We have a file for every parish in Somerset and Dorset and these contain transcriptions of baptisms, marriages, burials and memorial inscriptions for both the Parish Church and other denominations. Some files also contain poor law, bastardy, manorial, militia, school and ballot records. There is also a set of “parish packs” which give additional background information.
You can search the contents of these files to find out what each one contains or search for a topic across the collection. Once you have narrowed down the area of interest you could visit us at Yeovil to browse the collection or request a volunteer to research for you for a small fee.
Example 1. You are interested in the Parish of LEIGH in Dorset.
Enter “Leigh” under Parish
Enter “Dorset” under County and press the Search button. (If you leave the County blank you will also get results for Abbots Leigh, Angersleigh etc. in Somerset)
The results show that we have Baptisms, Marriages, Burials, Monumental Inscriptions (Gravestones), Absent Voters, Militia Ballot lists and Vicars of the Parish. It also confirms that the church is St Andrews.
Example 2. You would like to find School Records.
Enter “School” under Collection and press the Search button. This will find anything to do with “school” in both counties. If you want to be more specific you can also enter the Parish and/or County if you know them. In this example. Yetminster in Dorset.
The results show School Log Books 1877 – 1883 and 1883 – 1900 and an Inventory of School Apparatus.
Example 3. “Misc.” (This is a bit of a wildcard) The most common entry is church dedication.
Enter “St Andrew” and press the search button.
The results show all the parish churches in both Counties containing the dedication of St Andrew/s.
It is best not to search on County alone as there are over 1200 parishes in the two Counties but to narrow it down with, say, a search on Parish or Collection as well.