This press release is from findmypast.ie


Leading family history website findmypast.ie has today published online for the first time parish records held by the City of Westminster Archives Centre.

The Westminster Collection comprises fully searchable transcripts and scanned images of the parish registers dating back over 400-years.

The 3 million records cover the period 1538-1945 and come from over 50 Westminster churches including St Anne, Soho, St Clement Danes, St George Hanover Square, St James Westminster, St Margaret Westminster, St Martin-in-the-Fields, St Mary-le-Strand and St Paul Covent Garden.

Some of the fascinating documents now available online detail the wedding of Theodore Roosevelt, the former US President, in 1886; the marriage of UK Prime Minister Sir Robert Peel; and the marriage of poet Percy Shelley.

Cliona Weldon, General Manager at findmypast.ie, said: “This collection is one of the largest UK regional parish record collections we have ever published online.

“Wherever they are in the world, those tracing their London ancestors can now search this historical goldmine and uncover fascinating stories. Whether you are a family historian or a social historian, there is something that will intrigue everyone in these records”.

Adrian Autton, Archives Manager at Westminster Archives commented: “The launch of the Westminster Collection is of huge significance and makes Westminster records fully accessible to a global audience. This resource will be of immense value to anyone whose ancestors lived in Westminster and to anyone wishing to study the rich heritage of this truly great city.”

The new Westminster Collection at findmypast.ie joins a growing resource of official UK parish records from local archives, including Cheshire Archives & Local Studies, Manchester City Council and Plymouth and West Devon Records Office, with many more in the pipeline, due to go live in the coming months. In addition, over 40 million UK parish records from family history societies can be found at findmypast.ie in partnership with the Federation of Family History Societies.

The Westminster Collection is available on all of findmypast’s international sites as part of a World Subscription.

This marks the first phase in findmypast.ie’s project with City of Westminster Archives. In the coming months the following records will be published online too:

• Non-conformist registers 1694-1945
• Cemetery registers 1855-1990
• Parish rate books 1561-1900
• Settlement examination books 1701-1840
• Removal registers 1710-1867
• Poor relief lists 1715-1869
• Workhouse admission and discharge books 1725-1869
• Apprenticeship registers 1640-1869
• Bastardy records 1657-1825
• Militia records 1780-1816
• Watch, constables and beadles’ records 1736-1830
• Wills and probate records 1504-1829

About Westminster City Archives

Westminster City Archives aims to provide a centre of excellence, where archives and local studies materials are acquired, preserved and made accessible, in order to raise the profile of Westminster’s unique heritage within a global context.

The Archives Centre is designated by the Bishop of London, under the terms of the Parochial Registers and Records Measure 1978, as the repository for ecclesiastical records for the pre-1965 City of Westminster and has also been appointed by the Lord Chancellor as a repository for specified classes of public records under the provisions of Section 4 of the Public Records Act 1958. These include Petty Sessions records, probate records of the Westminster Commissary Court and Coroner’s Court records. It is also recognised by the Master of the Rolls as a repository for manorial and tithe documents under the Law of Property Act 1922 and the Tithe Act 1936.

The Archives Centre holds extensive collections relating to family, local, business and community history in the geographical area of the present day City of Westminster, including the former Metropolitan Boroughs of Paddington and St Marylebone. Among the resources available are books, pamphlets, directories, newspapers, journals, maps and plans, over 60,000 prints, drawings and photographs, local government records from 1460, electoral registers, census returns, parish registers, and business archives.

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