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Tracing the Family Tree continued

This next image is a small extract from the records of baptisms in 1642. Staining of this paper/parchment is not as bad as some entries; but the flowery nature of the script makes it hard to interpret.

extract of baptism

Added to this, those words in old English or Latin are not always familiar; and, in many instances, the way certain letters are formed, particularly upper case, is different to modern day handwriting and even those scripted in the 1847 document above. When transcribing these records to the database, my wife often has trouble deciphering some letters, even by comparison with later or previous entries that may appear clearer. The 1616 pages and those of subsequent years were particularly difficult and she eventually researched the problem to come up with some lists of old English letters and their modern day equivalents. Here's an extract from one of the lists:


Transcribing information from ancient documents is a long-winded task requiring total focus and diligence. I often see my wife skipping from one computer to another just to verify a single entry by comparing it with a different source; and maybe then going to yet another website for confirmation. Some might wonder if this level of accuracy is really necessary; my wife, however, is adamant that it is. People like me, she will say, want to trace their ancestors, and they need data of past records to be as correct as it possibly can be. As far as she's concerned, if it takes all day to interpret only one page of old English script, so be it.

At least when you are tracing your own family tree, you can rest assured that the OPC's who have made this possible are doing their very best to help in your search. No doubt your investigations in this arena will be challenging; but hopefully the results of your findings will be as rewarding as they are for those who have opened up the doors to your particular family's past. With luck, it will turn out to be an exciting experience.

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