The Phillimore Atlas and Index of Parish Registers (None) Hardcover – 1 Dec 2002
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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)
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).
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!
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!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a really valuable and useful resource if you are researching your family tree, it can be quite difficult to track which parish/ county was in existence in the 19th century... Read morePublished 3 months ago by any mouse
Ok, great service, but the book was not as helpful as I would have wishedPublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Fabulous book, a family history classic. So helpful and great that it covers Scotland, England and Wales.Published 15 months ago by Jacqueline Hunter
This is not going to suit everyone. Much of the images are from old maps and these are not always easy to read. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Brian R
A must-have book for the family historian. A reference book for anyone serious about tracing their family back to the Tudor period. Read morePublished on 31 Mar. 2014 by Sue
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