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Saturday, 11 February 2012 09:18

Welcome to the Wiltshire O. P. C. Home Page

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A flight of 16 locks climbs Caen Hill near Devizes, on the Kennet and Avon Canal A flight of 16 locks climbs Caen Hill near Devizes, on the Kennet and Avon Canal

The Project

The OPC Project concept was the original idea of family historians in Cornwall who launched the first OPC project;  Devon and Dorset followed next, and there are several now more counties taking part.  The idea is to assist those who are researching their family history in a specific parish who might otherwise have difficulty accessing information at record offices, etc.  The Wiltshire OPC Project began tentatively in 2006 and has grown from strength to strength.  Information is organised by the historic Church of England parishes within the county.  Although there is a strong focus on genealogical information, we also include historical and social information.  All parishes have been registered as one-place studies.    We now have a diary page which will be updated from time to time.  You can also follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.          Put a face to the name - meet your OPC Team.          

Surname Interests

We have decided to create some files via Facebook to accommodate those members who would like to register their surname interests.  

Photo Galleries

We must apologise for anyone using the photo galleries at present.  We are still adding to these galleries but sadly the facility to sort in any particular order has been withdrawn by Google Photos which is how we at present display out images.  Also in some cases the labelling of the image itself is not showing up.  This is mainly due to the creation of new galleries.  Anything added to a previously active gallery still shows this labelling.  The OPC Webmaster and team are looking into alternatives to enable us to publish our photos and have control over the order they are seen.  Many thanks for your patience whilst this is being sorted.

A Little Information About Using This Website  

As mentioned previously information is laid out within parishes.  There is also a page to cover the whole of the county and also a military page which relates to the county as a whole.  There are also pages for research inquiries and other general information just explore the drop down menus at the top of the page.  Most pages follow a set layout to assist you in finding information quickly under categories which have a set order.  The Categories are Neighbouring Parishes (Contiguous); Websites; Parish Church; Parish History; Buildings & Land; Crime & Legal Matters; Directories; Education; Emigration & Migration; Employment & Business; Miscellaneous Items; Non Conformity & Other Places of Worship; People & Parish Notables; Poor Law, Charity & The Workhouse; Probate; War, Conflict and Military.  Under Transcriptions at the bottom of the page can be found any Baptisms, Marriages, Burials & Census that have been completed.  Categories will contain sub headings but these should be selective and contain a series of documents of the same kind such as parishioners wills.  The documents themselves will normally follow a layout of oldest items first reading from left to right in columns of 3 or 4 items per row.  The documents are linked to a pdf format and the title should be descriptive but concise so that you can see what you are likely to find within.  Where there is a tithing or hamlet that has a fair amount of information these will have a tab (page) within that parish towards the end of the page.  Photo Galleries can be found by following the links on parish pages or by accessing the main gallery section at the top of the page.   The most recent parishes or items updated or expanded can be found by clicking on the images under the 3 headings towards the top of the home page.  Also if you are looking for something specific such as the First World War it is possible to find a list of such items by using the search facility at the top of the page by keying in WWI. 

Although most items are published on parish pages please also check the Wiltshire Additional Parish Page, Wiltshire County Wide Page, Wiltshire Military Page and the Nationwide Page.  All of these may contain additional information not published on a parish page.  

Due to the nature of the project some pages will hold more information than others.  New items are being added to the site daily.

As you can see from the Memorial Days Section to the right of the page we are adding as many soldiers memorial days as we can.  If anyone knows of soldiers whose deaths are not yet listed please let the admin team know.

What is an OPC?

An OPC (on-line parish clerk) is a volunteer member of the public who "adopts" a parish in Wiltshire becoming its custodian.  The OPC is then able to research the parish and transcribe historical and genealogical information for that particular parish which may be of value to family history researchers and social historians.  Our motto is "What may or may not be of interest to you, will be of interest to others".  This information is gathered from many different sources, for example, parish registers, census records, churchwardens and overseers accounts, historical wills, business and trade directories, church and village histories, newspaper reports, war casualty lists, etc.  An on-line parish clerk should not be confused with a parish clerk engaged by a parish council or parochial church council.    

Adopt a Parish and Become an OPC

Firstly, you do not need to live in Wiltshire, or even in the UK, to become an OPC.  We have OPC's in Australia, Canada, Holland, England, New Zealand, India, Scotland and several in Wiltshire itself!  Some OPC's choose to adopt a particular parish because their ancestors hailed from that village or town or because they once lived there themselves; some just want to be part of a voluntary project to help family history researchers worldwide.  Others choose their parish because of a subject interest such as Australian Soldiers of WWI buried in the county.  Once you adopt a parish then you become its custodian by researching and building on the resources on the parish page.  Even if a parish is adopted then other contributors are still welcome to submit items for inclusion.

