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Friday, 04 May 2018 19:02

Privacy Notice

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Privacy Notice

This privacy notice discloses the privacy practices for the Wiltshire OPC Site. This privacy notice applies solely to information collected by this website.


Information Collection, Use, and Sharing

We are the sole owners of the information collected on this site. We only have access to/collect information that you voluntarily give us via email or other direct contact from you. We will not sell or rent this information to anyone.

We will use your information to respond to you, regarding the reason you contacted us. We will not share your information with any third party outside of our organization.

Unless you ask us not to, we may contact you via email in the future to tell you about any updates to the site, or changes to this privacy policy.


Your Access to and Control Over Information

You may opt out of any future contacts from us at any time. You can do the following at any time by contacting us via the email address or phone number given on our website:

  • See what data we have about you, if any.
  • Change/correct any data we have about you.
  • Have us delete any data we have about you.
  • Express any concern you have about our use of your data


In order to use this website, a user must first complete the registration form. During registration a user is required to give certain information (such as name and email address). This information is used to contact you about the information on our site in which you have expressed interest. At your option, you may also provide information about yourself, but it is not required.



We use "cookies" on this site. A cookie is a piece of data stored on a site visitor's hard drive to help us improve your access to our site and identify repeat visitors to our site. For instance, when we use a cookie to identify you, you would not have to log in a password more than once, thereby saving time while on our site. Cookies can also enable us to track and target the interests of our users to enhance the experience on our site. Usage of a cookie is in no way linked to any personally identifiable information on our site.



This website contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the content or privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of any other site that collects personally identifiable information.



We take precautions to protect your information. We do not collect sensitive information such as credit card data.

Only people who need the information to contact members are granted access to personally identifiable information. The computers/servers in which we store personally identifiable information are kept in a secure environment.

If there are any questions regarding this privacy policy you may contact the OPC Administrator using the information provided on the Contacts Page.


Statement Written and published 7 May 2018 

Saturday, 03 August 2013 11:52

What the Media Say - Updated 25 November 2016

Written by

Thanks to one of our OPCs the idea occurred to have a page where we can link news items of a genealogical nature to our site.

If anyone has a link to a news report that could be of interest let the administrator know and it will be added

25th November 2016

Photos of 19th & early 20th Century Britain - Mail Online

9th September 2016

1665 Plague Cause Discovered - BBC News

23rd February 2016

Top Genealogists in Court Battle - The Telegraph

14 November 2015

Free Genealogy Groups and Rudeness Encountered - Bloggers Web Site

Google Searching Genealogy Tips - Family History Daily 

17 July 2015

Domesday Book Chapel Found in Wiltshire Garden - Mail-on-line

19th June 2015

How many living cousins do you have - Find out here. - Mirror on-line

11th March 2015

Jack London's View of London's East End 1902 - Daily Mail On-line

13th February 2015

Bedlam Burial Site Unearthed and Researched - Now Here This, Timeout

8th February 2015

Copy of the Magna Carter found in Kent Council Archives - Guardian

7th September 2014

Jack The Ripper Revealed by DNA - Mail Online

24th July 2014

Swindon - Four Generations Complete - Mail Online

2nd May 2014

Amesbury - Officially Britain's Oldest Town - Mail Online

29th April 2014

Release of Criminal Records of Young Felons - Mail Online

25th March 2014

Dustman Saving Discarded War Memorabilia - Mail Online

26th February 2014

Article on Social Mobility and Employment - Independent

29th August 2013

Handwritten WWI Soldiers Wills - Telegraph

7th August 2013

WWI Tourism - Looking for your family hero - BBC 

3rd August 2013

Article about infertility in men after WWI - Daily Mail

Wednesday, 06 March 2013 09:22

Genealogical Tips - Updated 21 July 2019

Written by

Genealogical Tips

Here you can find tips that our users have found useful during their own research 

Please feel free to submit anything you would like to share to either the Administrator or to Jodi Fuller both of whom can be contacted via the Contact Us Menu on the Home Page


1.  When visiting archives and libraries always make sure you have a pencil (not a pen) and a note book.  You don't want to get pen marks over valuable documents and of course you always need to be prepared to note down what you find.

2.  Type up and store your notes immediately - you don't want precious time and valuable information lost.

3.  When visiting older relatives, turn on your voice recorder on your mobile phone. That way you wont miss any reminiscence if you don't have pen and paper handy.

4.  Don't believe everything you see on the internet. There is a lot of incorrect information out there with far too many incorrect family tree's.  If you are unsure of your research but believe it to be correct then record it but make sure you note it as speculative.

5.  Always ensure accuracy of your research by obtaining documents, newspapers, copies of periodicals, etc.  Never assume that information is correct unless you have the proof and have checked it against other sources.  If contradicting information is found in official documents record both and record the source of the information for each.

