The OPC Project was conceived and set up in Cornwall; Devon and Dorset followed next, and there are now about a dozen more counties taking part. The concept 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 some historical and social information. All parishes have been registered as one-place studies.
LONELY PARISHES seek LOVING OPC’s
Could YOU help re-unite LONG LOST FAMILIES?
As an OPC
you work in your spare time, at your own pace
respond to emails from family history researchers
soak up the warm glow that washes over you when someone writes to say ….
“Thank you, the information on your page really helped me!”
To find out more about becoming an OPC, without commitment, email Teresa Lewis via the Contact us Option above
What is an OPC?
An OPC (on-line parish clerk) is a volunteer member of the public who "adopts" a parish in Wiltshire and then researches and transcribes historical and genealogical information for that parish that might be of value to family history researchers and social historians. 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.
Adopt a Parish and become an OPC
You don't 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 one or two 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.
If you feel you don't have the time to adopt a parish, you can 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).
During January 2015 OPC's and transcribers uploaded 527 items to parish pages (including updated documents). New documents added as we go through February will be published here. New images are added to our galleries on a regular basis. This site has been visited over 181,000 times since its relaunch in February 2012. After the annual clear up of registered users we have in the region of 1770 registered returning users.
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. Items highlighted in green have been updated; 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.
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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.
We don't guarantee to be perfect and cannot be responsible for errors or omissions in transcriptions or other data provided. 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 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.
Researchers can leave compliments/comments/constructive criticism in the box at the foot of each parish page or in our guest book (currently undergoing reconstruction but back online asap). Thank you