The Society of Genealogists is delighted to announce that its database index of Great Western Railway Shareholders is now complete for the years 1835-1932 and published in partnership with Findmypast. co.uk
This is not an index of railway staff, but records shareholders in the Great Western Railway. The index currently contains details for approximately 440,000 individuals, with a total number of 570,464 records and 153,569 events entered into the registers. A record is an entry for an individual in the database, including not just shareholders but executors, beneficiaries and others involved in the transfer of shareholdings. An event is a disposal of a shareholder under a will or an intestacy following death, or otherwise than by simple sale during the lifetime of the shareholder
The registers were started when the GWR was created in 1835 and the series continues through to 1932. Each of the 270 volumes contains between 450 and 600 individual entries, which may relate to an event occurring up to 20 years earlier than the making of the entry.
The date range covered in each volume starts about 10 years before the entries were made, but there are a number of earlier entries dating back up to twenty years in most volumes, with the earliest entry seen being a baptism in 1806, but this is an isolated exception.
In almost all entries, the name of the shareholder is given together with an address, the names of the other parties (executors or legatees for deaths; husbands for marriages) and dates of death, probate, marriage or other event.
The majority of events are deaths in England and Wales, the split of events within the records is as follows:
•Power of Attorney 4%
•Change of Name 0.5%
Most events relate to individuals in England and Wales, but there are also a significant number of Scottish, Irish and overseas records. The figures are:
•England & Wales 95.2%
The Index lists names, dates, places and the event or role of the person listed. Some people appear on two or more occasions, for instance those solicitors who acted as professional executors to estates.
The original images of the GWR shareholder regsiters will be added to the Findmypast website at the end of April. More information about these records can be found on Findmypast’s Knowledge Base