Saturday, July 28, 2012

Finding My Past - Part Three: Hampshire Baptisms

Exploring FindMyPast with my new subscription, I decided to look up some Denyer baptisms. This is another instance where I have already conducted the research, but I wanted to see if FindMyPast had the same information.

Farlington Parish has transcriptions of their Baptism Records from 1654-2005 (with some gaps) online. I had already looked up the records for the eight children of my fourth great grandparents William and Jane (Goldfinch) Denyer.

Source: Farlington Parish Baptismal Records
(the only additional information on the full records are the given names of the parents.)

For the set between 1766 and 1812, Farlington Parish provides the following source information: Reproduced by kind permission of the Portsmouth Record Office. From a transcription of the original Register done by the Rev John Burrough Rector of Farlington Parish, in 1794. [This obviously references the entries from 1766-1794. The website displays a document written by Rev. Burrough and dated 1794 explaining that the original registers had been damaged due to dampness and the transcription was done to prevent loss of the information. The website doesn't indicate from where the information for the records 1794-1812 come, beyond the Portsmouth Record Office.]

At FindMyPast I conducted a search for all Denyers in the United Kingdom with the Optional Keyword 'Farlington' and specifically selected the Hampshire Baptisms record set.  There were only ten results.  The first two below may well be related in some fashion, but I haven't yet figured out how. The following eight match up with those found on Farlington's website.

Source: FindMyPast (used with permission)

At least all of the names, and six of the dates. John Henry was baptized in either 1795 or 1796, according to Farlington Parish or FindMyPast respectively. Charles was baptized in either 1802 or 1801, according to Farlington Parish or FindMyPast respectively.  The months and dates are identically transcribed.

Source: FindMyPast - (used with permission)

FindMyPast doesn't indicate where their transcribed records came from. I suspect if they transcribed from any original records themselves there would be images. Since all FindMyPast has is a transcription, my assumption is that they transcribed from a transcription - possibly the same transcription Farlington Parish transcribed from. But in both cases it's a transcription of a transcription. There is nothing in either to give greater credence.

However - in the case of John Henry - I suspect FindMyPast is more likely correct. It's very unlikely that John Henry was baptized in March of 1795 if my 3rd great grandfather, William, was baptized in July of 1795. (Especially since family records suggest William was born in November of 1794. Waiting several months between birth and baptism was common, but if William and John Henry were twins, they would likely have been baptized together.)

FindMyPast does appear to fall into the same trap that I've noticed elsewhere in referring to baptismal year as birth year in the transcription. They're not the same thing.

Another baptism I searched for is that of my fourth great grandfather, William - the father of the eight children above. Many family trees posted online indicate he was born in 1763, and his father was named Richard.
Source: FindMyPast - (used with permission)
However, the Hampshire Marriage Allegation for William Denyer and Jane Goldfinch asserts they were both 21 in 1791. It is very unlikely in my mind that this William Denyer was my fourth great grandfather.

FindMyPast was able to uncover a much more likelier answer. While some descendants might cringe at part of the transcription, I'm not bothered.

William (Fyfield or Denyer) - baptized in Headley Parish in December of 1771 - the illegitimate son of a William Denyer and Elizabeth Fyfield.

Source: FindMyPast - (used with permission)
All I have to support this theory is a baptismal date that comes within a year after the assumed birth year from the marriage allegation.  There might well be another William Denyer born at the right time whose baptismal record hasn't either survived or for some other reason doesn't appear in these databases. But for now I think these are the most likely candidates for my fifth great grandparents.

Update February 2013 - I have been contacted by one of the joint administrators of the Farlington Parish, and he has clarified that their transcriptions are from the original registers that are kept at the Portsmouth Record Office. He also mentioned that the transcription continues and more records continue to be added.


Martin said...

They changed their rules. Your screen shots are oK.

John said...

I received permissions under their old terms before the change.