Cat No.: GB0190:
Simply the most important work for genealogists with Gloucestershire interests. If you only buy one CD book for Gloucestershire, then this is the one! Digitised from the original books of the first edition of 1786.
Ralph Bigland started his work about 1750, and worked for some 30 years transcribing the gravestones of many Gloucestershire church yards, and then produced papers describing each place in detail. On his death, the work was published in 1786 in two huge volumes by his son, Richard Bigland, and included many beautiful engravings.
This huge book 11.5" wide, 18" deep and 3" thick (with a CD shown here for scale) is liberally illustrated with the most beautiful high quality engravings of places and churches.
Each place is described, together with its history, but the main feature of the book is its transcriptions of gravestones and monuments in each parish church and grave yard.... made in the period from 1750 to 1781. Almost all of these gravestones have since disappeared or have become illegible by weathering, and it is this information which is so valuable to family historians.
Bigland did his work 1750 to 1778 ish... he compiled 2 volumes from his work, but they were not published... he died. He got up to "N" in the alphabet of places. A couple of years after his death, his son published the completed work of his father... in two volumes, I & II (although they were bound as one large book). This is the original book which I scanned. The second volume appears to be truncated, and it didn't, like the first volume, contain an index. So it is complete as far as it went at the time.... except for the fact that I managed to purchase a copy of that *original* Bigland book, and it is this which we put onto CD.
No. of CDs is: 4 ; Format is: PDF ; Searchable?: ;
FastFind: No; ISBN No.: unavailable;
Now the rest of the story.... 110 years later... (1895) a researcher found Bigland's original notes of the rest of the N's and to the end of the alphabet. The notes that had never even been compiled and sorted properly, never mind published. He then published two more volumes in the same format as Bigland's original work, and at the same time re-published the first two original volumes, making 4 in all, which he naturally gave the same title as the original Bigland volumes. Even the additional books don't contain every one of Gloucestershire's parishes, and in fact there are many more "missing" after N than before it... as Bigland didn't complete his ambition of doing them all.
95 years later.... in 1990. The Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society reprinted a facsimile edition the 4 volumes of the 1895 publication, and sold them as a limited edition at GBP 120.00 (but of course, only the first two were written by Ralph Bigland, although the other two were indeed based on his notes).
11 years later... 2001. I get hold of the *original* Bigland's book, (at a cost of £500.00) which is exceedingly rare... which you see photographed here, and I put it onto CD. If I can get hold of copies of the third and fourth volumes published in the 1890s, then I will of course put them on CD as a supplement to the original books.
This very rare and valuable book (it cost us £560) has now been renovated to the highest possible standard using traditional methods, and has been gifted to the Bristol Record Office, where it will now be preserved for future generations.