Here’s some very exciting family history news for those with Devon connections – has just  been awarded a contract with the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office to digitise and publish online its family history records for the very first time.

Over 1500 volumes of records covering an area that includes historic Plymouth, the Dartmoor expanses of Lydford, and the Royal Navy dockyard at Devonport, will be digitised over the coming year. Details of the lives of over 3.5 million Devonians can be found within the 343,257 images. Among the records being published online are:

* Baptisms, marriages and burials dating as far back as 1538
* Monumental inscriptions
* Records of funerals
* Churchyard plans
* Churchwardens’ accounts
* Electoral rolls
* Bastardy bonds
* Settlement orders
* Rate books
* Apprenticeship indentures

This announcement follows on just a few weeks after published online over 223,000 transcripts of parish baptisms, marriages and burials from Devon Family History Society. Those transcripts will soon be matched up with the images of the original parish registers, to be supplied by the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office, enabling family and local historians to view facsimiles of the original historic documents online for the first time.

So I know I’ll be making use of my subscription for sure when they are online.