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Sources for 17th century records

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


John Report 13 Mar 2013 00:01

Hi All
My ancestor John Walters was born, almost certainly in Dorset in or near Sherborne, in the second half of the 17th century. I know his name and that of his wife (Mary) from baptismal records. The first recorded child I found is a son born in 1694.
I have used the Dorset OPC and FreeReg to search for them but to no avail. Can anyone suggest any other online sources that I can search? They have to be online as I live in Australia.
Any suggestions would be gratefully accepted.
John Walters

Mike *

Mike * Report 13 Mar 2013 00:10

I assume this is the son you mention

Name: Thomas Walters
Gender: Male
Christening Date: 23 Nov 1694
Christening Place: Sherbourne, Dorset, England
Father's Name: John Walters
Mother's Name: Mary


John Report 13 Mar 2013 00:40

Yes, that is correct.
I forgot to mention that I have also looked at the Family Search records.
Cheers, John


BeverleyW Report 13 Mar 2013 08:02

There'sthis one for another possible child:

William child of John & Mary WALTERS baptised 12 December 1703
(Sherborne parish records)..

I have also got back to this era looking for ancestors in Sherborne and unfortunately came across the problem that there is a big gap in the parish baptism records from 1655 - 1700, which effectively means we lose a generation or two.
Presumably the records for this period no longer exist, so I don't know if there is another way of finding anyone born between 1655 and 1700 :-( :-(


John Report 13 Mar 2013 09:26

Hi Beverley

Thank you for your interest and reply.

Yes, I had also found William 1701 and using Family Search it came up with Esau and Jacob, presumably twins as they were both baptised on 20 April 1699, parents' names John and Mary Walters.

But that 50 year gap is most frustrating!

It would be helpful to us both if anyone knows of any other online records that might help.



AnnCardiff Report 13 Mar 2013 10:34

not necessarily twins John - very often a batch of siblings were baptised together

Chris in Sussex

Chris in Sussex Report 13 Mar 2013 10:55

Not a free resource but Ancestry has, for that time frame, with images...

Dorset, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1538-1812



BeverleyW Report 13 Mar 2013 16:49

Thank you, Chris, but does that include Sherborne?
The Online Parish Clerk has all the baptisms from 1650 - 1859 EXCEPT 1655- 1700.
I would be delighted if the missing years were on Ancestry.


Kucinta Report 13 Mar 2013 22:49

As Ann said, not necessarily twins, but the fact that the biblical Jacob and Esau were twins, combined with the same baptismal date, might make it more likely.