Findmypast.co.uk has announced several unique discoveries found in the newly available local records from Cheshire. Workhouse records, parish registers, bishop's transcripts and electoral registers from Cheshire went online for the first time ever recently in what findmypast.co.uk has titled 'The Cheshire Collection.' The collection is a series of over 10 million historic records provided by Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, covering over 350 years of history.
Some of the most interesting findings contained within The Cheshire Collection include:
- Lewis Carroll's baptism was in Daresbury on11 July 1832
- An earthquake hit Cheshire on 18 March 1612
- Ancestors of James Bond actor Daniel Craig sold coal and were iron moulders
An unusual occurrence revealed in the records was the 'peculiar marriage' between Daniel Broadbent and Martha Cheetham in Mottram-in-Longdendale on 9 March 1780. Daniel was 23 and Martha was 83 years old. However, fate soon intervened to part this unlikely couple with the Mottram registers for the following year showing that Daniel Broadbent of Hattersley was buried on 30 May 1781. Furthermore, on 6 May 1776, 105 year-old George Harding married Jane Darlington, 75, at St Oswald, Chester.
These unusual marriage records show that, in the 18th century, one could find love at any age. However, the records also reveal a darker side of Cheshire's past, telling several tales of death from the plague.
In 1625 the UK was hit by an outbreak of the plague which killed 35,000 people. Malpas in Cheshire was badly affected and the online records reveal harrowing accounts of those who were killed by the disease. One such example is that of Richard Dawson of Bradley, whose story, found among The Cheshire Collection, goes as follows:
"…being sick of the plague and perceiving that he must die at that time arose out of his bed and made his grave and caused his nephew to cast straw into the grave… and went and lay him down in the said grave, and caused clothes to be laid upon and so departed out of this world… he died about 28th august, this much I was credibly told."
Family history records from the ancestors of Daniel Craig and the discovery of the Cheshire earthquake surprised Debra Chatfield, marketing manager at findmypast.co.uk. She commented: "These records make it possible for family historians and local history researchers to delve as far back as 1538, unearthing all sorts of unusual finds quickly and easily at their fingertips. Who would have known that Cheshire was hit by an earthquake in 1612 or that James Bond's ancestors sold lumps of coal?"
Jonathan Pepler, County Archivist for Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, said: "This is a very exciting development for everyone interested in Cheshire and its rich history."
Leading UK family history website findmypast.co.uk (formerly 1837online.com) was the first company to make the complete birth, marriage and death indexes for England & Wales available online in April 2003.
Following the transcription, scanning and indexing of over two million images, the company launched the first website to allow the public easy and fast access to the complete indexes, which until then had only been available on microfiche film in specialist archives and libraries. The launch was instrumental in creating the widespread and growing interest in genealogy seen in the UK today.
Findmypast.co.uk has subsequently digitised many more family history records and now offers access to over 750 million records dating as far back as 1200. This allows family historians and novice genealogists to search for their ancestors among comprehensive collections of military records, census records, migration, occupation directories, and current electoral roll data, as well as the original comprehensive birth, marriage and death records.
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