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Like Family History? 6m MCR Parish Records Freely Available

Online records have already received nearly 400,000 hits

Written by . Published on February 12th 2013.


Like Family History? 6m MCR Parish Records Freely Available

MORE than six million Manchester parish records, dating back as far as 1538, can be now viewed online for free at Manchester Libraries.

The Manchester Parish Registers (1541-1985) is one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind available online and will be an invaluable resource for anybody looking to trace their ancestors back before the 19th century.  

The collection of records, which has been digitised by family history website Ancestry.co.uk, details baptisms, marriages and burials that took place at Anglican churches in the Diocese of Manchester from the 16th century until the twentieth century.

The online records have already received nearly 400,000 hits in four days since going live on 7 February.

A free launch event for the newly digitised collection will be held on Thursday 14 February (11am - 2pm) in the Manchester Room at City Library on Deansgate. 

Ancestry.co.uk staff, plus volunteers from the Manchester & Lancashire Family History Society, will be on hand to help people as they search the records for their family members.

The Manchester Parish Registers (1541-1985) is one of the most comprehensive collections of its kind available online and will be an invaluable resource for anybody looking to trace their ancestors back before the 19th century. 

As well as including records of famous names such as Emmeline Pankhurst and Thomas De Quincey, the collection covers times of key historical events, including Peterloo and the Lancashire Cotton Famine.  The collection is available to search for free at any Manchester City Council library.

Ancestry.co.uk contains more than one billion records in collections covering England, Wales and Scotland Censuses from 1841 to 1911, the fully searchable England and Wales Birth, Marriage and Death Indexes, the World War One British Army Service and Pension records, UK Parish Records and the British Phone Books.

Mass Weddings At The Cathedral

Stories associated with the parish records can be entertaining. Manchester Cathedral was the main location for Mancunians to get married in the nineteenth century. 

A quirk of the law of the time, and a local dispute about fees, meant that anybody wishing to get married had to pay one fee to the church where they conducted the ceremony and another fee to the Collegiate Church (now known as the Cathedral).

So it made more sense for the working classes of the day to avoid duplicating the fee by making their way to the Collegiate Church to get married. 

Between 1801 and 1851, fuelled by the Industrial Revolution, the population of Manchester swelled from around 75,000 to more than 300,000 people. 

And by the 1840s, an average of 180 weddings were carried out at the Collegiate Church every Sunday, the multiple ceremonies drawing crowds to watch the happy couples making their way in and out. 

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AnonymousFebruary 12th 2013.

Can we have a link please?

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