Pub gardens reopen in Wiltshire.
Photographs by John Pope
April has arrived and the unlocking of the country statrts after the COVID has disrupted our lives for a whole year. Someone compared the lockdown to the blackout during WWII – I said no not really – during WWII we knew who the enemy was and could tell when an attack was iminent and had warning when danger was about to strike. COVID is silent and at times deadly. Let us not cheer yet about vaccines although their are some encouraging figures emerging – but still let us not become complacent. WE ALL STILL NEED TO DO OUR BIT – immunisation may stop you getting ill but the virus can still be caught and spread by any one of us.
We at the OPC Project would still like to remind you to avoid field trips for family research etc. these should be put on hold until it is safe to do so then we are all doing our bit to stop the spread of this terrible virus. If you must make a trip don’t forget the essentials including hand sanitizer, face masks and anti-bac wipes to sanitise surfaces before and after you have touched them especially door handles and be aware of social distancing rules. Remember as part of the OPC family we want everyone to be around for many many years to continue building the family history and remaining part of it. Make sure you abide by the rules in place for the areas you wish to visit.
About The Project
The OPC Project concept was the original idea of family historians in Cornwall who launched the first OPC project; Devon and Dorset followed next, and there are several now more counties taking part. The idea is to assist those who are researching their family history in a specific parish who might otherwise have difficulty accessing information at record offices, etc. The Wiltshire OPC Project began tentatively in 2006 and has grown from strength to strength. Information is organised by the historic Church of England parishes within the county. Although there is a strong focus on genealogical information, we also include historical and social information. We now have a diary page/blog which will be updated from time to time. You can also follow us on Twitter and on Facebook. Put a face to the name – meet your OPC Team. A New Group has been set up on Facebook for OPCs and Admin
The management team face new challenges and we will keep the site running for as long as we can. We intend to keep the site as a free to use facility but like many other projects of a similar genre we have set up a fund where users have the opportunity of making a small donation to assist us to keep the site running for the longer good. With that in mind we have set up a Go Fund Me page the purpose of this is to raise enough money to help us cover the running costs and maintenance for the foreseeable future. Please note that this is a voluntary donation and is not a requirement to use this site. The site will remain free to anyone who wishes to use the information we provide.
The people who run the site do so as volunteers and receive no financial rewards whatsoever so please be assured that your donation will be used to maintain the site or secure material for transcription and for no other purpose. We do hope you understand our move in this direction and thank you all in advance for any support you give.
Annual Meet Up
This was cancelled for May 2020. It is now hoped that the event will go ahead in Swindon over the weekend of the 15th and 16th May of 2021. Please visit the Facebook Page for updates. If you wish to attend or may wish to come alone then please add yourself to the list on Facebook so that Ruth Wood will have some idea of numbers. This has now been All users of this site and the OPC team are invited to come along for a meal and other activities that will be laid on for us all to enjoy.
We have now created a single document on Facebook to record the surname interests eventually we will make a list of all of these and publish it on this website too for those who do not use Facebook.
Our photo galleries can be found all over the website – mainly published on parish pages under the category headings. We are currently displaying these galleries via Google Photos. Tagging of each photograph means you can see what the image is etc. Sadly there is still no sort in file order facility with Google Photos. Admin is constantly requesting Google to add this sort option.
Information About Using This Website
As mentioned previously information is laid out within parishes. There is also a page to cover the whole of the county and also a military page which relates to the county as a whole. There are also pages for research inquiries and other general information just explore the drop down menus at the top of the page. Most pages follow a set layout to assist you in finding information quickly under categories which have a set order. The Categories are Neighbouring Parishes (Contiguous); Websites; Parish Church; Parish History; Buildings & Land; Crime & Legal Matters; Directories; Education; Emigration & Migration; Employment & Business; Miscellaneous Items; Non Conformity & Other Places of Worship; People & Parish Notables; Poor Law, Charity & The Workhouse; Probate; War, Conflict and Military. Under Transcriptions at the bottom of the page can be found any Baptisms, Marriages, Burials & Census that have been completed. Categories will contain sub headings but these should be selective and contain a series of documents of the same kind such as parishioners wills. The documents themselves will normally follow a layout of oldest items first reading from left to right in columns of 3 or 4 items per row. The documents are linked to a pdf format and the title should be descriptive but concise so that you can see what you are likely to find within. Where there is a tithing or hamlet that has a fair amount of information these will have a tab (page) within that parish towards the end of the page. Photo Galleries can be found by following the links on parish pages or by accessing the main gallery section at the top of the page.
