There are 56,608 records in this collection, transcribed by the volunteers of the Somerset and Dorset Family History Society and covering 144 Dorset parishes.

Dorset is a rural county in the south west of England, bordered on the English Channel coast. On the west it borders Devon, with Somerset to the north west, Wiltshire to the north east and Hampshire to the east.

It has been inhabited since Stone Age times. More recently the Industrial Revolution largely by-passed the county and it remains largely rural to this day. One of the noted landmarks is carved into the hillside near the village of Cerne Abbas – the famous Cerne Abbas Giant is a huge stylised male figure brandishing a club. Its origins are unclear. The earliest recorded mention is in the 17th century but the figure is thought to be far older by many.