INTERNATIONAL GENEALOGICAL INDEX
The ability of a family researcher to find out about his antecedents has been revolutionised by the Church of Latter Day Saints, popularly known as the Mormons. They lay enormous stress on genealogy, encouraging their members to trace their ancestors in order to have them baptised posthumously, since they did not recognize the validity of baptisms by other denominations. But the value to the British researcher lies in the indexes themselves which have been compiled from the collection of parish registers. They have organized their powerful computer situated in a cavern underneath the Temple in Salt Lake City to produce this index not only for Great Britain but also for America, Canada and a number of European countries.
England is first divided into counties and then they have rearranged the information in the parish registers primarily by surnames, then by christian names and finally chronologically within a list of a particular christian name. The Mormons are particularly keen to list all christenings and they enter most marriages but they don't guarantee not to miss the occasional marriage. Deaths are not recorded.
The records are on microfiches and when you have found a convenient place which stocks the IGI you can only use it if you have the use of a microfiche reader. Here in Bournemouth we are fortunate in having a new Mormon Church in Poole which contains an historical section in which these indexes and other family records may be consulted free of charge. Recently the Reference Library at Lansdowne has acquired a set of the IGI for the U.K. and that is more convenient for me to consult. All of the information which follows has been mostly found in the IGI, with a lot of help coming from Joan Bennett of Plymouth who is a professional researcher. I have also visited the County Record Offices myself; in particular, Haverfordwest, West Devon at Plymouth and Truro where the Cornish records are held.
Starting with the first proven ancestor, Jenson Morcombe, we have fifteen generations of Morcombes up to the present day. A fully detailed ancestor chart for the latest generation of Morcombes would therefore include 16,384 ancestors. The present Morcombe Family database lists less than 200 individuals, essentially those on or close to the direct male line.
This kind of research is so much easier now. Instead
of wrestling with microfiche, just use your web browser to click on http://www.familysearch.org/.
Try entering the name of our first ancestor and you will find him listed
as "Gension Morcombe", married in Littleham-by-Bideford on 21st
|©2007 Peter H. Morcombe||
Last update: 14-June-2007