Parish Clerk (OPC) is a volunteer
who collects, collates and transcribes records for one (or more)
adopted parishes. They research as many sources as possible
to find all the
available historical data they can find on a parish. Typically this
parish registers, cemetery records and parish histories. Records are
transcribed, and in order to promote further private research, are made
available to any genealogist. This may include census, parish
bishop's transcripts and churchwardens accounts, overseers accounts,
records, postal directory extracts, church & village histories,
etc. An OPC
is a volunteer and should not be confused with the civil Parish Clerk
by a Parish Council.
Sources of the information may be The Wilts and Swindon Record Office, Microfilm copies of the parish registers, census or other records ordered through the LDS Family History centres, libraries, copies already in the possession of the person interested in the parish etc. Photographs of the village may be taken if the OPC is nearby, or perhaps if they cooperate with a willing researcher living in the area. Some information is already online, for example the 1881 census at www.familysearch.org
Miscellaneous information is also welcomed, and can be submitted to the co-ordinator who will make it available; and anyone that feels they cannot commit to being an OPC but could still spare the time for limited transcriptions - for example one village in one census year, or 5 years worth of baptisms in a village - could also make a difference to the success of the project.
The object is to disseminate information to as many people as possible, so ideally the records would be online. Some OPCs may wish to have their own website that this site links to but most sent the information to the co-ordinator to be displayed on the main site. some OPCs may prefer to undertake look-ups in their transcriptions via email.
Please note that the Wiltshire OPC scheme was only started in January 2004 and then after a break relaunched in 2008. It takes time to accumulate and transcribe material, and an OPC may not yet have full data for all these sources. There are about 327 parishes in Wiltshire. So far we have volunteers for a small percentage of parishes. Therefore we are really keen for people to become involved to benefit all. If you would be interested in volunteering to help make these national records available to all or if you would like more information about being a OPC, and how to get your transcriptions online please Click here to email the coordinator.
Please note that all OPC's are volunteers, giving their time freely. They cannot always respond instantly, some work full time, computer problems can occur and some even go on holiday! If you have not received a reply within 1 month please email the co-ordinator. Each OPC decides what data to collect, how it will be organized and distributed or displayed. OPC's welcome donations of parish and family information or data. If you have information or data that you are willing to share, please contact the relevant OPC, or if one doesn't exist, the co-ordinator.
Most OPC's work on their own and are certainly not infallible! Most of the transcripts have not been validated and the information provided should be taken as a guide only. All information is provided to researchers on the understanding that transcripts are, at best, a secondary source and only a guide. As with everything found on the internet you should obtain proof from the primary source (in many cases this will be the Wiltshire and Swindon Record Office.
Each OPC considers possible copyright, data protection and privacy issues, and avoids misuse of data. Records MAY NOT be simply copies of someone else's commercial transcription, but should be transcribed from original data. All records have been transcribed so that they are freely available to all persons to use for their personal, private research only.They may NOT be used for any commercial purpose.