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Originally published privately by the editor Frederick Augustus Blaydes 1890, Genealogia Bedfordensis is subtitled Being a collection of evidences relating chiefly to the Landed Gentry of Bedfordshire AD 1538-1700 collected out of Parish Registers, the Bishop's transcripts, early wills, monumental inscriptions, etc. Containing 512 pages, with a comprehensives names index, Genealogia Bedfordensis represents an important collection of genealogical information on a number of the more noted families from the county, as well as copious transcripts of parish registers and other data. Only 100 copies were ever printed, making this one of the rarest, yet most valuable resources for Bedfordshire.
During the course of compiling notes for his publication, Blaydes examined in situ some forty-seven parishes in the county and examined the parish registers held therein in local custody by their incumbents. Of these, ten dated from 1538 and many contained annotations hinting at the customs and habits of the local people. Also contained were curios such as cases of rabies, burials at night and excommunications for fornication as late as 1729. In addition to the examination of the the records for 47 Bedfordshire parishes, Blaydes also undertook what he called the 'dirty but rewarding task' of sifting through the thousands of records held on slips of paper submitted to the Archdeaconry of Bedford, referred to as the 'Bishop's Transcripts'. These mainly date from 1604 onwards and it was from these that the editor was able to fill in many blanks in family pedigrees. The Bishops Transcripts on the whole contained less genealogical information that the parish registers examined, but the former did provide additional information, such as a family's social standing.
The publication is arranged alphabetically by parish and details the baptismal, marriage and burial records from the earliest available date of the parish register until 1700. The second portion of the publication provides some detailed genealogical information on the individuals cited within each section of the parochial register portion of the publication drawn from the Bishop's Transcripts, wills and other sources. The parishes covered in Genealogia Bedfordensis are as follows:
Ampthill, Arlesey, Aspley-Guise, Astwick, Barford Great, Barford Little, Barton-le-Cley, Battlesden, Bedford, Bedford St. John, Bedford St. Paul, Bedford St. Mary, Bedford St. Peter Martin, Biddenham, Billington, Biggleswade, Bletsoe, Blunham, Bolnhurst, Bromham, Caddington,Campton Cum Shefford, Cardington, Carlton, Chalgrave, Chellington, Clapham, Clifton, Clophill, Cokayne-Hatley, Colmworth, Cople, Cranfield, Deane, Dunstable, Dunton, Eaton-Bray, Eaton-Socon, Edworth, Elstow, Eversholt, Eyworth, Farndish, Felmersham, Flitton, Flitwick, Goldington, Gravenhurst Lower & Upper, Harlington, Harrold, Hawnes, Henlow, Higham- Cobton, Hockliff, Holwell, Houghton-Conquest, Houghton-Regis, Hulcote, Husborne-Crawley, Kempston, Keysoe, Knotting, Langford, Leighton-Bussard, Lidlington, Luton, Marston Morteyne, Maulden, Melchbourne, Meppersall, Millbrooke, Milton-Bryan, Milton-Ernest, Northill, Oakely, Odell, Padenham, Pertenhall, Pottesgrove, Potton, Pulloxhill, Ravensden, Renhold, Riseley, Roxton, Salford, Sandy, Sharnbrook, Shelton, Shillington, Souldrop, Southill, Stagsden, Steppingley, Stevenington, Stondon Upper, Stotfold, Streatley, Studham, Sundon, Sutton, Tempsford, Thurleigh, Tilbrook, Tilsworth, Tingrith, Toddington, Totternhoe, Turvey, Warden, Westoning, Whipsnade, Wilden, Willington, Wilshamstead, Woburn, Wootton, Wrestlingworth, Wymmington and Yeldon.
Genealogia Bedfordensis and its curious is a must for anyone interested in the noted families of Bedfordshire from 1538 until 1700 and is republished here in fully-searchable digital format.
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