Stories from the Volunteers: Parish Returns

When we were first asked to digitise the Parish Returns, we were initially a little disappointed – we had really wanted to do some transcription for the project. However, our misgivings were short-lived as we rapidly realised we were in the unique position of reading all 172 returns – and what a privilege that was.

Somerset Remembers Volunteers

One of the first mysteries was: ‘Who was JHW who wielded a red pen on all the returns?’ The answer is on the Somerset Remembers Blog posted on the 17 September 2013

We learnt about the work of the children of the county collecting conkers to help with munition making, the big houses requisitioned as military hospitals, the endless collections to help fund the war effort, the boys from Bristol Grammar School who helped harvest the flax, to be made into linen to cover the aeroplane frames – the information revealed was endless.

Parish Return for Yeovil: Flax for Aerolplanes

Parish Return for Yeovil: Flax for Aeroplanes

We estimate that we have digitised over 1200 pages and have now started on some transcription. The prize for the best Parish Return goes to Yeovil which was well over 100 pages!

This article was written by Chris and Katharin Dalton; volunteers for the Somerset Remembers Project.


2 thoughts on “Stories from the Volunteers: Parish Returns

  1. Fascinating. And such clear handwriting!
    Have you transcribed a parish return for North Curry? We’re hoping to have an exhibition in the summer.

    • Thank you for your interest in the project David.
      Unfortunately not all of the returns have such good handwriting!
      The return for North Curry is currently being transcribed by another of our project volunteers.
      You are welcome to visit the Heritage Centre and have a look at the original in our searchroom.

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