Friday, September 23, 2011

Cardinal Points

A query by John Reid on my blog has given me a thought about Marriage Challenges which are such an ideal support given to the members of the Guild of One-Name Studies (acronym GoONS). There is a possibility that other people out there like myself have purchased marriage fiche from English Counties and thus have access to the marriage lines from 1837 to 1911 - a time when many of us are busy collecting information on our one-name studies. John's question queried what are Cardinal Points.

Cardinal Points are the General Registry Office (GRO) references for the first and last marriage at a given church in each GRO quarter. Knowing these two values, one can then identify the locations of other marriages from their GRO references alone. Using Free BMD and looking at Andover Registration District (Andover RD) and the parish of St Marys Andover (from the fiche) there were four marriages celebrated in the September (or third) quarter of 1837 so that the cardinal points for these marriages would be 2 Jul 1837 marriage of Charles Keel and Esther Snook (first marriage) and 17 Aug 1837 marriage of Elias Luther and Fanny Rutter (last marriage) in this quarter. If you then go to Free BMD you will find that the Keel/Snook marriage is listed as Andover District Volume 7 and Page 39. The Luther/Rutter marriage is listed as Andover District Volume 7 Page 39. Indeed there were only four marriages celebrated at St Marys Andover and they will all be found on page 39 of Volume 7. By having the Cardinal Points it is then possible to locate all marriages celebrated at St Marys Andover and a quick look at Free BMD shows that their were two other marriages in the September quarter namely Howard/Ford and Fuller/Rolfe (which I have already seen on the fiche but if you are doing a marriage challenge you do not likely own the fiche but rather are going to the registry office and finding the Cardinal Points so that you can proceed). Having this information then makes it easier for an individual within the Guild doing a Marriage Challenge to quickly locate the Church where the marriage being requested was celebrated as we only submit the GRO reference (and census information/other information if we happen to have it).

In Andover Registration District, there are a total of  33 parishes (or 66 cardinal points for each quarter although for some parishes there may only be zero, one or two marriages and where only one it is the first and last cardinal point) in Andover Registration District so having the Cardinal Points for each Parish is the best way to do a Marriage Challenge.

The Parishes in Andover RD are:  Abbotts Ann, Amport, Andover, Appleshaw, Barton Stacey, Bullington, Chilbolton, Chute, Chute Forest, Faccombe, Foxcott, Fyfield, Goodworth Clatford, Grateley, Hurstbourne Tarrant, Kimpton, Knights Enham, Linkenholt, Longparish, Ludgershall, Monxton, North Tidworth, Penton Grafton, Penton Mewsey, Quarley, Shipton Bellinger, Smannell, South Tedworth, Tangley, Thruxton, Upper Clatford, Vernhams Dean, Wherwell. You can see it is a lengthy list and takes in all the area around Andover in both Hampshire and Wiltshire (although some of the Wiltshire areas are now in a different Registration District making it even more of a challenge looking back!).

At the last BIFHSGO Conference my husband (my newest member of the Eastern Canada Regional District for the Guild of one-name studies) and I had a table set up talking about the Guild. There was a lot of interest in the table and hopefully our ranks will swell. When you consider there were 400,000 surnames on the 1881 census and we are looking at just over 7500 surnames then you can see we are still only a small proportion of the surnames. We would like to grow; our research helps other people trying to sort out their family lines and gives those of us with that statistical bent a fulfilling occupation in our retiring years :) .

I am going to (and I will start soon hopefully) pull out all the cardinal points for the parishes which I have thus far in Andover RD (and I will soon start to do the other sets of fiche that I have for other RDs) and perhaps one of these days one of our members in the UK will take on a marriage challenge for one of the RDs that my study is deeply rooted in. In the case of the Blake family that is a lot of RDs but the Pincombe family and Lambden family are smaller and localized. It is something that those of us from afar can do to help with the Marriage Challenges.

Thank you John for the question.

1 comment:

JDR said...

Thank you Elizabeth. I didn't know that term.