6.  If you see a member of the clergy with the name of a town in place of a surname, this could well be a Bishop. An example is a marriage performed in Salisbury by George Sarum. This is actually George Moberly, Bishop of Salisbury.

7.  Wikipedia is a quick and easy resource to find names of higher ranking clergy. If you type into the search function "Bishop of (town)", it will bring up a list of all Bishop's and dates of office for that town.

8.  If you are looking at Census, check the page before and after as well. You may find other family members at the same address or a few houses down.

9.  When sharing your family tree in a gedcom file or other format - remember to make private any information of those tree members still alive - you can normally select an option within the programme you are using to store your information to achieve this.

10. Many Surnames are derived from the trade carried out or from the place they originated. Your ancestor's surname could be Cooper because he was a cooper by trade.  Some regions have different naming customs. The Welsh take their father's first name as a surname. An example would be David, son of Llewellyn. He becomes David ap Llewellyn; or Esther, daughter of Llewellyn. She becomes Esther verch Llewellyn. The term ap for son can also be spelt ab, and verch for daughter can also be spelt ferch. Anyone with a middle eastern link will know that it often also changes for the father, eg he could grow up being the son of ....,  then when his first son is born, he becomes the father of ..... . (Thanks to Ruth Wood, Ruth Appleby and Teresa Lewis)

11. If you have a relative that served in the armed forces, try and obtain a copy of their service record. Not only does it include names of parents or next of kin, date of birth and addresses, service records also include physical descriptions and sometimes photo's of the recruit.  In most cases a will has to be prepared too and may be found with service records.

12. Cemetery Trek - (a) Take a poster size piece of white card or paper. You can use it to reflect light onto a darkend headstone. (b) Take a spray bottle of water. By spraying water onto the headstone, the inscription stands out more. (c) It helps to have a plastic bag to clean away weeds and other rubbish.  Also have garden shears or secateurs on standby in the car. You may need to cut away a small plant or branch from the headstone.  However it may be worth reading this article about Churchyard Conservation before hacking your way through overgrown areas.  Also if photographing headstones where an inscription is faded take one image of the whole of the headstone, another close up of the inscription and finally another with the inscription sprayed with water which may enhance the detail.  DON'T SPRAY IT FIRST this spoils the image for posting in galleries or scrapbooks.

13. Maiden Names - are often quite hard to find. The following are good resources to start with:- Marriage records; Cemetery and Burial registers; Census returns; Land records; Church registers and churchwardens accounts; Probate records and Wills; Newspaper articles such as Family Notices; Death registrations; Military service papers; and by looking at the naming patterns of children.  It is not uncommon for a maiden name to be used as a middle given name for children.  

14. When typing up items for the two world wars use WWI and WWII using the Roman Numeral System.  WW1 and WW2 are also acceptable however it looks more professional to use the Roman Numerals.  A big no no is using WW11 for WW2 - thank heavens we haven't been faced with a world war three yet let alone a world war eleven.

15.  Always sign guest books - leave a name, interest, reason for visit and an e-mail address - someone may see it and get in contact with the same interests.

16.  If planning a visit to a building - ascertain the name of a key holder or opening and closing times - most churches will now be locked outside of church service times.  If visiting a churchyard it may be useful to contact the church warden - some are often founts of knowledge and only too willing to wander around with you and impart what they know.  A vicar although busy often takes a real interest in his church history and its churchyard if you are lucky enough to be able to meet with the vicar by pre-arrangement all well and good.

 17.  If visiting a churchyard for family headstones and you find that of the relative you are looking for - its always worth checking the nearby headstones often other family members are buried nearby almost as if in family plots.  

18.   When recording information always cite what the information source is and when it was found and by whom found 

19.   Do not search for your genealogy with a very narrow net - be open to a multitude of possibilities

20.   Be aware that many women died in childbirth and that a widower may remarry to a woman of the same given name.

21.   Do not automatically assume that everyone in an area with the same surname must be related however uncommon that surname may be.  Also be aware that the rich and famous often change their name.

22.   Never assume your ancestors knew how to spell or that the people signing and compiling legal documents could either.  When searching on line use wild card, soundex and extended searches to list alternate spellings.

23.   Never take family trees published online as gospel.  Check their source information and recheck their research.

24.   Back up your research on a regular basis preferably on an external device such as a plug and play hard drive.

25.   Always have someone you trust to have access to your research just in case the worst happens and you can no longer access it - your hard work needs to be continued in the event of anything untoward happening to you.

26.   Do not ever think you will never find someone - There really is no such thing as a brick wall - somewhere out there are the answers you just need to keep looking

27.   Share your genealogy with family - they may not be interested now but may have a change of heart later in life

28.   Don’t think that DNA is a waste of money - Its a personal choice - but there are good cases where lineage has been sorted - whether conformed or not.

