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The Basic Search screen provides two separate routes to identifying records in the CCEd, which cannot be used in combination: one solely concerned with using the CCEd unique identification number (CCE ID) to retrieve the records of a specific individual; the other being designed for simple searches concentrating on a name or a location. All fields in the form have helpful instructions provided via the question mark symbol next to the field title. Moving a mouse over the symbol will bring up the help message, which disappears once the mouse is moved on.

Entering your search terms and starting the search

Retrieve Record

This box allows you to search for a specific person in the CCEd using the unique identification number he has been allocated in the Database.

This facility is most likely to prove of use if you are following up a reference found in a footnote to a clergyman recorded in the CCEd: the citation advice for the Database asks that references to individuals take the form:

“William Paley (CCEd Person ID 3462)’, The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540–1835 <>, accessed 29 Apr. 2005”.

In this instance you would enter “3462” in the box with ‘Person ID’ in it, and then click on ‘Go’ to retrieve the record.

The facility also assists those who wish to return to the records of a specific cleric, especially if he has a common name; users should ensure they record the CCEd ID number of their particular “John Smith”, for example. It is important to remember that one cannot rely on the date-range associated with a name remaining constant as a means of identifying a specific individual, as new records may be added, or those wrongly associated removed, at any point. The correct number for any individual with a career narrative or personified set of records in the CCEd can be seen in the top left of the results frame immediately beneath the person’s name in the Career Narrative and in the top right of the Personified Individual frame. This number remains constant, unless the person is eliminated by the merger of two sets of records referring to a particular individual.

Searching using name and/or location

The several fields beneath the Retrieve Record facility can be used in isolation or in combination to search for records relating to both people and/or places.


Enter name using free text.

Here you can enter a surname to call up records associated with that name in the career narratives. You can use ‘_’ or ‘?’ as a wildcard for a single letter, and ‘%’ or ‘*’ for one or more letters to allow for variant spellings (e.g., ‘Burl%’ would recover both ‘Burley’ and ‘Burleigh’, although it would also recover other names beginning ‘Burl…’).


Enter name using free text.

Here you can enter a forename to call up records associated with that name in the career narratives.

You can use ‘_’ or ‘?’ as a wildcard for a single letter, and ‘%’ or ‘*’ for one or more letters to allow for variant spellings, as for surname.

Where only forename initials are known, eg. for the cleric A.H. Whitmore, enter ‘A% H%’ [note the space between the first percentage sign and the second initial] in the forename box. This will bring up all individuals who have two forenames, the first beginning with ‘A’ and the second ‘H’, in this case with the surname ‘Whitmore’, giving ‘Ainslie Henry Whitmore’.


Select a diocese from the drop-down menu; this activates the location window.

Here you may select a diocese from a drop down menu to gain access to the list of locations in CCEd falling under the authority of the bishop of the diocese with which to search. You may do this for a location alone or in combination with a name. (However, note that locations falling within the territory of a diocese but under a different authority – most often peculiar jurisdictions – will be found listed in the jurisdictional rather than geographical context.)

This search can be used in combination with either a name or date range for clergy whose career record brought them into association with that diocese through ordination under the authority of its bishop or appointment to a parish, cathedral or other office in that diocese.


Select a location from a drop-down menu, activated by selecting a diocese.

This box cannot be used until a diocese has been selected from the drop-down menu in ‘Diocese’. Once this is done, it gives access to a list of all locations falling within the ordinary jurisdiction of the diocesan bishop, including parishes, chapels, schools, gaols, hospitals, and cathedral and diocesan offices. Individual locations can be selected by scrolling and clicking, or by typing the first letter(s rapidly) of the name.

You may find it helpful to identify the form of name used for a particular location in the CCEd by consulting the lists of diocesan locations available in the CCEd website on the Diocesan pages. If you are not sure in which diocese a location is to be found, it is easy to discover this from the CCEd website pages using the various Lists of locations organised by county, type etc.

Remember that in the case of parochial chapels or unidentified parochial schools, the entry will begin with the name of the mother parish.

Once selected, a search with no personal name associated will retrieve all clergy whose career record brought them into association with that location. The search can be limited by date range, or by name elements.

Note that the Location box in the Advanced Search works in a very different way: here free text can be entered and there is no need to select a diocese first. This may therefore be preferable if the user is uncertain of the identity of the location which they wish to investigate. The Advanced Search also gives access to a list of diocesan locations in which peculiar jurisdiction is ignored (Geographical Diocese).

Date range

Select from drop-down menu.

You can use these boxes to limit a search using either or both name and location elements by date. Both ‘start’ and ‘end’ date offer twenty-year intervals. Whether used in association with name or location, the date range limits your results to clerics whose career overlapped with the period identified by the date range. It is important to note that, when dealing with a specific location, the date range does not relate to the tenure of the specific office. Thus the search will return all clerics associated with the location whose career occurred in part within the specified period regardless of whether their association itself fell within this period.

It is also important to note that more generally the date range identifies clergy whose career as recorded within CCEd overlapped the specified period. This career may include birth and death dates, but in many cases only stretches from ordination or the first recorded appointment to the last known date at which they could have departed from a living. This may well be long before death; in certain other cases, where the only evidence for such a departure is a later appointment of another individual and no death date is known, it may be long after death.


Once all required fields have been entered, select ‘Search’ to retrieve search results.

Retrieving your search results

For a search by CCE ID number (Retrieve Record)

For this search the career narrative of the individual cleric is returned in the main result frame below the search form. If you cannot see the full record, you may need to scroll down to see all that has been returned. For advice on interpreting the Career Narrative, see ‘Interpreting Career Narratives’.

Executing a new search, or pressing the ‘reset’ button will clear the results of the previous search.

For a search using name or location

For this kind of search all career narratives meeting the search criteria are returned in the left-hand ‘Person Search Results’ column of the results screen. If you cannot see the full list of records, you may need to scroll down to see all that has been returned. Clicking on any of the names in this column will bring up the selected career narrative in the main screen. For advice on interpreting the Career Narrative, see Interpreting Career Narratives.

Resetting searches

At the bottom of the search frame, alongside the ‘Search’ button, is another button.


This button allows you to clear all the fields in the search engine at one stroke.