In theory the BTs are a precise copy of the entries from the parish register
of the relevant year. In fact the words "perfect copy" are often used at
the foot of the BT. However, the accuracy varies tremendously, largely
depending on how conscientious the incumbent was. As it happens I've just
finished examining every transcript for every parish in Bangor between 1650
and 1750 and some of the problems were:
1. Most importantly, they were often in a very fragmented state, written in
poor quality ink and on any scraps of paper which came to hand so that many
were faded to virtually nothing.
2. Very often the clergyman devolved the responsibility for checking and
signing the transcripts to the church wardens who were often illiterate - as
evidenced by the frequency of "marks" instead of signatures.
3. The idea of correct spelling did not exist so names were written in
numerous different ways even for the same family.
4. Many years were missing.
A general rule of thumb is to resort to the BTs only if you cannot find a
specific entry in the PR. Having said that, you will occasionally strike
lucky so it's worth a try if you draw a complete blank with the latter.
Cheers from Aberystwyth
----- Original Message -----
From: "Jenny Anderton" <jenny(a)jenmike.freeserve.co.uk>
Sent: Wednesday, November 28, 2001 10:36 PM
Subject: [Dyfed] BTs
Are BT's a straightforward copy of Parish Registers, am I likely to find
ancestor in one and not the other?
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