29.  Always be honest in recording your research, put paid to family myths and legends but be discreet and sensitive.  

30.  Don't believe you can find everything about your family history from online resources.  It really is not as simple as the ads may lead you to believe.  Many many items are available in local depositories that have not been digitised that may relate to your research.  A trip to the archives is always a good learning curve.

31.  Be aware that no matter what you publish online someone somewhere will use and copy it.  It is courteous and correct to acknowledge any material you use for your research to those who originally published and owned it.  Copyright is a very grey and extensive area.

32.  If researching online and you find something of interest make sure you bookmark the site and page you are looking at.  Internet and websites change constantly and you may not find what you found again that easily. Return to sites you have visited often - they may have added new information.




1.  A good supply of note paper - you don't want to find loads of information and have nothing to record it on or record on a lap top, tablet or mobile phone if you have the apps to do so. 

2.  A supply of pens and pencils - pencils are essential for the archives and libraries 

3.  A plain white piece of stiff card - to reflect light onto difficult to read items such as headstones etc.

4.  A pair of sturdy boots or wellingtons - for trekking through muddy and wet areas to access places such as churchyards and farm buildings 

5.  A camera with a supply of batteries and if needed an extra memory card - for taking photographs of buildings and people and for use at record offices where permitted (normally a fee is payable)

6.  A pair of secateurs - for cutting back ivy and small areas of vegetation from headstones and road markers etc.  Please be aware that lichens and other plant life in churchyards etc are often left for conservation purposes and small animal habitats - please use common sense and read any notices at churchyard gates or church porches if you need to move a branch to read a headstone try to do so gently without damaging it.  On no occasion should bats be disturbed when carrying out any kind of research so at times churches are closed to the public.  

7.  A set of garden shears or branch loppers - For the larger obstacles (permission may be needed to cut back tree branches etc.)

8.  A spray bottle - For spraying water onto headstones to highlight the inscription making it easier to photograph or record

7.  A packed lunch and drink - People tend to forget to eat and drink once they get started 

8.  A good map of the area you intend to visit - saves valuable time 

9.  A soft tooth brush, small nail brush and a soft dustpan brush - to gently clear away debris from a headstone such as moss and bird droppings etc.  (some churchyards frown upon moss and ivy being removed entirely)

10.  A supply of business cards with your name and an e-mail address and the reason for your interest in a subject.  If laminated, cards can be left in a flower pot or other place - who knows someone else may visit with the same interests.

11.  A carrier bag to bin any debris or rubbish found whilst on a family history day out.

12.  An address book or diary - make sure you have opening and closing times available and if a church the name of a key holder 

13.  A mobile phone for emergencies (fully charged). It might also be an idea to leave an itinerary at home or with a friend or neighbour in case of emergencies that way at least someone knows where you were heading.  If diverted from the intended plan - text someone to let them know especially if you are venturing out alone.  Also remember to carry any medication you may need and enough to cover any unforeseeable delays

14.  Be aware that in the warmer weather SNAKES may be active in undergrowth or even sunning themselves on gravestones in churchyards.  Just be aware of the dangers for example in the UK some are common grass snakes and are harmless - others may be venomous such as the adder.  Other countries have their own venomous snakes so all be on guard and refer to local wildlife information

grass snakeadder

                                          Grass Snake                                                                                                Adder




Have you ever taken a closer look at official documents such as marriage certificates and wills and found that your ancestor has signed them with a cross (X).  Do you always assume that the person signing with a cross was illiterate?  

Well if you do, then perhaps you may wish to rethink.  It can be assumed (but maybe not in all cases) that marks (X) made by ag labs and servants are probably because the person is indeed illiterate.  However when you look at other occupations or status such as Gentleman, Annuitant or those with an occupation of some social standing and they have signed with a mark (X) then it would be wise to seek out if this person attended a school or college.  

It was quite common during the 16th to 19th centuries that official documents were often signed with a mark (X) whether literate or illiterate.  This was often to show social standing rather than illiteracy - so the laws of Genealogy stand good - ALWAYS CHECK AND CROSS REFERENCE - it may prove quite enlightening.





Tuesday, 05 February 2013 05:11

Newsletters - Updated 16th March 2020

Written by


The newsletter contains news about the web site - a little about the OPC's - Tips on family history research - articles of interest written by OPC's and the web master

The newsletters that we have produced over the last few years can now be viewed here


Wiltshire OPC Newsletters 

June 2011           September 2011           February 2012          April 2012          February 2013           October 2017  

if anyone has anything to contribute to this newsletter please contact Christine Brooks with your submissions.  She may be contacted via the Contact Us Tab at the top of the page and by selecting her name from the drop down list under Administrators.


