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About Parish Registers

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What are Parish Records?

Parish Records are records of baptisms, marriages, and burials made by the Church. They are a valuable resource for researching your family tree because the census and official records of birth, marriage and death do not go back further than 1837. Parish records can extend your research back to the time of King Henry VIII.

How can Parish Records help me with my research?

These records can help you trace your family roots back through baptisms, marriages, and burials. Most parish records go back to the 1600s, and some even go back to the 1500s.

How do I know which records to search for?

A baptism record would usually give the name of the child, their parents, and where their parents lived. You can use this information to trace their parents, as their marriage record is likely to be in the same place where they live. The marriage record would give you the parishes of both bride and groom, allowing you to trace their parents in the parish, and so on.

What information can I expect to find on these records?

Baptism Records

Marriage Records

Burial Records

On baptism records, you may find the name and date of baptism - the surname and the father and mother's forenames. It is unusual for the mother's maiden name to be recorded, unless the child is illegitimate. Marriage records contain the name of the bride and groom, the Parish where they were married and sometimes details of the brides parish. More details were added to the records in later years. On burial records, you should be able to find the name and father's name. The age was also noted in later records.
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