You may feel you don't have the time to adopt a parish, but you can still support the Wiltshire OPC project by:-

  • donating information you may have at home - school photographs, directories, village history booklets - in fact, any historical information on a Wiltshire parish
  • transcribing - we can email records to you to transcribe at home at your own pace
  • taking photographs in Wiltshire - war memorials, buildings, village scenes, plaques, etc. 

If you would like to help with any of the above please contact the OPC of the parish you can help with or if the parish is vacant, contact our Administrator.  Please note that you will need to register and sign in to contact OPC's/Administrator (via the Contact Us tab at the top of this page)            

For a complete list of vacant parishes and other positions you could help with please go to our diary page

 

Devizes - Parish of the Month

devizes st john

St. John

DEVIZES (or The Vies), comprises the parishes of St. John the Baptist, St. Mary the Virgin and part of the parish of Rowde, being a market town, municipal and parliamentary borough, having separate jurisdiction, but locally situated in the hundred of Potterne and Cannings, in the county of Wilts, 23 miles N.W. of Salisbury, 20 E. by S. of Bath, and 88 W. of London by road, or 111 by the Wilts, Somerset, and Weymouth railway, which joins the Great Western line at Chippenham. Two branch lines connect Devizes with Bath and Reading. The town, which is situated on the Downs, near the Kennet and Avon canal, is supposed to be of great antiquity. It first rose into importance in the reign of Henry I., when Roger, Bishop of Salisbury, built the spacious and strong castle described by ancient writers as unequalled in Europe for magnificence, extent, and strength."[Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

Devizes has an entry on GENUKI and Vision of Britain.  The parish is not included in British History Online but there are a number of entries relatimg to the town.  Details held by Wikipedia can be found here.  The parish is also listed on the British Listed Buildings website.  There is also an official town website for the parish.

The parish OPC is Jo CLinton. This is a list of items transcribed for the parish.     If anyone has any photographs, postcards or items of interest that they are willing to share then please contact the administrator from the contact us drop down lists.   

Site Statistics

During August 2016 OPC's and transcribers uploaded 387 items to parish pages (including updated documents).  New documents added as we go through August will be published here.  New images are added to our galleries on a regular basis.  At present it is estimated that we have in the region of 5000 items awaiting upload, revamping or transcribing (however much more information is available elsewhere to be gathered in and processed).

At the beginning of each month the site holdings list is updated to show what can be found on parish pages and elsewhere on the site at present we have over 18300 items on parish pages.  Items highlighted in green have been updated; Those highlighted in red or yellow are being re-transcribed and are available for look up purposes; the original upload date is in the left hand column, the date when the item was uploaded with changes is in the right hand column. 

We currently have 65 OPC's and 5 Consultants who cover between them 135 parishes/pages of the 334 available.   We also have 20 transcribers registered (not all active at present)

The site currently has over 570 registered returning users and the web site has been visited over 274000 times.

* * * * * * * * * * 

Copyright & Disclaimer

We think it is important that our users understand the strengths and limitations of this website.  The OPC Project aims to provide historical and genealogical information without charge that researchers might pay a fee for elsewhere.  OPC's voluntarily provide this information, often at their own expense by purchasing documents to transcribe.  In most cases their transcriptions are not checked by anyone other than themselves.   

Our OPC’s and volunteers are aware that material submitted for this site must be within copyright law and accreditation must be given where necessary.  Our Administrator checks items as they are submitted, however, occasionally an item may ‘slip through the net.’  If this occurs, we apologise most sincerely and will correct the issue immediately upon notification.

We don't guarantee to be perfect!  All information should be taken as a guide only and the original source consulted wherever possible.  In many cases this will be the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre.   Please note that some items are published to parish pages and are incomplete, such items will be updated as and when new information is transcribed.  These are mainly ongoing projects such as the national probate index, strays index, etc.

Please note that OPC's are unable to undertake family history research for our users, but we are always willing, where possible, to advise where the information being sought might be found.

If you find this site useful please tell others - if you have a problem with it then please tell us.  Users of the site are invited to leave comments/constructive criticism &c. in the box at the foot of each parish page or in our guest book.  You may also rate the page using the star option on each parish page.  Thank you.  

