MORE than 10 million records from Cheshire’s historical archives including the marriage of James Bond actor Daniel Craig’s great-great-grandparents are now available online.
Workhouse records, parish registers, bishop’s transcripts and electoral registers from the county, covering over 350 years of history, can be accessed from anywhere in the world.
It is part of ‘The Cheshire Collection’ – launched with the help of the UK family history website www.findmypast.co.uk.
Other highlights include the baptismal records of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, otherwise known as the author Lewis Carroll from July 11 1832 – seven months after he was born on January 27, 1832 in Daresbury, Cheshire.
Also unusually recorded in a baptism register on March 18, 1612 were the words: “this daye there was an Earthquake about 7 of ye clock in ye morning”.
Jonathan Pepler, county archivist for Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, said he believes many people will use the new access to the records to research their own family histories.
He added: “This is a very exciting development for everyone interested in Cheshire and its rich history.
“For the very first time it gives people online access to original records – the raw materials of family history – over a period spanning 350 years.
“This project firmly puts Cheshire Archives and Local Studies in the vanguard of local authority services.
“Researchers, amateur historians and people tracing their family tree will be able to find the records they are looking for at the click of a button.”
Among those are the records of 007 star Daniel Craig whose maternal family came from the City of Chester and can be found in the records.
The parish register of St Mary shows the marriage of his maternal great-great-grandparents on November 27, 1870 – William Walker and Mary Astbury (née Ellis).
William was 37 and working as an iron moulder, while Mary was only 21, and already listed as a widow from her first marriage.
The records also show how another of his relatives – a maternal great-great-great-grandfather, William Hargrave, was a coal agent from the City of Chester.
William married Mary Fleet in 1859 and both of their signatures appear in the parish register.
The records have been published online for the very first time by the website following a six-month project after the website was awarded a contract by Cheshire Archives and Local Studies.