W From our featured county of Essex west to Dorset and Somerset and north through Birmingham to Yorkshire this months data CD tour


Archive CD Books

[t] 01594 829 870

[w] www.archivecdbooks.org

S&N Genealogy Supplies

[t] 01722 716 121

[w] www.genealogysupplies.com

Somerset & Dorset

[t] 01935 389 611 [w] www.sdfhs.org

The Census of England, Essex 1861

PUBLISHER: Archive CD Books [w] www.archivecdbooks.org [t] 01594 829 870

This is billed as a full set of census images taken in 1861 for the county of Essex - but before you dive in, and not just with this offering, it's worth noting that census records are organised by Registration Districts which don't necessarily correspond exactly with county boundaries.

A set of census records ostensibly for a given county may therefore omit some places within the county yet include others from outside the county. The nine CDs in this set contain records of the original Public Record Office Registration Districts RG9/1054 to 1123. Every CD has an index of places which point you to the CD you need to consult. The nine CDs can be bought separately, though if you were to acquire all nine that way it'd be much more expensive. If you want to know which places are in this set and on which CD before you buy - and if you have internet access - you can see the list of their contents at the Archive CD Books website.

The data is in PDF format, needing Adobe Reader software. You can't cut or paste from the data but you can print out complete pages. The data itself is in the form of scanned images of the original documents, which does give you all of the census information available including full name, age, sex, occupation and employment status, relationship to the head of the household, parish and county of birth and any disabilities. Images do, of course, mean that there are no

MAGNIFY: You can zoom in to magnify any handwriting on the census return images that's difficult to read

transcribers and their potential errors to come between the handwritten page and your interpretation, but then you can't search for people by name.

There is no name index either: the publisher recommends that you buy one separately, perhaps from the local family history society. You can search for place names or PRO references.

The Island & Royal Manor of Portland Historic Sources

PUBLISHER: Somerset & Dorset FHS [w] www.sdfhs.org [t] 01935 389 611

This data CD describes itself as the Transcribed Historical Records of the Island & Royal Manor of Portland. It's the work of KV Saunders, who retains the copyright but allows you to cut and paste individual entries for your own personal use.

Sources include christenings from 1630 to 1841 taken from the parish registers; Portland Wesleyan Methodist baptisms from 1796 to 1971; Portland Primitive Methodist baptisms from 1858 to 1971; Portland Bible Christian baptisms from 1858 to 1971. Burials from the parish registers cover 1564 to 1849; and Portland Wesleyan Methodist burials from 1818 to 1861. Parish register marriages go from 1591 to 1837, supplemented by extracts of Portland marriages at Wyke Regis from 1725 to 1755 and extracts of Bishop's Transcripts for 1753. Portland Wesleyan Methodist marriages cover 1838 to 1865. There are monumental inscriptions taken from St Andrew's and St George's churches, Underhill Methodist church and the War Memorial. Other sources include the

PORTLAND: The information on this CD is well organised and easy to find

1841 Census; Portland Prison Staff Register from 1864 to 1884; lists of Methodist members and Church of England ministers and churchwardens; extracts from Parliamentary papers; Poll Books for 1807, 1831 and 1857, together with other miscellaneous documents (wills, church gifts, mortgages, etc) dating from 1557 to 1923. A number of drawings, maps and photographs relating to the history of Portland have also been scanned and included.

The data is in HTML format, to be read using a web browser. There are also RTF versions of many of the transcriptions as well as JPG versions of many of the photographs. □

Somerset War Memorials

Essex 1861 Census Name Index

WAR MEMORIALS: Includes useful local background information

• PUBLISHER: Somerset & Dorset FHS [w] www.sdfhs.org [t] 01935 389 611 • PRICE: £20

The 25 Word files on this CD have been compiled by Bryan Dyer in tribute to his father, Gunner 1388 Lewis Frank Dyer of the Brigade Royal Field Artillery, following the discovery of a trunk of papers, military photographs, an Army Pay Book and campaign medals.

Bryan's attempts to extract his reluctant father's memories of his WWI service are recorded, together with information on thousands of other WWI and WWII servicemen and women with a Somerset connection, plus transcriptions of memorials.

Separate documents cover named individuals from South and West Somerset; Village War Memorials, listed alphabetically by the name of the village; plus other memorials, not fully explained but also listed by village. Frome's two memorials

WAR MEMORIALS: Includes useful local background information get files to themselves. There are no photographs. There are also files for Australian and Canadian personnel with local connections but these are just lists whereas the others give memorial transcriptions (and some genealogical information). If you have Somerset service personnel to research this is for you. □

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