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View parish records on Jane Austen and Florence Nightingale thanks to ancestry.com and Hampshire County Council partnership

PEOPLE can now view the baptism, burial and marriage records of famous Hampshire residents like Florence Nightingale and Jane Austen online.

Thanks to a partnership between Hampshire County Council and web firm Ancestry, official documents going back 400 years are now available to view on the web in libraries and at Winchester’s record office.

Florence Nightingale’s records can now be viewed online
Florence Nightingale’s records can now be viewed online

Cllr Russell Oppenheimer, spokesperson for countryside and regulatory services, said: "It’s fantastic news that millions more of Hampshire’s historical records are now available through the touch of a button.

“This marks the latest batch of documents that are now online thanks to our partnership with Ancestry.

“The good news is that Ancestry is now available free to Hampshire residents through our public libraries and at Winchester’s record office.”

Featured among the digitised parish records is documentation on Florence Nightingale, who is buried at St Margaret's Church in East Wellow, and Jane Austen, who was baptised in Steventon.

Jane Austen’s records can now be viewed online
Jane Austen’s records can now be viewed online

The records also contain quirkier insights into history, including paperwork on Richard Hart who was buried in a coffin he had made himself out of wood from a Spanish Man-Of-War battleship 20 years before his death.

Richard kept the coffin in his room, drawn up to the ceiling on pulleys, and he had also painted funeral processions, skulls and other emblems of mortality in the room.

Ancestry’s content acquisition manager, Kristian Lafferty, said: “These records hold so much insight about the ancestors of people from Hampshire, and will be a great tool in finding out more about the lives they lived.

“These records give the opportunity for those who have roots in Hampshire to learn more about their ancestors, discover interesting stories and spot some prominent people from the region too.’’

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