Please Consider Helping Us Improve This Website - We Ask For No Financial Donations - Just a Little Time or Some Photographs or Documents that you are willing to share with us.

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Memorial Days & Upcoming Events

Fri Sep 30
Aldbourne & Ramsbury - On this day in 1918 Corporal RICHARD FRANK GREGORY gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Sep 30
Ansty - On this day in 1944 Leading Aircraftman GEORGE FRANK BROWN gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Sep 30
Chicklade - On this day in 1915 Lance Corporal REGINALD GARFIELD HACKER gave his life for his country
Fri Sep 30
East Harnham - On this day in 1915 Sergeant ALBERT EDWARD CARD gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sat Oct 01
*Fonthill Bishop - On this day in 1760 WILLIAM THOMAS BECKFORD, Writer, Art Collector and Politician was born in London. Had a long association to Fonthill
Sat Oct 01
Bradford-on-Avon & Holt - On this day in 1918 Lance Corporal VICTOR WALLACE ALFORD gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sat Oct 01
Donhead St. Andrew - On this day in 1918 Private ERNEST HENRY LAWES gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sat Oct 01 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
"Oxfordshire FHS Open Day at Woodstock
Sun Oct 02
Amesbury - On this day in 1915 Major General FREDERICK DRUMMOND VINCENT WING gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sun Oct 02
Ashton Keynes, Rodbourne Cheney (Haydon Wick) & Swindon - On this day in 1917 Private WALTER MAISEY gave his life for his country. RIP
Sun Oct 02
Chippenham - On this day in 1942 Sapper ALEXANDER SIDNEY C. MACDONALD LAKE gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sun Oct 02
Chippenham - On this day in 1944 Corporal LESLIE HERBERT TIMBRELL gave his life for his country. RIP
Sun Oct 02
Hindon - on this day in 1942 Lance Corporal DENNIS LESLIE SMALL gave his life for his country. RIP
Sun Oct 02
Holt - On this day in 1918 Bombardier ALBERT HENRY JOHNSON gave his life for his country. RIP.
Mon Oct 03
Bratton - On this day in 1943 Flying Officer VINCENT LONGMEAD HYATT gave his life for his country. RIP
Mon Oct 03
Chippenham - On this day in 1918 Sergeant ELISHA FRANK JONES M.M. gave his life for his country. RIP.
Mon Oct 03
Stratton St. Margaret (Gorse Hill) - On this day in 1918 Private HAROLD AUSTIN GOSLING gave his life for his country. RIP
Tue Oct 04
Ansty - On this day in 1916 Sergeant F. H. BAILEY gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Oct 04
Britford - On this day in 1917 Private FRANK JUDD gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Oct 04
Chippenham - On this day in 1916 Sapper JOHN WILLIAM BLANCHARD gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Oct 04
Chippenham - On this day in 1917 Private ERNEST DAVID HANKS gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Oct 04
Chippenham - On this day in 1918 Private 2nd Class GEORGE ALFRED BOTHWELL gave his life for his country. RIP
Tue Oct 04
Compton Chamberlayne - On this day in 1918 Lieutenant CHARLES PENRUDDOCKE gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Oct 04
Hindon - On this day in 1917 Private THOMAS CHARLES GOODFELLOW gave his life for his country. RIP
Tue Oct 04
Ramsbury - On this day in 1917 Private THOMAS WILLIAM WOOTEN gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Oct 04 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Durrington - On this day in 1917 Lance Corporal SYDNEY THOMAS HARVEY gave his life for his country. RIP
Wed Oct 05
Barford St. Martin - On this day in 1918 Corporal WALTER ANDERSON gave his life for his country. RIP
Wed Oct 05
Bradford-on-Avon - On this day in 1918 Private WILLIAM JOHN BROWN gave his life for his country. RIP
Thu Oct 06
Bradford-on-Avon - On this day in 1915 Private CHARLES EDWIN ADAMS gave his life for his country. RIP
Thu Oct 06 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Chippenham - On this day in 1915 Private JOHN RANDOLPH LEA gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Oct 06 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Chippenham - On this day in 1915 Private JOHN RANDOLPH LEA gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Oct 07
North Bradley - On this day in 1916 Rifleman REGINALD GEORGE BOX gave his life for his country. RIP
Fri Oct 07
Mere - On this day in 1886 WILLIAM BARNES, educator in Mere, died.