Commonwealth War Graves Commission Newsletters 

July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 November 2009 (Remembrance)
August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014
February 2014 March 2014 April 2014  May 2014 June 2014 July 2014
August 2014 September 2014  October 2014  November 2014  December 2014  January 2015 
March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015    


Lost Cousins Newsletters

It is possible to access each previous month edition from the month you currently access  

Indexes to articles prior to July 2013

2009-2010          2011          2012-2013

Newsletters 2013

1 July 17 July 30 July 8 August 22 August 30 August 12 September 24 September
11 October 24 October 10 November 23 November 17 December       


Newsletters 2014

1 January 15 January  22 January 3 February 17 February
27 February
12 March
5 April
17 April 29 April 7 May
29 May
13 June 18 June 28 June 12 July
23 July 30 July 11 August 21 August 2 September 16 September 2 October 16 October
29 October 15 November 28 November 5 December 12 December 25 December

Newsletters 2015

10 January
22 January 6 February 13 February 27 February
5 March  3 April 10 April
17 April
5 May 21 May 1 June 6 June 20 June 29 June 10 July 
22 July  30 July 12 August 24 August 3 September 16 September 28 September  15 October
25 October 31 October 7 November 14 November 27 November 11 December  19 December 26 December 
31 December               

Newsletters 2016                                                                                        

13 January 20 January 26 January 8 February 11 February
19 February 1 March  9 March 
26 March  11 April  17 April
24 April  7 May
23 May  26 May 10 June 
18 June 24 June 10 July 23 July 16 August 25 August 12 September  23rd September 
7 October 21st October 29 October 4 November 9 November
15 November 25 November 9 December
26 December 30 December                 

Newsletters 2017

12 January 27 January 10 February 17 February 3 March 13 March  17 March 30 March 
11 April 20 April 27 April 4 May 17 May  26 May 7 June  22 June 
26 June 7 July 19 July 28 July 20 August  5 September  14 September  22 September 
1 October 15 October 20 October 29 October 8 November  10 November  18 November  24 November 
11 December              

Newsletters 2018

12 January 22 January 28 January 2 February 9 February 26 February  9 March  13 March 
23 March 29 March 11 April 21 April 28 April 4 May 11 May  17 May 
24 May 4 June 15 June 22 June 30 June  5 July  20 July  11 August 
22 August 1 September 11 September 20 September 28 September  10 October  26 October 3 November
9 November 12 November 21 November 26 November 5 December  15 December  21st December  25 December 

Newsletters 2019

7 January 12 January  24 January  9 February  16 February  28 February  10 March  16 March 
26 March  13 April  18 April  25 April  5 May  17 May  24 May 8 June 
21 June 28 June  10 July  16 July  28 July  9 August  17 August  6 September 
13 September 20 September  27 September 15 October  25 October   4 November  18 November  22 November 
29 November 11 December 21 December  25 December         


Newsletters 2020 

8 January 17 January  22 January  31 January 23 February  4 March  12 March  16 March 
23 March              



Lost Cousins Specials

Inside the 1939 Register


Wiltshire Local History Forum Minutes

26 June 2019


Unwanted Certificates & Documents

Have you ever ordered a Birth, Marriage or Death Certificate or any other document that turned out to be the wrong one? Or perhaps you have found old documents at boot sales, online auctions or charity shops etc.? Someone somewhere will be really grateful if you pass it on. To display your unwanted certificates/documents here (they do not need to be from Wiltshire), or to contact an owner either contact them direct via the link on their profile or contact our Administrator, Teresa Lewis.

Please make sure that you advise the administrator if these items are no longer available.  Thank you 

Please note that any item should not be offered for sale for more than the original cost of the item.  Postage and Packaging should be kept at a reasonable cost.  



Wiltshire - Within Living Memory 

Produced by the Wiltshire Federation of Women's Institutes - Please Contact the Administrator (Teresa Lewis) for further details and postage costs




Mary Ann - Death Certificate - 1899 - Upper Holloway, London

Mary Ann died 28th November 1899 in Great Northern Central Hospital aged 55 years.  She was the widow of Alfred Hewston of Canonbury Road, Islington, London.  She is listed as Hewstone in 1891 census.   For further information please contact Registered User - pewsey2000 (Wendy Lawrence)


James Morris - Death Certificate - Aged 17 son of James Morris a carpenter died of rheumatic fever on 30th July 1844 at Berwick St James. His mother Elizabeth Morris, who was present, registered the death on 31st.   For further information please contact Registered User - pewsey2000 (Wendy Lawrence)


Ellen - Birth Certificate - 1890 - Bolton, Lancashire
Ellen - Death Certificate 1891 - Bolton Lancashire

Ellen was born on 26th March 1890 at Clifford Street, Little Bolton. She died on the 25th April 1891 aged 12 months and is buried in Heaton Cemetery. She was the daughter of Elizabeth Taylor and the father not named. Grandparents appear to be Ralph and Ellen Taylor. - For further information please contact Registered User - pewsey2000 (Wendy Lawrence)


Legal Documents


I have a conveyance of a piece of freehold land forming part of the Heron Court Estate in the parish of Holdenhurst in the County of Southampton. dated 15th March 1916.  Mr. Herbert Rigler - selling to Mr. William H. Ridout.   For further information contact Jean Barnwell



The OPC Project has a holding of several hundred postcards - some of which have details possibly of valuable to a family history researcher.  We would be delighted to re-unite some of these cards to their families.  To view the list of cards with information available please follow the link.  If you think an item fit is with your research please contact Teresa Lewis, Administrator for further information.  Please note that some of the cards are the property of individual OPC's and may not be available for re-uniting.

