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Manchester Strays Index

What is a "Stray"?

Strays are ancestors who turn up in records away from their birthplace or the place with which they were normally associated. For example, if a man born in Manchester emigrates to Canada and dies there, his memorial may record "Born Manchester, England". Similarly, a man may marry in London but the register entry may record him as "of the parish of Manchester". Another kind of stray is the Manchester man who appears in armed service records.

Why are Strays References Valuable?

One of the greatest problems facing family historians is that a family member disappears from the records or magically appears in the records of a particular place with no hint of where he went to or came from. Strays references can provide the bridge which allows our research to jump the geographical gap.

What Can I do to Help?

All of us come across strays in our research. We regularly look at large numbers of records searching for the one relevant to our research and in the process notice records which clearly relate to people from elsewhere. Usually, we pass by. If you take the time to note the stray and add it to our database you may help someone make a breakthrough in their research. Someone else's entry may solve your problem.

How do I Add Strays to the Database?

Search the database first to confirm the stray has not already been submitted. Duplication is not a problem but it would be a shame to waste your time.

Please note the index is ONLY for strays who originally came from Manchester or Lancashire. Please do NOT submit "Help Wanted" messages. Only information specifically about strays will be added to the strays database.

Complete the six fields for Surname, Forename, Year, Details, Source and Submitter:

  • Surname - The surname of the stray
  • Forename - His or her forename(s) or initial(s)
  • Year - The year of the reference (eg death date, date of record, newspaper date)
  • Details - Details of the stray taken from the source, transcript of memorial etc.
  • Source - Where someone can find the original details (Newspaper name/date, graveyard, church register etc.)
  • Submitter - Your name so your entry is properly credited.

All fields are mandatory except for submitter (if you prefer to remain anonymous). Then click the "Submit" button. If all is OK receipt will be acknowledged. If not you will get an error message and can return to edit the submission and try again.

Submissions will not be added immediately. They go into a holding file to allow inspection before we publish them. This may take several weeks. Don't worry, they will appear in time!

How Do I Search the Database?

You will be required to enter a surname only. In time we may add the ability to optionally enter a forename and/or a range of years to limit the number of search results if this seems worthwhile. The initial database contains some 6,500 entries.