Devon Family History Society Small Projects

This long-term project involved a partnership between the Devon Family History Society and all three archive repositories in Devon. It ran for over ten years, and its aim was to produce transcriptions of, or indexes to, sources of interest to family historians which were not generally well-known, or which couldn’t be easily accessed because name indexes did not exist. Completed transcriptions and indexes were published in booklet form or as surname printouts from the Devon Family History Society’s computerised indexes. The project resulted in the production of about 200 booklets. Many of these sources were suggested by archivists working in the record offices. Two archivists in the former Devon Record Office (now the Devon Heritage Centre) wrote the forewords for most of these booklets.

Lunatics Small Projects Books

A CD-Rom titled "Rich man, poor man, beggar-man, thief" containing over 63,000 entries taken from the first 129 booklets, as well as the booklet forewords, was launched at the Devon Record Office, Great Moor House, Sowton, Exeter in September 2008. This CD-Rom can be purchased through the Devon Family History Society’s online Bookshop, or from the Devon Heritage Centre shop or its online publications webpage.

John Draisey and Todd Gray, 2008

John Draisey and Todd Gray,

CD-Rom launch, 2008

Another 75 booklets which were published following the launch of the CD-Rom can be bought through the Devon Family History Society’s online bookshop, or by post. The majority of the booklets are also available as a PDF file, which can be sent as an attachment via email.

The project has been continued in a small way by volunteers who are indexing original documents held at Devon Heritage Centre, North Devon Record Office, and Plymouth and West Devon Record Office.  To read more about the project see the Devon Family History Society Projects webpage.

More recently, through an agreement with the Devon Family History Society, the indexes created during this project were published online on the Find My Past website as part of the Social and Institutional Records collections.  

The success of this project was due to the efforts of volunteers working week after week in the three archive repositories in Devon, indexing information from the original documents.