Thursday, 09 February 2012 10:11

Useful Books For The Family or Local Historian

Written by
  1. Reading Tudor and Stuart Handwriting - by Lionel Munby, Steve Hobbs and Alan Crosby - Published by the British Assocation for Local History - ISBN 1 86077 237 - This book is a must if you have difficulty in reading or understanding the script in wills, inventories etc, the book will explain, with the aid of clear examples, how to transcribe these documents.


Useful Links

If you would like a link added to the list, please contact Emma Russell (Page OPC) who will include the link.  Emma can be contacted via the Contact Us section by clicking on her name in the OPC list

Archives, Libraries and Record Offices

A2A Access to Archives - UK Archives Database

The British Library

Library and Archives Canada

Mitchell Library, Glasgow - Many collections worldwide

National Archives Australia

National Archives Ireland

National Archives New Zealand

National Archives Scotland

National Archives UK

National Archives USA

National Library of Australia

Wiltshire County Record Office - now known as Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre (WSHC)

Books and Publications

Jeremy Haslam - Publications

Churches and Church Records

Caring For God's Acre - Churchyard Conservation

Central Council of Church Bell Ringers

Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 

Churches Conservation Trust - the organisation who protect vulnerable historical churches

Clergy of the Church of England (CCed) database

Parish Registers and other records

Presbyterian Archives in New Zealand


Convicts to Tasmania

Convicts to New South Wales

Old Bailey Online - Criminal Trials

Emigration & Immigration

British Settlers in Natal:1824-1857 by Shelagh O'Byrne Spencer

The Ships List - Ships & Passenger Lists

R. M. S. Titanic - Passenger List and more

Employment & Trade

Dictionary of Old Occupations - by Jane Hewitt

Pigot's Trade Directory 1830 Wiltshire

Genealogy Media

Curious Fox - UK & Ireland Genealogy Message Boards

Cyndi's List - Wiltshire

FamilySearch - Church of the Latter Day Saints Website

FamilySearch - a Guide to the British batches - An unoffical analysis of the former IGI batches for the British Isles

Genealogy Specialists - Free to use Forum for beginner and more established researcher

Hugh Wallis IGI Batch Numbers - FamilySearch (see also FamilySearch - a Guide to the British batches)

Medieval English Genealogy - regularly updated with interesting articles and research support covering the medieval period.

Rootschat - Family History Forum

Society of Genealogists - Access to some free records

Wiltshire Family History Society

Wiltshire Pages at GENUKI

Wiltshire Record Society - Publishers of Many Historical Records 


British History Online

National Monuments Record at English Heritage includes images of many Wiltshire locations

Wiltshire Buildings Records - Trace the history of a building


Enclosure Maps - Catalogue of coverage of England and Wales

Ordnance Survey Maps - Maps of England & Wales from the National Library of Scotland


Army Lists British Army

Auckland War Memorial Museum, NZ - see also "Online Cenotaph"

British Legion Database - A place to find or record anyone who has been lost in battle

British War Graves Photographs - Free images of war graves of British Servicemen home and abroad

Commonwealth War Graves Commission - Casualties from WWI & WWII

Forces Records - Military Records such as POW's etc

Great Western Railway - Casualties of WWI

Merchant Navy Crew Lists (1915) - Searchable database for Merchant Seaman serving aboard vessels in 1915

Navy List - Napoleonic Wars by Patrick Marione

Navy List - Naval Biographical Database of the Royal Navy

The War Graves Photographic Project  - In association with the CWGC

WWI Cemeteries  - (includes WWII index)

WWI - Shot at Dawn - Execution List by Mackenzie J Gregory

1st Battalion Duke of Edinburgh's Royal Regiment (Berkshire and Wiltshire)

Newspapers & Journals

British Newspapers (fee payable or with full subscription to Find My Past)

Broadsides National Library of Scotland

Historic Australian Newspapers 1803 - 1954

Historic "New York Times" Newspaper Archives

Historic New Zealand Newspapers 1839 - 1945

Library of Early Journals - includes the "Gentleman's Magazine"

London Gazette - Searchable News Article Database

People & One Name Studies

Births, Death and Marriages in Wiltshire - a searchable database          

BMD Certificates UK Order Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates

