Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dr Campbell's Index

About Dr Campbell's Index: " Dr. Neville Campbell was honoured in an Obituary in Family Tree Magazine, Vol. 7 No. 7, Pg. 14 - May 1991 --

Mr. James Skeggs, Somerset Record Office writes:

"Readers will be sorry to learn of the death of Dr. Neville Campbell of Coombe St. Nicholas, Somerset. Dr. Campbell had an interesting career, encompassing time as a houseman at York, war service in Italy with the 4th Indian Division, and 20 years as a doctor in Sierra Leone. Family historians will remember him for his abiding interest in Somerset surnames. Indeed, his memorial will be the famous Dr. Campbell's Index at Somerset Record Office, at Taunton: an estimated 1,000,000 names painstakingly prepared from parish registers and covering baptisms and weddings for the period 1538-1900. He had completed his analysis of 153 of the 482 Somerset parishes and, coupled with this complex and absorbing task, had produced transcripts of many of the registers, supplementing the information with detail from the surviviing Bishops' Transcripts. He pieced together information from documents almost illegible due to the ravages of time. Until recently, Dr. Campbell had been attempting to identify two whole boxes of fragments of Bishops' Transcripts. He succeeded in many cases by a cunning combination of handwriting comparisons and knowledge of the subject, utilising his phenomenal memory of surnames. This resulted in a listing of early churchwardens and parish priests not included in any existing index -- another achievement. This kind, generous and warm-hearted gentleman will be remembered for a long time."

Dr C's is a double sided card index. Years only are given, but baptisms are arranged into family groups in each parish. From the Somerset Record Office parish list I calculated that the index covered 147 parishes (although of course I may be wrong)."

about time I spent a few days in Somerset Record Office

Somerset Archive & Record Service: "The Somerset Record Office exists to find, preserve and make available written records of Somerset's people and communities. The service is provided by Somerset County Council and now holds many millions of original documents, ranging in date from the eighth century AD to the present day."

Monday 2.00 pm - 5.00 pm
Tuesday - Friday 9.00 am - 5.00 pm
Alternate Saturdays 9.15 am - 12.15 pm

Somerset Record Office
Obridge Road

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