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Dade Registers

In Yorkshire some researchers can be extremely lucky in discovering that the parish registers they pursue have more than the expected information.

These are called Dade Registers for the Revd William Dade (d. 1790 Barmston) a vicar of several Yorkshire parishes in the latter part of the eighteenth century who instituted a system of giving substantially more information in parish records.

If you come across these they are a gold mine, since they usually give in a baptismal entry not only the name of the father but the mother's name, father's occupation, and the names of both grandfathers and parishes of residence, thus taking you back another generation and to other places. Technically parish priests were not obliged under law to give very much detail in the parish register but over the years there was a growing trend to present more information than just dates and names usually found in the very first registers. Even the introduction of ruled registers from 1813 (George Rose Act 1812) that had provision for more information did not technically obligate the priest although most just complied and filled in all the blank spaces.

The Dade system spread when the then Archbishop of York, William Markham, ordered that Dade's system should be used throughout the York diocese, but unfortunately not all parishes obeyed the ruling, otherwise it would have made life much easier for genealogists! Still we can be thankful that many incumbents did take up the concept and some even took the system with them when they moved away from the diocese.

As far as the author knows, there is no list of parishes and periods when the Dade system was in operation and so every discovery comes as something of a pleasant surprise!

As an example of what you can expect, the following is a transcription from Wentworth WRY of the baptism of John Roades:

John Rhoades 1st son of Richard Rhoades, Nailer of Hoyland, 2nd son of William Rhodes, Labr of Penistone and Mary his wife and Hannah his wife, 2nd Daur of James Ellis, Labr of Hoyland and Mary his wife, born Dec 5th 1778 Bapt. Jan1 1779.
The structure of the register entries can be summarised as follows:
Baptisms: Child's name, order in the family, father's full name, profession, place of abode, mother's name, names of the grandparents and child's date of birth and baptism. (grandmotherís maiden name is not usually included)
Burials: Name, age, occupation, abode, descent, cause of death, dates of death and burial.
Dade was a scholar and was in the process of preparing a History and Antiquities of Holderness when he died and the work was never published.

Graham Jaunay BA DipT MACE AAGRA

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