In Yorkshire some researchers
can be extremely lucky in discovering that the parish registers
they pursue have more than the expected information.
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
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.
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:
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)
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.
Burials: Name, age, occupation, abode, descent, cause of death, dates of death and burial.
Graham Jaunay BA DipT MACE AAGRA