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National Burial Index

Second Edition

Click here to purchase the NBI edition 2

What is the National Burial Index?
This very important data, of which 59% has never been published before, indexes more than 13 million burials from registers in England and Wales from 1538 onwards. It is not a complete index to all burials, but represents an enormous effort by Family History Societies and Groups over 10 years to make available a large amount of information easily searchable in your own home. The National Burial Index, known as the NBI, is quality British data at an affordable price.

History of the National Burial Index
The National Burial Index was begun by the Federation of Family History Societies in 1994 and the first edition was published in 2001 with some 5.4 million burial records. As an ongoing project, further collections of records were encouraged and continued to be received by the FFHS data manager. Over the ensuing three years sufficient additional material has now been collated to make a new edition feasible.
A substantial number of member societies that did not originally participate in the burial project have become actively involved by presenting data they already held, or have embarked on this as a new project for their area.There are still some member societies which have not yet submitted their data to the NBI Project as work has only just begun or have pressures to complete other projects before undertaking the time consuming job of transcribing burial registers. However it is hoped that they too will be submitting further records for a proposed third addition in several years time.

What Information is on the disk?
The information provided in the National Burial Index, taken from parish, non-conformist, Roman Catholic and cemetery registers , includes where available:

  • County of burial
  • Parish or cemetery where the event of burial was recorded
  • Date of burial
  • Forename(s) of the deceased
  • Surname of the deceased
  • Age
  • The society or group that transcribed the record
This information is displayed in a table, which may be sorted on any column. Records may be tagged and exported to other applications.

The National Burial Index does not contain full transcriptions of the burial records - it is simply an abbreviated finding-aid based on records that were sometimes difficult to read. As with the IGI, searchers are therefore discouraged from accepting the details of an entry at face value and should check the original source record.

Also included is mapping software that interacts with the data. The maps display:

  • Parishes covered by the National Burial Index including a table of Counties, Places/Parishes, Church/Chapel, and date range covered. The columns in the table may be sorted as desired.
  • Parishes that match as a result of your last search
  • Regions
A bar graph is provided showing the count of people included in the Index for each year from 1538 to 2000.

Using the program supplied on the CDROM, the searcher can interrogate the database by a number of methods: a standard surname and forename synonym 'dictionary', a list of uniquely-occurring surname spelling variants, or by using 'wildcards'. The search can be 'refined' by specifying date ranges or locations. To date, over 50 Family History Societies or Groups are involved with the project. Each appoints a co-ordinator who recruits inputters, checkers and correctors. Wherever possible, transcriptions are made from original source records but where this is not feasible other sources, such as microfiche transcriptions or printed registers, are used.

Counties on the Disc
The following table indicates the number of records held for different counties. Note the new counties of Brecon, Cornwall, Cumberland, Isle of Man, London City, Nottinghamshire, Rutland, Sussex and Westmorland entering the database for the first time.
County 2nd Edition 1st Edition
Bedfordshire 356,000 52,000
Berkshire 351,000 117,000
Brecon 5,000 None
Buckinghamshire 83,000 80,000
Cambridgeshire 197,000 95,000
Cardiganshire 108,000 11,000
Cheshire 399,000 255,000
Cornwall 112,000 None
Cumberland 57,000 None
Derbyshire 82,000 35,000
Dorset 305,000 1,000
Durham 402,000 159,000
Essex 500,000 48,000
Glamorganshire 363,000 249,000
Gloucestershire 167,000 154,000
Hampshire <1,000 <1,000
Herefordshire 67,000 42,000
Hertfordshire 137,000 84,000
Huntingdonshire 192,000 76,000
Isle of Man 7,000 None
Kent 205,000 16,000
Lancashire 170,000 29,000
Leicestershire 329,000 <1,000
Lincolnshire 711,000 616,000
London City 138,000 None
Middlesex 11,000 11,000
Monmouthshire 7,000 <1,000
Montgomeryshire <1,000 <1,000
Norfolk 105,000 74,000
Northamptonshire 198,000 85,000
Northumberland 180,000 106,000
Nottinghamshire 281,000 None
Oxfordshire 213,000 213,000
Radnorshire 11,000 5,000
Rutland 19,000 None
Shropshire 168,000 85,000
Somerset 768,000 2,000
Staffordshire 799,000 18,000
Suffolk 803,000 429,000
Surrey 370,000 120,000
Sussex 316,000 None
Warwickshire 507,000 460,000
Westmorland 6,000 None
Wiltshire 224,000 145,000
Worcestershire 552,000 483,000
Yorkshire[City/Ainsty] 34,000 19,000
Yorkshire East Riding 40,000 28,000
Yorkshire North Riding 380,000 306,000
Yorkshire West Riding 1,689,000708,000
Approximate totals 13,124,0005,416,000

Click here to purchase the National Burial Index

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