BMD Registers UK Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial (Free to search / Pay to view)

BMD UK Birth, Marriages, Deaths and Censuses (Information & Links)

Collett Surname Web Site - One name study

The Diaries of Charlotte Grove

Find A Grave - Worldwide Database of Memorial Stones

Free BMD UK - Births, Marriages and Deaths

Free CEN UK - Census Return

Free REG UK 

Gloucestershire BMD Indexes

Guild of One Name Studies - Index

Henley/Henly families and related surnames by Clive Henly

London Lives - 1690 to 1800

Lost Cousins - Find relatives through common ancestors

Martin and Claire Nicholson's - Cemetery Project

Old English Given Names - Includes information on variants between approx 1450-1650

Tasmanian Records Online - Access to Tasmanian Genealogical Records


Domesday Book

Dorset Parish Registers - Transcripts of Dorset Registers

Framlingham Historical Archive - Postcards and images of this Suffolk town

Place Names in Wiltshire - Wikipedia Link

Photographs & Portraits

Britain from Above - Photographic History Site (free to use)   Wiltshire specific

Date an Old Photograph - by Roger Vaughan

National Portrait Gallery


Bona Vacantia List - Wills of people who have died intestate in England & Wales over the past 30 years. Recent Wiltshire wills are displayed on the County Wide Page

Family Deeds - Transcripts of Wills & Deeds (free to view)

Wiltshire Wills - Probate records (1540-1858) held at WSHC

Social Services & Workhouses

Hidden Lives - Victorian & early 20th Century Care Homes established by the Waifs & Strays Society (now the Children's Society) including a few homes at Box and Wingfield, Trowbridge

The Workhouse - by Peter Higginbotham


Saturday, 28 January 2012 23:32

Brickwall Dilemmas - Updated 7th October 2019

Written by

Research Support 

This page is set up for our users to advertise their brickwalls in their research.  It is not meant for a lengthy research request but to ask for help for a specific point at which the user of the site is stuck.

Although many parishes do not yet have an OPC, we still receive requests for help from researchers relating to those parishes.

The OPC team are not able to provide a research service as such but it is possible that users of this site may be able to help.

Where there is an OPC for the parish concerned, he or she should be the first contact for your enquiry.

If the OPC is unable to help, or if there is no OPC in place, your enquiry can be displayed on this page by contacting Teresa Lewis via the Contact us Tab on the home page.

Please note we are unable to display requests to find living relatives - the Salvation Army provides a service to assist in such cases.

If you are able to help with any of the enquiries below, please contact either the submitter direct via the contact us tab and selecting Research Requests from the drop down menu or contact Teresa Lewis (Administrator) who will put you in touch with the researcher.  You may also click on the submitter's name at the end of the request which will take you to their profile page 


ADLAM - Dilton/Dilton Marsh

I am trying to trace my ancestors.  What I know as fact is that Josph Adlam married Mary Glover at St. Michael's, Bath 7 November 1832.  They are appear on the 1841 census wiith 4 children:- James from whom I am descended, Hannah, Joseph and Charles (who died not long after the census).  The Census also shows that Joseph and Mary were not born in Somerset.  Mary died in 1844 and Joseph remarried to Sarah Earl in Bath Baptist Chapel.  The marriage entry record Joseph's father as James Adlam, a glover by trade.  My problem is that the only Joseph I can find is born December 1810 twin of Mary and son of James and Betty who had several children.  Some of the Dilton Marsh Baptisms records Betty as Elizabeth and James is listed as being a breeches maker.  I think Betty was born Betty Parsons.  Some of this information has been found via FMP records.  If anyone can help me further that would be fantastic.  One more thing - Joseph took the family to South Africa in 1850 sailing aboard the ship 'Emily'.  The family are now scattered all over the globe.  EDWIN EUSTACE


FOWLER - Marlborough/Ramsbury

Can anyone help from the information supplied here:- William Fowler died 1668?  He was firstly married to a Foster and secondly to ---- Israelie & they had 6 children.  Am also looking for information on John Fowler who married Mary Day in Ramsbury in 17/2/1749 -- Does anyone know who his parents were?   DON FOWLER


GILES - Marlborough

We are trying to trace the marriage of an Edmund Giles born about 1791, who married an Elizabeth. We know he lived and worked in Marlborough before coming to London. He had Brothers James and Thomas and sisters Elvina and Anne. Edmund is the father of a little girl who was orphaned and put in the workhouse at the age of 4 at Fulham in London. She finally had an assisted passage to Australia where her descendants now all live.  If anyone has any relative information we would love to hear from you.  SUE HOLLINS


GRIFFITHS/TANNER - Westbury/Dowlais (Glamorganshire)

