We get lots of requests for help from genealogical researchers and we try to help them as much as possible. Often they have heard about the Dr Williams’s Library Registers of births and baptisms and wish to consult them. These registers are not kept by Dr Williams’s Library and have never belonged to the Library or its Trustees. The General Register of Protestant Dissenters , which was maintained by the Dissenting Deputies at Dr Williams’s Library, were surrendered, along with most other early nonconformist registers, to the Registrar General in the 1840s. They are now in the National Archives (call number RG4/4666-4673).
This week Ancestry.co.uk announced the release on its family history website of almost three million records, spanning fifteen generations, of the vital events of Nonconformists (including Catholics), abstracted from registers at The National Archives, as part of the Ancestry collection ‘England and Wales, Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Records, 1567-1970’. The online release of the records is said to be timed to coincide with the bicentenary of the Trinity Act 1813, an important milestone in the easing of statutory restrictions on Nonconformity. This collection includes the so-called Dr Williams’s Register as part of the RG4 collection. The National Archives has a nice introductory talk about this register.
See Ancestry’s announcement at: http://www.ancestryeurope.lu/press/press-releases/uk/2013/08/3m-religious-free-thinkers-immortalised-online-/