Discover Protestant Nonconformity in England and Wales, 2nd ed.; by Paul Blake; 2018; 60 pp; 5.75x8.25; b&w photos, timeline, bibliog, addresses, index; paperback; ISBN: 9781925781007; Item #: RUTP0341
The aim of this book is to introduce researchers to Protestant nonconformity in England and Wales - whether they’re family or local historians, or others who have a general interest in the subject.
Not all our ancestors were Church of England, or even Catholic. A fair number, particularly after the start of the eighteenth century, joined other denominations such as Baptists, Congregationalists or Methodists. Although the State at various periods did its best to eradicate Catholicism and all forms of Protestant nonconformity, particularly during the late-sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, large numbers persisted in their thinking and were persecuted for their beliefs.
Therefore, it is quite usual, almost expected, for those researching their family in England and Wales to find it includes religious dissenters. Identifying these folk is not always straightforward: they may have continued to use the local parish church for their baptisms, marriages and burials; and may have belonged to congregations that kept few (if any) records. But there are often clues. Their beliefs, at variance to those of the Anglican Church, may have been short-lived or they may have lasted through many generations and perhaps still persist today.
As more and more records relating to protestant nonconformists become available online, the task in discovering more about them is becoming easier. And that trend is sure to continue.