Am looking to confirm the births of Edwin Samuel Tanner born 1849 who married Martha Griffiths born 1850.  They both believed they were born in Westbury until they were adults.  My third cousin believes they were both born in Dowlais in Glamorgan as Martha is her GGGDads big sister.  If anyone can help please get in touch   SIOBHAN O'DONNELL (Shevvy)


Gordon Lewis author of Limb and Blood - The Story of a Wiltshire Family,  has a request for assistance in identifying people in a photograph of a coronation celebration believed to be that of George V in 1911.   Coronation Photograph 1911   Contact Teresa Lewis


HENLY - Bremhill and Somerset

Can anyone help identify and confirm the people in these three images.  It is known that the lady pictured alone is Florence Jane Henly born in Frome, Somerset in 1877 and married Fred Pickford in 1903 (The photograph we believe was taken on her wedding day).  The couple sat at the table are believed to be John Henly born in Bremhill 1841 and Jane Hawkins his wife who was born in Warminster in 1846 (they moved to Frome, Somerset where they raised their family).  The last image of the lady in the doorway of a cottage is believed to be another daughter of John Henly.  If anyone recognises anyone in these images please get in touch.  TERESA LEWIS

HENLY or HENLEY - Wiltshire

Can anyone identify the couple in this linked photograph - date between 1867 and 1880? It has been suggested they are Squire Henley and his wife of Priory, Wiltshire although as yet this has not been proved.  The photograph is carte-de-visite, copied from an oil painting.  The producers are Wm. Hanks, Artist in Photography High Street, Malmesbury. (A note on the reverse states that duplicates may be obtained for 1/- each, the negative being carefully preserved).  From Kelly's Directory of Wiltshire:
1855 & 65       Wm Hanks, High St, Malmesbury - saddler and harness maker
1867               Wm Hanks, High St, Malmesbury - artist and photographer
1875 & 80       Wm Hanks, High St, Malmesbury - stationer/bookseller/artist/photographer
1885, 89 & 98  Wm Hanks, High St, Malmesbury - stationer                                                       TERESA LEWIS      



I am researching the family of John William KILMISTER. He was born in 1843 in Oaksey but later lived in Ashton Keynes with his family until about 1851. The 1851 census has him living at Westham Farm on Somerford Road in Ashton Keynes. They then moved to Church Farm in Coate. I would love to have any information I can get on this individual. His father's name was John Kilmister, his father's wife's name was Mary Matilda (Vaisey) I'm not sure if she is his mother or not. He was born 8 years before they were married and there are no other children until after their marriage so I think she is his step mother. I am stumped, I am not sure if they were non-conformist's or not. His half brother who I am descended from emigrated to Canada and belonged to an Anglican church, but that is not conclusive.  If any one can help pelase contact me via the Contact Us Tab on the home page and selecting Research Requests.  TAMI BARNES (Family Snoop)



I am trying to locate a baptism record for my ancestor who was named Samuel Morris. According to the record of his second marriage in Trinity, Newfoundland, his year of birth would be 1749. This same marriage record indicates that he was "of the Parish of St. Edmunds, Salisbury" although he had been living in Trinity from 1782 onwards. His second wife was 45 years younger than him so I suspect there was probably a very good reason for including this parish information - I just haven't worked out what it is yet! I know that this could mean that he had worked for at least 6 months in Salisbury instead of him being born there but I thought it best to start with finding/eliminating a birth/baptism record. I have looked at Bishops Transcripts but there is a gap at the critical point so I am wondering if you have access or know of anyone with access to the original parish baptism records. I have no idea who his parents may have been so I cannot link the Morris marriages around that time period to him.   LINDA MORRIS 


POPE - Liddington

I am trying to find to find any documentary evidence that the Pope family of Liddington, were in any way linked to the Pope family of Bishopstone (nr Shrivenham) and Potterne Wilts, in the 18th century. If anybody has researched Liddington families and are able to help, please get in touch via the OPC contact link on the home page. JOHN POPE


PURNELL - Sherston/Tetbury Gloucestershire

Am researching Edward Purnell born in Pinckney, Sherston Magna around 1821.  Am unable at this stage to confirm his parentage although we do know that his father was also Edward.  This is confirmed on the marriage certificate when Edward married Sarah Hardy in St. Margaret's, Westminster on 23rd January 1845.  The first three children of this marriages were all born in Gosnall, Staffordshire Edward the eldest being baptised there on 29th August 1847.  The 1851 and 1861 Census has Edward down as an Innkeeper at Oak Hill, Tetbury Gloucestershire.  If anyone can help determine who Edward's parents are or can help to take this line back further please contact me via the Contact Us link on the home page and selecting Research Requests from the drop down list.  VAL RUSHTON


STEVENS - Ramsbury

Lucy Ann Stevens was born in Ramsbury in 1853, married Richard David Kenton in 1878 and died in Dover 1923.  Her father was Charles Edwin Stevens who was either in the military and served in India or was a farmer in Ramsbury and emigrated to Patagonia South America.  Either way, Lucy was of dark complexion.  If anyone is able to provide further information on this family, please contact JOHN POPE (OPC Bishopstone). Photograph (and one of an unknown sister) in the Ramsbury People Gallery.


