Site updates

Hello all! Happy New Year.

I’ve been very busy lately, but I’ve updated the Poor Law page (adding some new records, as well as ditching the PDFs and making it easier to use!), and I’ve also added nearly 1,000 baptisms for Harwich, from 1601-1625. They include the family of Christopher Jones, captain of the Mayflower. You can search on FreeREG for far more records than are on here as it takes time to convert the transcriptions to spreadsheets.

I’m currently transcribing Barking, Suffolk, from the mid-1500s to the mid-1700s. It includes Needham Market, so it’s a very busy parish. The transcriptions can be searched on FreeREG but as ever, information about gaps etc can be found on my parish page.

And… if you’re stuck on your research, or you need an old document transcribed, I can help! Just get in touch, and I’ll give you a quote based on the amount and complexity of the work.

It was all going well until the vicar decided to write everything in Latin…

Tristram Shandy’s baptism, by Hogarth

I’m currently transcribing the earliest register for Harwich in Essex, which starts in 1559. It began well, but someone with bad handwriting took over a few years in, then I had to deal with bad handwriting and faded pages. But once that was out of the way, I had nice clear ink and clear handwriting. Wonderful! It was all going well, and then…

…the vicar decided to write everything in Latin.

I got a C for GCSE Latin, which isn’t a grade I’m proud of, but at least that, plus French and Spanish lessons means that I’m not as foxed as I might otherwise be. It’s fairly obvious that “baptizata fuit” or “baptizata est” means “was baptised”. Other terms might crop up, such as conjuncti fuerant, “were joined in marriage” (hence “conjugal”), “nupti erant,” were married (hence “nuptials”), “uxorem duxit” – “he took to wife” (“the farmer takes a wife”). And once the baptisms and marriages are done and dusted, we end up “sepultus” or “sepulta” – buried.

What can be quite difficult is the fact that the names are all Latinised! So here’s my run-down of Latinised names and what to look out for:

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