Today, Findmypast has published online for the first time over 2.8 million parish records covering over 360 years of Staffordshire history, as the final instalment of Findmypast’s 100in100 promise to release 100 record sets in 100 days.
Spanning 1538 to 1900, the parish records launched today mark the start of an exciting project to create the Staffordshire Collection on Findmypast.
Millions of incredible new records
On completion this rich source will comprise around 6 million fully searchable transcripts and scanned images of handwritten parish records held by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service.
The Collection covers all Staffordshire Anglican parishes up to 1900 and includes over 3,400 parish registers recording all the baptisms, marriages and burials carried out in the ancient county.
This will include the City of Stoke-on-Trent and parishes now within the City of Wolverhampton, as well as the Boroughs of Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall.
Famous names in Findmypast's new Staffordshire parish collection
The lives of many notable Black Country folk are recorded in the Collection.
Captain of industry and prominent abolitionist, Josiah Wedgwood, the man who established the Wedgwood company in 1754, industrialised the manufacture of pottery for the first time and created the famous "Am I Not a Man and a Brother?" anti-slavery medallion, appears in a baptism register.
Born on 12 July 1730, Josiah was baptised the same day at St John’s church in Burslem. His grand-daughter Emma Wedgwood, the future wife of Charles Darwin, also appears in the Collection.
Insight into key historical events
These church records also provide some unexpected insights into significant events in Staffordshire’s colourful history.
In a late 18th century register of baptisms from the parish of Alrewas, curate John Edmonds took it upon himself to record a narrative of local happenings, and this too can now be read online for the first time.
Edmonds recounts details of a flood that swept two bridges away, an earthquake that rocked the parish in 1795, a series of local riots over food shortages and even a lightning strike that killed 3 cows and 2 horses.
He also recorded events of national significance, such as King George III being fired upon with an air gun on his way to parliament.
Largest collection of parish records online
The Staffordshire Collection adds to Findmypast’s already extensive cache of parish records, the largest available online.
These records allow family historians to research as far back as the 1500s, and with more Staffordshire records still to be added to Findmypast, family historians from all over the world can now explore their more distant roots more easily than ever before.