Friday, 1 October 2010

Follow Friday: Non-Conformist BMDs

In association with the National Archives, bmdregisters.co.uk is a site covering Non-Conformist Records and more.  This means that you will be able to find information regarding Methodists, Wesleyans, Baptists, Independents, Protestant Dissenters, Congregationalist, Presbyterians, Unitarians, Quakers (Society of Friends), Dissenters and Russian Orthodox.

This will be very helpful to many genealogists, who start out thinking that their ancestors were straightforward, run-of-the-mill Church (of England) churchgoers, until suddenly a whole branch of their tree disappears.  Instead of thinking that the entire branch were deported to Australia for committing the huge crime of stealing a handkerchief, or emigrated to America in order to follow their dreams - try thinking instead that they had strong religious views of their own and so became Protestant Dissenters, or joined any of the religions mentioned above.

Laws meant that individuals belonging to these religions still had to have their births, marriages and deaths recorded in the mainstream church. Hardwicke's Marriage Act of 1753 then allowed marriages to be not only recorded but also celebrated in non-mainstream churches.

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