Church Records, Research Guide

Church Records
Research Guide


Parish registers are the main resource for genealogists prior to the start of Civil Registration in 1837. From early times till the 19th century everyone was legally required to regularly attend church. At certain periods, exemptions were made for Jews, Quakers and some foreigners. Systematic keeping of registers by the Church of England began in the 16th centrury. In 1538 it was decreed that every parish priest must record, with the names of the parties, every baptism, marriage and death in a book which was to be filled in every Sunday after service, and then kept under lock and key.
Therefore, the parish registers should be a complete record of all births deaths and marriages. However, early registers were kept on paper which deteriorated over time. In 1598 it was ordered that registers should be kept on parchmant and that existing paper registers should be copied onto parchment. The requirement to copy paper registers was not stricly followed for various reasons and now very few of the original paper registers exist. So any registers that you find that date prior to 1598 are more than likely copies and therefore immediately subject to the possibility of transcription error.
From 1650 Jews and Quakers were exempted from having to use parish registers, partly because they kept registers of their own which were at least as good as those created by the Anglican church. Catholics were not so exempted.
The act of 1598 also required that each parish should on a yearly basis send a transcript of all register entries for the previous year to the diocesan registry. These "Bishops Transcripts" can help to fill in gaps where the original registers are missing. However, they are in practice less complete, less reliable, and often less well preserved than the orginal registers.

IGI Online Search - Note: not all church records filmed by the LDS have been transcribed into the IGI
IGI Batch Numbers Derbyshire Parishes A - M
IGI Batch Numbers Derbyshire Parishes N - Z
Family History Library Catalogue - Place Search to identify what church records are on film
FreeReg Project's objective is to provide free Internet searches of baptism, marriage, and burial records, which have been transcribed from parish and non-conformist church registers in the UK.
South Derbyshire Parishes
Repton & Gresley Hundred, South Derbyshire Parish Register Transcripts
UK BDM Exchange
Derbyshire Churches and Chapels
Photographs of Derbyshire Churches
Parish Locator Program - Invaluable for identifying neighbouring parishes

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This webpage was last updated Wednesday, 08-Oct-2014 11:25:44 MDT