Lancashire Non-Conformist Church Records—missing location information
I've just started indexing a batch of what I assume are headstone records (UK, England, Lancashire—Nonconformist Church Records, 1647–1996 [Part B][MSGS-39D]) from the Nonconformist Church Records. The batch in question doesn't include the location of the burials, but seems to be part of a running list of burials either in a specific cemetery or section of cemetery, since with the reference image viewer I can see the list is ordered from at least C to J, each letter heading containing numbered subheadings of individual burials. I assume the town/county in which the burials are located is listed on or before whatever page contains the 'A section' of the list—maybe another 7-10 pages before my batch.
The batch in question doesn't have the location information, of course, so perhaps it should be left blank—but I'm guessing that as with years, location was written once and assumed to apply to all sub-headings of that section, so it would be a shame to lose that data. Is it possible for someone with access to the record as a whole to see whether this is the case?
Have you looked at the reference images which will show you the pages before and after.
When you are on your image, to the left will be +, -, a symbol you can alter appearance and then a box symbol. If you click on the box symbol it will bring up the before and after images.0
Yep, I have looked—as I said in the original post, moving 5 pages back only takes me to point 'C' of the list, so I still cannot see the beginning of the list where I assume the location might be indicated.0
You would mark the location blank. I don't think that you would use the location anyway if it isn't on your image since there is nothing in the project instructions that suggests you look back to gather data, except to check what columns might mean on your image.2
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
Please accept Melissa's advice. The location might not even be in the county of Lancashire, as I have found the county in the collection title often applies to the name of the first location on the original microfilm. The record custodian might be a Lancashire record office, but the cemetery could well be in a neighbouring county.
Update - I just found an example to illustrate my point, from the very collection you are working on:2
Okay, good to know! I wasn't so much sure that it was Lancashire, rather I have a strong hunch that the location of the cemetery in my batch is likely indicated at the 'top' of the list I am transcribing. But if the page containing the beginning of that list is not accessible/viewable, then I'm happy to leave the location blank!
Thanks everyone for your replies.2
Please do not leave the "County" box blank. If you cannot find clues to the location of the record in the document, then leave "Lancashire" as the entry in the box. Leaving a blank box means that the records were from somewhere in England. Paul W's illustration is misleading, because, yes, Westmorland is outside of the county of Lancashire, but Westmorland was within the diocese of Lancashire, centered in Lancaster.
Also, it in not a good idea to put "Lancaster" in the "County" box, becasue Lancaster is a city in Lancashire. This will cause false leads for us amature geneologists.
Per the instructions, you leave the County box blank - UNLESS there is a county on written on the document. We don't assume anything. You would not leave Lancashire as the entry if Lancashire was not written somewhere on the document.
The field help for the County Field "box" states:
Suggested localities may appear as you type. If the suggestions do not match the image, type what you see, and press Tab.
If the suggestion is correct, select it from the list, and press Enter to choose it.
If the locality has been abbreviated or misspelled on the image, choose the expanded version or the correct spelling.
If the locality was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Ctrl+B to mark this field blank.5
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
I do not feel my argument is misleading at all. If known, the name of the county (at the time of the event) should always be shown, so it would be totally wrong to show "Lancashire" if an event took place in Westmorland.
Incidentally, I have been searching without success for an article that mentions the "Diocese of Lancaster" or "Diocese of Lancashire". All the articles I have read point to Westmorland being in the Diocese of Carlisle. I would be grateful if you could provide a URL linking to any article that suggests otherwise as, quite honestly I, too, believed there was a Diocese of Lancaster, but this appears only to apply to a Roman Catholic jurisdiction.
My personal research covers County Durham and a current FamilySearch indexing project is quite wrongly adding Durham Anglican Church records to a "Northumberland Non-conformist" set, but at least I am not finding the Durham records actually indexed as Northumberland ones. Quite rightly, the county in the individual records has been left blank - although I would prefer that they be withdrawn, as they are still giving a misleading impression to researchers and making their ancestors' records difficult to find.
Indeed, the only justification for including any Westmorland records under the "Lancashire Non-conformist" heading would be if, say, a Methodist "circuit" included parishes / villages in both counties.0
You are correct about the current C of E bishoprics. Carlise covers Cumbria and Blackburn covers north west Lancashire, but Lancashire was broken down into "Hundreds", with the north west "Hundred" being the "Lonsdale Hundred". See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lonsdale_Hundred. The Lonsdale Hundred includes the south west area of Westmorland around Barrow-in-Furness. The official General Registry Office BMD records started being recorded in 1837 and the registration districts for Lancashire were the old Hundreds.
The current and historical Catholic bishoprics covered westmorland up to Appleby, though I have not seen any Catholic records in this project. Nearly all of the Catholic records are from Liverpool - it is quite funny to see how the southern priests hane interpreted the Scouse accent.
Records kept prior to 1837 were mainly archived in Preston, though some were kept in Garstang nad others Lancaster. These archives included those of the non-conformist churches, ie. Protestant Dissenters, Wesleyans, Catholic etc..
I have spent the last six years researching my family tree. My father's side is from Lancashire and his mother's side is from the Kendal area of Westmorland. While tracing my grandmother's line I had to jump about between the Kendal Church records for the Westmorland relatives on the east side of the river Kent and the Lancashire Parish records for those Westmorland relatives on the west side of the river Trent.
So, there will be some Westmorland records in the Lancashire archive. Similarly, there are some Yorkshire records in the archive. The county and parish boundaries have been pretty fluid over the centuries.0
Thank you for the discussion. This is exactly why we follow the instruction in indexing:
If the locality was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Ctrl+B to mark this field blank.1
It is not the job of indexers to analyze the records no matter how fun that is! We let the researchers have that bit of fun! We help them find it to analyze which is a great blessing to researchers.1