We thought that we would let everyone know a little about the indexes we have at the Centre for which we can accept enquiries by Email. Among the indexes we have in use are:
Births, Marriages and Deaths circa 1400 to the present day. These indexes contain about 900,000 entries and increase daily. They are held on computer databases.
Deaths of Servicemen and women on active service. There is also a growing collection of War Memorials on computer databases and we have one of only six copies in existence of the full index to Royal Marine deaths on active service throughout the world. In addition, we have the collections of the two World War deaths for all services on microfiche.
Census Collections. We have the 1881 transcription in both fiche and CD together with various other census collections from 1841 to 1871. We are also gradually building up a CD collection of the 1891 census. What we have is decided by the requirements of the members. To date we have London, Essex, Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire, Kent, Staffordshire, Sussex, Yorkshire and the Channel Islands.
These are just a few of the collections we have, a lot more are listed on our leaflets.
Almost all the Phillimore Parish Registers covering marriages are now available and a list of these appears on our Publications page. We are also in the process of transcribing parish registers in the Portsmouth Anglican Diocese for which we often receive requests for details.
We are also researching some of the many parish records in Hampshire for which we are constantly being asked for at exhibitions. They are listed on the 'CDs Available' section of this site as they are completed.You can also trace the process towards publication of any CD being researched on the 'Parish Register Updates', also on this site.
Gradually we will work through the different indexes we have and are starting off with one collection that is very valuable, but not very often available. We refer to:
Funeral Directors Records
Funeral Directors Records, of which we have over 170,000 for the Portsmouth and Gosport area in particular. Although at around 1900, there were nearly seventy Funeral Directors businesses in the area, apart from a few long-standing companies, most have disappeared together with their records. However that does still leave us with many thousands dating from about 1870 for Dashwood & Denyer at Southsea and George Andrews at North End and Edwards at Waterlooville. Barrells in Portsmouth started much later, but we also have their records. In the Chichester area we have a large number of years covered for Edward White & Son while in Fareham area we have those for M. Coghlan.
To bring things more up to date, we have modern published death records for the whole of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Sussex and the Channel Islands and these are being added to daily. Here again, with each entry there is listed the place of death, the place of burial/cremation, and the name and address of the Funeral Director.
Funeral Directors records give a wealth of information that can save one a great deal of time and very often lead on to other sources to further research as you can see from the following example for a person who died on 1st March, 1906. This is just a simple one, but it even gives details of the actual grave.