Saturday, 26 January 2008

FindMyPast puts the Great Western Railway Shareholders Index online

Find My Past, in conjunction with the Society of Genealogists, has just announced that it has put the Great Western Railway Shareholders Index online.

This new online resource contains the details of over 290,000 people including 77,000 shareholders in the railway company along with related parties, such as executors or spouses. Records date from when the GWR was created in 1835 and the series continues through to 1932. This first online release covers the ledgers for the period 1835 to 1910. The indexes to the registers for the period 1911 to 1932 will follow in due course.

The Great Western Railway, also known affectionately as "God's Wonderful Railway", was built to link London to the West Country, South Wales and the South West of England. In almost all entries, the name of the shareholder is given together with an address, the names of the other parties (executors or legatees for deaths; husbands for marriages) and dates of death, probate, marriage or other event. Some 90% of the events recorded are deaths, since the purpose of these registers was to record change of ownership of the shares, and the death of the original shareholder was the most likely reason for this to happen.

Each of the original volumes held at the Society contains between 450 and 600 individual entries, which may relate to an event occurring up to 20 years earlier than the making of the entry. Visitors to the findmypast website will be able to search the index to these records by entering the name of their ancestor, which will produce a free list of results showing the full name, year and place of the event.

For more information, visit .


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