Family historians interested in William FOX who lived in Orchard Portman, a village several miles to the South East of Taunton, are likely to have some difficulty in locating his burial place. William died in December 1825 and was buried on 1st January 1826 in a parish some miles away - in St Peter & St Paul's Church at Bishops Hull to the west of Taunton.
A parish by parish circular sweep pivoting on Orchard Portman searching through microfiches of Burial registers in the Somerset Record Office would be a very time consuming exercise.
But a search through the Society's Burials Database should reveal the answer in next to no time ...
The bulk of the Society's database comprises details of Burials transcribed by members from the Parish Registers of the two counties. This is an ongoing project and new data is regularly being added. The first phase concentrated on the Burials Registers from 1813 to 1837. This exercise is nearing completion and the second phase is now well in progress covering the earlier and later periods.
The database also contains some Bishops Transcripts (especially for Dorset parishes), a small number of Monumental Inscriptions and some Quaker and a steadily increasing number of non-conformist chapel records.
Burials submitted by members from their own researches (and more contributions are always welcome - for any period) and from various printed sources are also included.
The approximate number of entries is currently
The Society's Burials Enquiry service offers two types of search:
* The NAMED PERSON SEARCH for the burial of a named person (e.g. Ann ACREMAN) in Somerset, Dorset, or a specified parish and for a specified period. This provides a list of all the burials recorded in the database for the named person in the specified county or parish and for the specified period. With this comes other details (e.g. wife of William) recorded in the Burials Register.
* The BLANKET SEARCH will list all the entries for a specified surname in Somerset, Dorset, or a specified parish e.g. BENNETT in Somerset or Castle Cary, including any variants of the surname (e.g. BENET, BENNET, BENNETT). As for the NAMED PERSON search, other details recorded in the Burials Register are included. You may specify the period to be searched.
The Society's system has been designed to complement the IGI and lists are printed in more or less the same format as the IGI. Results of searches can be printed or sent as E-mail attachments.
The Society is unable to deal with requests such as 'parishes in the Mendip Hills' or 'around Dorchester'
The database is managed by David Hearn and he can be contacted by email or by post: 9 Barton Hey, Bishops Lydeard, Somerset, TA4 3NL
There is also a copy at the Family History Centre where the society's volunteers can search the database for you. For details of research fees see here.