Baptisms in the Diocese of Bristol 1754 to 1837
The International Genealogical Index (IGI) was produced by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (Mormons) and includes many marriages and baptisms from Registers all around the world but unfortunately it is lacking in terms of entries for Somerset and Bristol. This situation arose because permission was not given for filming the relevant registers at the time the last IGI was produced. Permission has since been given, and the relevant registers have now been filmed.
As no definite timescale could be obtained from the Mormons for the eventual inclusion in the IGI of the data pertinent to our area of interest, it was decided that the Bristol & Avon Family History Society should commence a project to transcribe and index all the Baptisms in Registers in our area for the period from the start of such registers to 1837, when Civil Registration commenced.
It was realised that the Society and its volunteers were taking a risk, in that all their efforts might eventually prove to be in vain if the IGI were in fact updated before the project could be finished, but in the end, it was thought to be a risk worth taking, in order to remove the frustrations of those with interests in our area.
For practical reasons, the project was limited to those Parishes in our area which had deposited registers in the Bristol Record Office, which in practice includes all those Parishes in the City of Bristol, plus a significant number in South Gloucestershire, and a smaller number in North Somerset. The area covered by these particular parishes is illustrated in the accompanying map.
The project was subdivided into two separate periods, one covering the years from 1754 to 1813, the other from 1813 to 1837. All seven volumes of Indexes covering the 1813-37 period have now been published on CD and microfiche, and these are available from the Society Publications Service. Please note that there are eight sets of fiche because Volume 6 is in two parts but only one CD.
Two other CDs are also now available which include Volumes 8,9 and 10 and Volumes 11 to 14 respectively. These two CDs cover the same areas as indicated by Volumes 1,2 and 3 and Volumes 4 to 7 respectively on the map but for the earlier period 1754 – 1812.
It should also be noted that even before this project was formally launched by the Society, one of its members, namely Jane Baker, assisted by other volunteers, produced Surname-Only indexes for some of the Parishes mentioned, and these have been available at the Bristol Archives for some time. On behalf of the Society, and the ‘family-historian-public’ at large, our thanks go to Jane and her helpers for all their efforts in providing at least a partial and interim solution to an otherwise extremely frustrating situation.
(Revised May 2011 DAN)