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4.6 out of 5 stars30
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 15 August 2006
The information in the book gives a much clearer idea about what is available. If you are researching a family tree before 1837 it can be a bit daunting because you know someone was born;married or died but don't know if the records are available and if so where. This book answers that question.

The most amazing thing for me was putting place names and parishes on a map - I had been researching my family and different parish/ place names were showing up but now I could see on the map how close they were.

It is, however, only a source guide - "this is the information that is available and these are the people who hold copies of that information" - but it is an opportunity to confirm knowledge and develop your family tree.

A great book and thoroughly recommended.
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on 5 April 2010
Over the years, and the centuries, there have been many changes to County boundaries, of latter years more as a result of political and electoral considerations. However, such variations do not help us in determining the historical County where a particular parish or parish church existed at the time that our ancestors were baptised, married or died. When viewing modern day maps of the United Kingdom, we can easily become confused when we find that historical counties, and some parishes, have disappeared, or been amalgamated, renamed or partially absorbed by their neighbours.
Most us like to record our ancestral records as being in the Parish and County as they were at the time of the event - after all some churches were destroyed in the War and can no longer be found on modern maps. This is where The Phillimore Altas & Index of Parish Records comes into its own, providing pre-1832 Parish maps, and 1834 topographical maps of each county. The accompanying County index lists the Parishes in each County together with the dates and depositories of the Registers or Indexes for each Parish. Additional information and resources are listed at the end of each County section.
Tip: Have a decent magnifying glass to hand when viewing the map pages - some of the print is very small.
Overall, this is an excellent must-have genealogical reference work, currently available at a remarkable value from Amazon. The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers (None)
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on 21 February 2009
...and those who need to strike out a little further afield in their family history research.
This is just a terrific resource, a real must have. Don't be put off by the price: it is most definitely worth it if you are looking at various parishes before 1837.
I particularly like the maps of parishes in the front of the book: they show the date the parish (church) was founded (extremely useful!), give a terrific idea of the parishes around (so if the parish was founded after the period you are looking for then just look for the next nearest older parish, chances are those registers represented the area later split off into the new parish). There are also boundaries (in colour) of what court juridictions applied to wills. But the list of where you can find what registers are available is what makes the book. Very useful indeed!
I am so pleased to own it now, I was forever leaving through it at libraries, wishing I could have copies of the maps (you can't copy them, there's copyright on them).
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on 13 January 2010
If you are a family history researcher this book will be invaluable. I was given it as a Christmas present, after dropping several heavy hints, and have already made good use of it.
What you get in the Atlas is a map for each county in England (and Wales and Scotland) showing the pre 1832 parishes, the earliest dates when parish registers were recorded in each parish, with eclesiastical jurisdictions and "peculiars" all colour coded. There is also a topographical map for each county, though I find I need a magnifying glass to make good use of these.
The Index in the second part of the book lists the parishes for each county and then gives the registration district for each parish. This is invaluable information when looking for an ancestor's birth, marriage or death in the post 1837 GRO registration indexes, and you can use the map references to see at a glance where each parish and registration district is.
So that is briefly what this book is all about, and if you are still reading this review you are probably a serious researcher and it will be very useful to you. Definitely not bedtime reading, but one to put on the shelf and consult again and again as a reference book.
I should add that this is the third edition of the Philimore Atlas, dated 2003, and a lot of the census information in the Index is no longer as valid, as all the censuses are now available on the internet, although for a price of course!
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on 9 March 2009
A superb resource for the family historian trying to locate those obscure hamlets our ancestors came from. Colour maps and county by county index. Excellent.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 February 2011
This is a review of the third and, at the time of writing, latest edition of 2003. Given its price of around £30, I was unsure whether it would be worth my while purchasing it but was persuaded by the glowing reviews it seemed to attract. Was I right to do so?

In his introduction, the editor states that his new edition includes a map of the whole British Isles showing the pre-1830 county boundaries; except that this reprint is not of a modern map with the boundaries imprinted thereon, but a reprint of an antique map whose boundary lines are so light as to be virtually invisible. I started then to realise that this book may not after all be so brilliant as to merit the five stars many have given it. My suspicions that this was not the brilliant purchase that I thought were confirmed when upon arrival I immediately tried to access details for the county of Montgomery. One would have thought that a book based on counties would list Montgomeryshire as such, but it took me a while to find it listed curiously under `Central Wales'.

Looking at the county maps themselves, one often requires the use of a magnifying glass. Some, such as Lincolnshire, thankfully appear on double-pages, but most do not. Some, such as Anglesey and Somerset, are, frankly, a chaotic mess.

Finally, one wonders how useful this book is in the age of the internet, with apparently innumerable websites offering information on parish registers online through pay-for-view sites, local family history societies, county record offices or through such brilliant concepts as OPCs (online parish clerks) or in CD formats. Strangely, only postal addresses are given for further information: not one website is offered to the researcher!

So, I'm still unsure as to whether I have wasted my money on this tome. It's certainly a handsome book, of good proportions, of decent weight, and of good-quality paper. For myself, at the level of my sixth generation, I have ancestors scattered over ten counties. Having almost exhausted the gathering of post-1837 certificates of birth, marriage, and death, and having exhausted the information available through post-1841 censuses, the time will soon come to roll up my sleeves and get stuck into the parish registers themselves. Time will tell as to whether this book becomes a gold mine of information, or remains dust-laden on the shelf.
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on 2 October 2009
Once you know what County your town/village is in from the maps, the county index will then tell you where to look for the original registers (A,B,C etc explained at the end of each county index). The index will also let you know if there are IGI records available for your town, Census years available 1841,51+. Additional resourced information is also mentioned for each county. This book will save you a lot of time and give a lot of guidance. Well worth the investment.
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on 1 January 2013
Brilliant book if you are researching your family history as it shows all the changes to the Parishes. Good listing at the back showing you where you can access further records.
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on 14 February 2011
I have just received The Phillimore Atlas & Index of Parish Registers.
First, the good bits; The usual excellent service from Amazon. The book arrived when I was told it would. Spot on. A near 40% saving on the full price. A good-looking item!
Now the not-so-good bits; I have been researching my family history for a little while, & have got to the stage where I now need to search pre-1837 i.e. Parish, records. Having read all the (rave) reviews about how helpful this Atlas/Index was in that direction, I decided to treat myself to a copy. Now I'm left wondering why.I won't go over the information contained in this book. See previous reviews for that. Suffice to say I found that the internet had already provided me with all the information this book provides, certainly for my own Counties of interest. Before anyone purchases a copy themselves, I suggest they contact The County record office for their area of interst. If the records they are looking for are not there, i'm sure the staff at the office will point them in the right direction. Otherwise, get a copy from the library. Which is exactly what I should have done first! This book would have been of use pre-internet days, but now? Sorry, not a well spent £30+
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on 7 February 2013
Essential material for family history research. Parish boundaries, where registers are stored and plenty more. A must for all family historians
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