Each record contains the transcription of an inscription. As the inscriptions themselves are found in a great many different places and environments the amount of information they contain varies considerably. In general you could find out the following about your ancestor:
Year of birth
Year of death
Burial place or place of commemoration
Names of immediate family
Further biographical details
Please note that each individual mentioned on a memorial is listed separately, so do keep an eye out for other family members in the search results.
There are 290,024 records transcribed from memorials in a variety of locations. Some are from churches and cemeteries, others, like the 3000 Quaker memorials included, are gathered from a variety of sources. The earliest records date back to 1245 and go right up to 2005.
The inscriptions were transcribed by members of the Wiltshire Family History Society in the 1980s and were subsequently digitised. The Society also offer a research service.
Wiltshire is a landlocked, largely agricultural county in the south west of England. Inhabited since Neolithic times it is the location, on Salisbury Plain, of the stone circles at Stonehenge and Avebury. The county is bordered by Dorset, Somerset, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire.
Wiltshire people are sometimes called Moonrakers. The name dates back to the 16th century, after a group of smugglers, on the run from the Excise men, submerged their smuggled goods in the village pond. When the Excise men turned up they raked the surface of the pond, causing conveniently camouflaging ripples, and explained that they were trying to fish out the big cheese that could clearly be seen floating in the pond. Rather than argue with villagers so clearly mad or simple, the Excise men didn’t point out the obvious, that the cheese was the moon, and let them go. The location of that village pond has been hotly debated but is most often identified with The Crammer, in Devizes.