Fri Oct 07
Stratton St. Margaret - On this day in 1916 Private NORMAN HOOD gave his life for his country. RIP
Fri Oct 07
West Lavington - On this day in 2011 GEORGE BAKER, actor, died. He was resident of West Lavington for many years
Fri Oct 07
Yatesbury - On this day in 1918 Private GEORGE LUCAS gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Oct 07 @ 8:00AM - 05:00PM
Chippenham - On this day in 1917 Private JOHN ROWLAND PHILLIPS gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sat Oct 08
Chippenham - On this day in 1916 Private IVAN CYRIL FRANCIS JOY gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sat Oct 08
Chippenham - On this day in 1918 Captain WALLACE MORTIMER ROOKE gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sat Oct 08
Stratton St. Margaret: On this day in 1918 Private ALBERT JOHN SMITH gave his life for his country. RIP
Sat Oct 08
Sutton Veny - On this day in 1918 Private HARRY BARTER gave his life for his country. RIP
Sat Oct 08
Worton - On this day in 1916 Sergeant GEORGE DAVID KEARNS gave his life for his country. RIP
Sat Oct 08 @10:00AM - 04:00PM
Glamorgan FHS Open Day at Merthyr Tydfil
Sun Oct 09
Chippenham - On this day in 1915 Private JOHN TAYLOR gave his life for his country. RIP
Sun Oct 09
Corsham - On this day in 1729 Sir RICHARD BLACKMORE, Physician, Poet & Religious Writer died in Essex.
Sun Oct 09
Holt - On this day in 1916 Private FRANK OLIVER STOKES gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sun Oct 09
Stratton St. Margaret - On this day in 1943 Gunner ALBERT REGINALD BARKHAM gave his life for his country. RIP
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All Cannings & Etchilhampton - On this day in 1917 Private WILFRED JOHN KING gave his life for his country. RIP.
Mon Oct 10
Ashton Keynes - On this day in 1917 Private WALTER J. ELLISON gave his life for his country. RIP
Mon Oct 10
Atworth - On this day in 1918 Lieutenant VICTOR FREDERICK SLOPER gave his life for his country. RIP
Mon Oct 10
Chippenham - On this day in 1941 Leading Aircraftman / U/T Pilot WALTER HUGH RICHARDS gave his life for his country. RIP.
Mon Oct 10
Chitterne - On this day in 1918 Second Lieutenant JOHN BUCKERIDGE WALLIS gave his life for his country. RIP
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Chippenham - On this day in 1917 Private FREDERICK EDWARD CROKER gave his life for his country. RIP.
Wed Oct 12
!On this day in 1915 Nurse Edith Cavell was executed by firing squad for assisting the escape of British Soldiers from German Occupied Belgium during WWI. RIP
Wed Oct 12
Ashton Keynes - On this day in 1918 Private SCOTT L. TELLING gave his life for his country. RIP
Wed Oct 12
Bradford-on-Avon - On this day in 1917 Private FREDERICK JAMES AUSTIN gave his life for his country. RIP
Wed Oct 12
Chippenham - On this day in 1915 Chaplain 4th Class / Captain WILLIAM PRESTON AINLEY gave his life for his country. RIP.
Wed Oct 12
Chippenham - On this day in 1947 Air Articifer 4th Class DERRICK GIBSON BELCHER gave his life for his country. RIP.
Wed Oct 12
Donhead St. Mary & Stourton - On this day in 1915 Corporal FREDERICK JOHN ROBERT BROOMFIELD gave his life for his country. RIP
Wed Oct 12
Holt - On this day in 1918 Private HERBERT SCRINE gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Oct 13
Amesbury - On this day in 1915 Private FREDERICK JAMES STEVENS gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Oct 13
Bradford-on-Avon - On this day in 1914 - Lance Corporal WILLIAM BRICKER gave his life for his country. RIP
Thu Oct 13
Broad Chalke & Malmesbury - On this day in 1916 Rifleman THOMAS CLIFFORD JONES gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Oct 13
Stratton St. Margaret - On this day in 1916 Private EDGAR EVERETT gave his life for his country. RIP
Fri Oct 14
All Cannings & Etchilhampton - On this day in 1916 Private TOM COX gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Oct 14
Bremhill - On this day in 1918 Private FREDERICK JAMES HENLY gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Oct 14
Chippenham - On this day in 1914 Lance Corporal WALTER HANCOCK gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Oct 14
Chippenham - On this day in 1939 Marine WALTER JOHN WHITTAKER gave his life for his country. RIP
Fri Oct 14
Durrington - On this day in 1939 Boy 1st Class ALFRED WALTER SYDNEY MILES gave his life for his country. RIP