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Saturday, 11 February 2012 09:18

Welcome to the Wiltshire OPC Home Page

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July heat haze at Berwick St. James 2003 July heat haze at Berwick St. James 2003

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

A little information about using our 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. 

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 who's 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 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 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.

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) 

 

South Marston - Parish of the Week    

 south marston st mary magdalene

"SOUTH MARSTON, a chapelry in the parish and hundred of Highworth, county Wilts, 4 miles S.W. of Highworth. The Great Western railway passes through the chapelry The inhabitants are chiefly engaged in agriculture. The chapel-of-ease is a small ancient edifice. There is a school supported by subscription."          [Description(s) from The National Gazetteer of Great Britain and Ireland (1868) - Transcribed by Colin Hinson ©2003]

South Marston has an entry on WikipediaGenUKI, and Vision of Britain also feature this parish.  The village also has its own parish website.          

There is currently no OPC in place for this parish.  If anyone would like to adopt this parish and build on it resources please contact Teresa Lewis.          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 any one of the administrators from the contact us drop down lists.  

Site Statistics

During June 2015 OPC's and transcribers uploaded 621 items to parish pages (including updated documents).  New documents added as we go through July will be published here.  New images are added to our galleries on a regular basis.  

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 16400 items on parish pages.  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. 

The site currently has just over 1725 users and the web site has been visited over 209800 times.  There are now 63 OPCs, including the Admin team and webmaster.  Between them they cover 146 of 329 available parishes/villages.

* * * * * * * * * * 

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.

Researchers can leave compliments/comments/constructive criticism 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.

 

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Memorial Days & Upcoming Events