Saturday, 28 January 2012 23:11

National OPC Schemes - Updated 29 July 2019

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The idea of the Online Parish Clerk Scheme was the first conceived by researchers in Cornwall in 2001.  Since then several other counties have set up a scheme which have one aim in common - to gather together as much geneaology resources in one place listed parish by parish within the county.  The schemes are run by volunteers who freely give their time to administer, maintain and provide information for the site.  Schemes across the country may differ slightly in content but most will have listed parish records and census returns - the basics for the family historian.  Other sites may very well have more obscure yet interesting information available and most will contain lists of names or will paint a picture of the social scene of the period.

Since Cornwall started this scheme in January 2001, other counties have adopted the idea, either from scratch or in conjunction with an earlier, similar scheme.  Use a search engine to find if the county you are interested in has a website if not listed below. 

Would OPC Co-Ordinators from other schemes who wish their link to be added to this page please contact Teresa Lewis

Also if you are interested in setting up a similar scheme for a county that isn't listed please contact Teresa Lewis for further information.

If anyone wishes to volunteer to help with any of the projects listed or to contribute material please contact the Adminitrator or Co-oprdinator for the individual scheme.  The OPC clerks of the Wiltshire scheme cannot help with queries for other projects.

Listed below are some of the county schemes that are up and running and more will be added as we become aware of them.

Established OPC Schemes

British Map




Essex - please note this site seems to be offline - we have removed the link we had published since it was leading to a dubious number of other sites.  As soon as we find a new link we will republish.








Saturday, 28 January 2012 22:59

One Name Studies

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This page is for research based on a single surname with Wiltshire connections


Families based mainly around Salisbury, Downton, Wilton areas.   Interested in anyone else tracing these families, have some lines back to 1500’s. - For more information contact Nigel Chalk (OPC for Stratton St. Margaret) via the contact us tab at the top of the page


With the kind permission of Brian Collett who has a website dedicated to this surname.  You may contact Brian via his website.
London, Russia and Canada Line (Includes the Rev. Collett of Bowerchalke)         Malmesbury & District Line               Melksham Line
Somerset and Wiltshire Line                  Wiltshire to Australia Line                       Wiltshire to New Zealand Line


Dot Gurd OPC from Donhead St. Mary is a member of the Guild of One Name Studies.  She has extensive entries for the Gurd and other associated families on her webpages.  Alternatively you may contact Dot via Contact Us tab at the top of the page.


Anyone finding a GYNES in their family tree please contact David Gynes via the Contact Us tab at the top of the page. David would welcome your information on this surname


If anyone has Hawkins connections in Wiltshire they may wish to visit Phil Hawkins Pages or if they have any information they could add please contact Phil via the contact us tab on the home page and selecting the One Name Studies Option


If anyone has this surname in their family tree then please visit the Henly Family Tree Pages run by Clive Henly.  Alternatively please contact Teresa Lewis (Administrator) via the Contact Us tab at the top of the page


Anyone researching the Holliday and variants surname may wish to contact Elizabeth Holliday via the Contact Us tab at the top of the page. Elizabeth has this surname registered with the GOONS (Guild of One-Name Studies) 


Anyone researching the Kingsman surname and its variants may wish to contact Derrick Watson via the Contact Us tab at the top of the page.  Derrick has this surname registered with the GOONS (Guild of One-Name Studies).


Anyone researching the Liddiard and variants surname may wish to contact Karen Rogers via the Contact Us tab at the top of the page. Karen has this surname registered with the GOONS (Guild of One-Name Studies)


Anyone researching the Merredew and variants surname may wish to contact Elizabeth Holliday via the Contact Us tab at the top of the page. Elizabeth has this surname registered with the GOONS (Guild of One-Name Studies)


Anyone researching these surnames and other variants may wish to contact Sandy and Barry Mursell via the Contact Us tab at the top of the page or you may visit the GOONS website


Anyone researching this Surname in the parishes of Chiseldon and Liddington. Interested to see if there is any link (pre 19th cent) between these families and the Pope's of Bishopstone, Little Hinton and Potterne - Please contact John Pope (OPC for Potterne) via the contact us tab at the top of the page


If anyone would like information on these surnames or would like to contribute further information please contact Robert Proctor (Rob06) via the Contact us tab at the top of the page selecting One Name Studies from the drop down menu


If anyone has an interest in the surname please get in touch via Ricketts One Name Study  or Ricketts Web Page         


If anyone is researching this particular surname then please visit the Strugnell Family Tree Website

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