Parish records

Parish records are the most useful sources for discovering your family history before the 1800s. They’re basically birth, death and marriage records created in local churches — going right back to the time of Henry VIII.

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Bexley Parish Records1558-1985

These parish records from the London borough of Bexley are a great place to find your ancestors. If you’ve drawn a blank in other London parish collections, you could have success with these baptism, marriage and burial records.

Spanning five centuries, this collection is extra comprehensive as it includes cemetery registers. These are different to burial records as they cover those buried in civil cemeteries – so you can find both church and civil records here.

Gloucestershire Records1538-1988

Piece together vital information with more than 3 million records from parishes across Gloucestershire — from the Forest of Dean to the Cotswolds.

This collection contains baptism, marriage and burial records dating back to 1538, three centuries before civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales. Discover your ancestors’ important life events and the fascinating context in which they took place.

Wigan Parish Records1580-1979

The historic town of Wigan has a long and important heritage, with a large population even before the Industrial Revolution because of its coal mines and cotton mills.

This valuable collection contains Church of England baptism, burial and marriage records – all key events in your ancestors’ lives. You could discover extra details too, like professions, addresses and names of other family members. Make sure you check here if you've been struggling to find family in other parts of old Lancashire.

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Recommended parish records

London Parish Records1538-1980

Our London parish records are among the most popular collections on our site — not least because they cover such a huge percentage of the country’s population.

These baptism, marriage and burial registers provide a complete picture of life in our capital city over more than 400 years. Even if your family doesn’t come from London, it’s likely that at least a few members moved there in search of fame or fortune.

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Irish Catholic Registers1742-1884

Although the official Church of Ireland was Anglican in the 18th and 19th centuries, most people refused to conform. This means Catholic records are your best bet for tracing early births, marriages and deaths.

Split into baptism, marriage and burial records, these comprehensive registers reveal names, dates, places and often other family members. And because they date back before the Great Famine, you’ll find many ancestors who later fled the country for new homes abroad.

West Yorkshire Parish1512-1997

The great wool towns of West Yorkshire were among the first in England to join the machine age, and with the Industrial Revolution their populations swelled. Millions of people have roots in the area, and this collection will take you back through the generations.

The records provide details of over 8 million baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials. You can trace family lines through the booming 18th and 19th centuries, and all the way back beyond the Civil War.