Mon Jul 06
Aldbourne - On this day in 1916 - Private EDWIN SAMPSON gave his life for his country. RIP
Tue Jul 07
Chippenham - On this day in 1916 Private EDGAR THOMAS PEARCE gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Jul 07
Durrington - On this day in 1915 Private WILLIAM JAMES STOW gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Jul 07
Hindon - On this day in 1916 Private STEWART STEVENS gave his life for his country. RIP
Tue Jul 07 @ 7:30PM -
Devizes - Trials & Tribulations at Devizes Union Workhouse
Wed Jul 08
Chippenham - On this day in 1941 Leading Aircraftman / U/T Pilot ARTHUR DAVID MICHAEL MERRETTI gave his life for his country. RIP.
Wed Jul 08
Chippenham - On this day in 1944 Flight Lieutenant BERNARD NORMAN PHILLIPS gave his life for his country. RIP.
Wed Jul 08
Durrington - On this day in 1943 LEADING AIRCRAFTMAN ALFRED CHARLES CHANNON gave his life for his country. RIP
Thu Jul 09
Ansty - On this day in 1916 Private ALFRED WILLOUGHBY SEABORNE gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Jul 09
Dinton - On this day in 1917 Petty Officer CHARLES BUGG gave his life for his country. RIP
Thu Jul 09 @ 7:30PM -
Swindon - Please relieve Me; Letters to Home Parish - by John Hurley
Fri Jul 10
Chippenham - On this day in 1917 Private ROBERT WILLIAM CARTER gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Jul 10
Chippenham - On this day in 1944 Private PETER DONALD COLLER gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Jul 10
East Harnham - On this day in 1917 Private GILBERT CHARLES GREEN gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Jul 10
Ramsbury - On this day in 1917 Private ALFRED LOOKER gave his life for his country. RIP.
Mon Jul 13
Durrington - On this day in 1915 Lance Sergeant FRED WALTER BROWN gave his life for his country. RIP
Tue Jul 14
Chippenham - On this day in 1916 Private HARRY LUCAS gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Jul 14 @ 7:15PM -
Chippenham - Fresh Places to Look by Jerry King
Wed Jul 15
Chippenham - On this day in 1916 Rifleman RICHARD ELMES gave his life for his country.RIP.
Wed Jul 15
Chippenham - On this day in 1944 Private ALFRED JAMES DUMMER gave his life for his country. RIP.
Wed Jul 15
Marlborough - On this day in 1916 - Private REGINALD WILLIAM DOBSON gave his life for his country. RIP.
Wed Jul 15 @ 7:30PM -
Wilton - Minding Your Ancestors' Business - by Claire Skinner
Thu Jul 16
Codford St. Mary - On this day in 1916 Lance Sergeant FREDERICK CHARLES WHATLEY gave his life for his country. RIP
Thu Jul 16
Durrington - On this day in 1944 Private Harry Spreadbury gave his life for his country. RIP
Sat Jul 18
Durrington - On this day in 1943 Private GILES JOHN GREEN gave his life for his country. RIP
Sun Jul 19
Aldbourne - On this day in 1918 - Gunner J. J. MOULDING gave his life for his country - RIP
Sun Jul 19
Barford St. Martin - On this day in 1916 Gunner REGINALD GEORGE NOYCE gave his life for his country. RIP
Mon Jul 20
Aldbourne - On this day in 1916 - Private ROBERT EDWARD HAWKINS gave his life for his country - RIP
Mon Jul 20
Chippenham - On this day in 1915 Pioneer ALBERT GEORGE BISHOP gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Jul 21
Sutton Veny - On this day in 1917 Private FRANK SNELGROVE gave his life for his country. RIP
Wed Jul 22
Durrington - On this day in 1944 Private HERBERT HENRY WEEKS gave his life for his country. RIP
Wed Jul 22 @ 7:00PM -
Malmesbury - How Far Can Yo Get Back? by Dr. Diane Brook
Thu Jul 23
Aldbourne - On this day in 1917 Brigadier General JOHN ARTHUR TANNER, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O. gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Jul 23
Chippenham - On this day in 1917 Private FREDERICK GIDEON BEASLEY gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Jul 23
Chippenham - On this day in 1917 Private GERALD HARVEY BARNFIELD gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Jul 23
Upton Lovell - On this day in 1916 Private ALFRED THOMAS WILD gave his life for his country. RIP
Thu Jul 23 @ 7:15PM -
Westbury - Brighton Pavilion as an Indian Military Hospital 1914-1916 by Mark Neathey
Sat Jul 25 @10:00AM - 03:00PM
Aylesbury - Buckinghamshire FHS Open Day
Sun Jul 26
Amesbury - On this day in 1919 Private FREDERICK ROBERT CANNING gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sun Jul 26
Chippenham - On this day in 1941 Leading Aircraftman / U/T Pilot GILBERT LAING - MEASON gave his life for his country. RIP.
Mon Jul 27
Aldbourne - On this day in 1917 Lance Corporal FREDERICK WILLIAM STACEY, M.M. gave his life for his country. RIP
Mon Jul 27
Durrington - On this day in 1917 - Gunner HERBERT DYMER gave his life for his country - RIP
Tue Jul 28
Bremhill - On this day in 1916 Private EDWARD JESSE LEWIS gave his life for his country. RIP.
Tue Jul 28
East Harnham - On this day in 1918 Gunner ALBERT EDWARD BOWEY gave his life for his country. RIP.
Wed Jul 29
Chippenham - On this day in 1917 Private GERALD KING gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Jul 30
Chippenham - On this day in 1916 Private ARTHUR GEORGE HISCOX gave his life for his country. RIP.
Thu Jul 30
Chippenham - On this day in 1918 Private ARTHUR HULL gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Jul 31
Alderton - On this day in 1917 Rifleman HOWARD COOK gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Jul 31
Alderton - On this day in 1917 Sergeant / Air Gunner GEORGE COPELAND gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Jul 31
Amesbury - On this day in 1917 Private CHARLES WILLIAM LAWRENCE gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Jul 31
Ansty - On this day in1915 Private BERTRAM WILLIAM JAMES MOXHAM gave his life for his country. RIP.
Fri Jul 31
Chippenham - On this day in 1944 Sergeant / Air Gunner GEORGE LEWIS COPELAND gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sat Aug 01
Bremhill - On this day in 1915 Private SAMUEL BEER gave his live for his country. RIP.
Sat Aug 01
Chippenham - On this day in 1915 Private FREDERICK ELI GEORGE ASHE gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sat Aug 01
Chippenham - On this day in 1916 Regimental Sergeant Major FRANK POWNEY gave his life for his country. RIP.
Sat Aug 01
Chippenham - On this day in 1940 Electrical Articifer 2nd Class JAMES WILLIAM GREY gave his life for his country. RIP.
Mon Aug 03
Chippenham - On this day in 1915 Sapper STEPHEN BULL gave his live for his country. RIP.
Tue Aug 04
Chippenham - On this day in 1943 Captain REGINALD THEODORE ARTHUR COUZENS gave his life for his country. RIP.
Wed Aug 05
Chippenham - On this day in 1917 Acting Bombardier HORACE BLACKMAN gave his life for his country. RIP.