My Tangent – Smith Robertson Genealogy – The Parker Project – I Was Right That I Was Wrong

05 August 2011


This genealogy thing is definitely a strange and wondrous hobby albeit obsession. I certainly appreciate comments and questions from one and all.

And I certainly am thankful to Randy in California, when in his comment to my recent Post Part 546p, he asked “Had this parish register been transcribed by the Old Parish Clerks site for the county?

My thoughts were that I had, sort of, but as with most things, my mind was off on another tangent when Randy’s question triggered an “Aha” moment. I remembered that I just might have filed a 4-set of microfiche at my local Family History Center (FHC). And I did! The set of microfiche, FHL [6142708], which I had ordered from the Family History Library in Salt Lake City is “The Register of the Parish Church of St. Leonard, Downham”, by William Bennett Price.

This collection of The Register is a production of The Lancashire Parish Register Society. It is a publication of transcriptions of the St. Leonard Parish Registers and published in May, 1980. Halleluiah, someone else had accomplished that which I had set out to do… and they did it when I was only in my early teens. Hah!

This transcription of the St. Leonard Parish Register is considered, I believe, in the vernacular of today’s genealogy a secondary source. A great piece of work or transcription… and at the same time I have, on loan at the FHC the microfilm, FHL [1278942] of the actual Parish Registers for Downham, 1653-1900, possibly a primary source.

In Part 546p I presented an image of the Downham Chapelry Register Page which include two October Baptisms. My question was whether the surnames of the two Williams baptized on 6 April 1788 were either Parker or Tasker. Thank you Randy in California and Mary Alice in Internetland for your thoughts and comments.

The 1980 transcription work of “The Register of the Parish Church of St. Leonard, Downham” indicates that the two Williams are indeed Taskers, and not Parkers. In this case I can say that I am right being wrong.

But wait til you see and read what I have discovered with the assistance of the 1980 transcription work.

Stay-tuned for my next and subsequent Posts.




Randy Seaver on August 5, 2011 at 1:59 PM said...

Aha - I'm glad I triggered your recollections. Great story.

I often think that I used something at the FHC and have forgotten. I can't remember everything.

The current "accepted" industry parlance is "original source" and "derivative source," not "primary" and "secondary." You are right that the original source is the actual parish register that the cleric wrote in; a microfilm or microfiche would be an image copy of the original source; the transcription on the microfiche you found is a derivative source. A Bishop's Transcript of the parish register would also be a derivative source. But they are all very useful! And the transcription is so much easier to read than the cleric's scrawl...but we don't know how qualified the transcriber was. The advice from the experts is to always find the original source (or image copy), but use derivatives as "finding aids." I don't always follow the advice!

Cheers -- Randy

Jim Smith on August 5, 2011 at 2:10 PM said...

Randy, Thanks for your comment as always. I quess my use of semantics is somewhat antiquated by a couple of years. Suppose the change may have come to fore as some "word-smiths" may have wanted to eliminate the "essence" of hierarchal semblances. Just my immediate thought.

But wait to read what I think I have found.



Jim Smith on August 8, 2011 at 6:13 PM said...

PT, See Part 550kt. JKLS

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