Although most items are published on parish pages please also check the Wiltshire Additional Parish Page, Wiltshire County Wide Page, Wiltshire Military Page and the Nationwide Page. All of these may contain additional information not published on a parish page.
Due to the nature of the project some pages will hold more information than others. New items are being added to the site daily.
As you can see from the We Remember Section in the drop down menus at the top of the page we are adding as many soldiers memorial days as we can. If anyone knows of soldiers whose deaths are not yet listed please let the admin team know. You may check which names are included by browsing through the calendar facility on this page.
We have a motto at the Wiltshire OPC :- What May or May Not Be of Interest to You Will Be of Interest to Someone
What is an OPC?
An OPC (on-line parish clerk) is a volunteer member of the public who “adopts” a parish in Wiltshire becoming its custodian. The OPC is then able to research the parish and transcribe historical and genealogical information for that particular parish which may be of value to family history researchers and social historians. Our motto is “What may or may not be of interest to you, will be of interest to others”. This information is gathered from many different sources, for example, parish registers, census records, churchwardens and overseers accounts, historical wills, business and trade directories, church and village histories, newspaper reports, war casualty lists, etc. An on-line parish clerk should not be confused with a parish clerk engaged by a parish council or parochial church council.
Adopt a Parish and Become an OPC
We Currently have 204 Parishes or Pages to be adopted
Firstly, you do not need to live in Wiltshire, or even in the UK, to become an OPC. We have OPC’s in Australia, Canada, Holland, England, New Zealand, India, Scotland and several in Wiltshire itself! Some OPC’s choose to adopt a particular parish because their ancestors hailed from that village or town or because they once lived there themselves; some just want to be part of a voluntary project to help family history researchers worldwide. Others choose their parish because of a subject interest such as Australian Soldiers of WWI buried in the county or perhaps a certain story about the village has triggered an interest. Once you adopt a parish then you become its custodian by researching and building on the resources on the parish page. Even if a parish is adopted then other contributors are still welcome to submit items for inclusion. More about Volunteering
You may feel you don’t have the time to adopt a parish, but you can still support the Wiltshire OPC project by:-
- donating information you may have at home – school photographs, directories, village history booklets – in fact, any historical information on a Wiltshire parish
- transcribing – we can email records to you to transcribe at home at your own pace
- taking photographs in Wiltshire – war memorials, buildings, village scenes, plaques, etc.
- Assisting with the running of the website by taking on a specific task.
If you would like to help with any of the above please contact the OPC of the parish you can help with or if the parish is vacant, contact our Administrator. Please note that you will need to register and sign in to contact OPC’s/Administrator (via the Contact Us tab at the top of this page)
Copyright & Disclaimer
We think it is important that our users understand the strengths and limitations of this website. The OPC Project aims to provide historical and genealogical information without charge that researchers might pay a fee for elsewhere. OPC’s voluntarily provide this information, often at their own expense by purchasing documents to transcribe. In most cases their transcriptions are not checked by anyone other than themselves.
Our OPC’s and volunteers are aware that material submitted for this site must be within copyright law and accreditation must be given where necessary. Our Administrator checks items as they are submitted, however, occasionally an item may ‘slip through the net.’ If this occurs, we apologise most sincerely and will correct the issue immediately upon notification.
We don’t guarantee to be perfect! All information should be taken as a guide only and the original source consulted wherever possible. In many cases this will be the Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre. Please note that some items are published to parish pages and are incomplete, such items will be updated as and when new information is transcribed. These are mainly ongoing projects such as the national probate index, strays index, etc.
Please note that OPC’s are unable to undertake family history research for our users, but we are always willing, where possible, to advise where the information being sought might be found.
If you find this site useful please tell others – if you have a problem with it then please tell us. Users of the site are invited to leave comments/constructive criticism. in the box at the foot of each parish page or in our guest book. You may also rate the page using the star option on each parish page. Thank you.
For our user policy and information on how we use your personal data then please go to our Privacy Information Page
PLEASE FEEL FREE TO USE THIS WEBSITE OR CONTRIBUTE IN ANYWAY YOU CAN