is the first step in genealogy, it doesn't have that level of
> satisfaction as finding out what a ancestor was like. (though it is indeed
> great feeling to break down a nasty brick wall)
> These records can sometimes also help with those hated words that
> genealogist run into.. such as "base child" "sojourner" "a stranger" etc.
> Bastardy Bonds can put a father's name to a base child, Wardens records,
> from what i understand may actually hold keys to where strangers who had
> children in the parish were from, mainly because being born there gave
> certain rights to parish relief if they were poor.
> Tax/Tithe records obviously would give indications of a persons wealth and
> place of residence.
> I know this hasn't been comprehensive, and as I've said, i live on the
> side of the world, so most of these things i'm talking about I've never
> actually seen myself, (so i might even be wrong on some accounts) But i
> this answers you questions as to some of the records Paul was talking
> Sincerely
> Luke Gassien
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> OPC - Lamerton -
> (and Lew Trenchard & Thrushelton when the fiche gets here)
> Researching mainly Gloyne & Turpin in Devonshire England.
> ------------------------------------------------------------------
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Alan" <>
> To: <>
> Sent: Thursday, August 07, 2003 6:49 PM
> Subject: Re: Fwd: [DEV] OPC scheme
> > Hello Brian
> >
> > I'm not sure that my point has been taken by anyone. It was Paul Brewer,
> > OPC co-ordinator for Cornwall, who said "most people have very little
> > knowledge of the large amount of info about people in documents relating
> to
> > a parish" (my underlining). I do not disagree with his assertion, quite
> > simply because I do not feel I am in a position to do so.
> >
> > I simply asked what is that "large amount of info about people in
> documents
> > relating to a parish"? Talking around a subject in that way does not, I
> > suggest, inform anyone. There are probably those who think they know
> > Paul is talking about, but how can they be sure? My position has already
> > been stated: I simply do not know. Surely it can't be (for example) the
> > parish registers to which he refers, because Paul also said (in
> > with that "large amount of info . . ." etc) "much of which would provide
> > firm evidence to uncertain records extracted from the Chr, Mar & Bur
> > registers". It can't be the IGI, because that does not relate to "a
> > parish". So how does that "large amount of info" manifest itself?
> > what are these documents relating to a parish? In short, is there
> something
> > I have missed?
> >
> > These are merely questions, not criticisms implied or otherwise of the
> > excellent Devon OPCs . As Bernie Breslaw used to say: "I only arsked!"
> >
> > Best wishes,
> > Alan England.
> > ___________________________________________________
> >
> > At 14:04 06/08/03 +0100, you wrote:
> > >Hi Alan:
> > >
> > >>Yes, and equally not wishing to be controversial, may I intrude upon
> this
> > >>exchange of history and observe that the allusion to "the large amount
> of
> > >>info about people in documents relating to a parish" does nothing to
> > >>increase the little knowledge most of us have. In fact, I don't even
> know
> > >>what you are talking about, never mind discover it! So, to make yet
> > >>capital out of what is truly a marvellous scheme (the envy of many
> > >>Lists!!), perhaps this aspect might be given more attention? This is
> > >>ask: how can Listers be helped to help themselves more? I admit that
> > >>beam may well be in my eye!
> > >
> > >A number of the Devon OPCs have set up their own web-sites in order to
> use
> > >them to make information that they are collecting available - and the
> > >Devon scheme is set up to try and ensure that any major information
> > >resources that the OPCs obtain or produce in electronic form are also
> held
> > >in GENUKI/Devon, linked to from the corresponding parish page. A
> > >considerable number of indexes and transcriptions have been added to
> > >GENUKI/Devon as a result.
> > >
> > >The actual types of information vary, and are presented in GENUKI under
> > >standard set of topic headings - such as Church Records, Census,
> > >Cemeteries, Directories, History, etc. GENUKI is very much intended not
> > >just to help people trace their ancestors by providing genealogical
> > >and information about what other relevant genealogy-related information
> > >exists where, but also to "put flesh on their ancestors' bones" so to
> > >speak, by providing information that will help them to learn about the
> > >places where they lived, what else was happening at the time, etc.
> > >
> > >As regards your question of "how can Listers be helped to help
> > >more?" one of the main tactics that I and a few others use is that of
> > >trying to answer a more general question than that which was asked -
> > >if someone asks is there an OPC for XXXXXX, we reply with information
> > >about the whole set of OPCs, so they can look this and any other OPC up
> > >for themself. (It would be helpful if more people answered such queries
> by
> > >following this practice.) Another is the provision of the FAQ
> > >Asked Questions) list at
> > >
> > >But I really have no solution for the large number of listers who
> > >apparently completely ignore the sentence given at the end of every
> > >posting "The DEVON-L mailing list is co-sponsored by GENUKI/Devon (
> > > ) and the Devon FHS (
> > > )" and who never think to investigate the
> > >links that it contains.
> > >
> > >I don't know if this answers your question adequately - I would welcome
> > >any further suggestions you have.
> > >
> > >cheers
> > >
> > >Brian Randell
> > >
> > >
> > >--
> > >School of Computing Science, University of Newcastle, Newcastle upon
> Tyne,
> > >NE1 7RU, UK
> > >EMAIL = PHONE = +44 191 222 7923
> > >FAX = +44 191 222 8232 URL =
> >
> > ______________________________
> ==== DEVON Mailing List ====
> The DEVON-L mailing list is co-sponsored by GENUKI/Devon
> ( ) and
> the Devon FHS ( )

This thread: