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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Parish Atlas1538-1832

This Parish Atlas isn't just packed with interesting information - it's a huge help when tracing ancestors in our parish records. It outlines old parishes in England, Wales and Scotland, shows how boundaries have changed over the years and reveals nearby parishes you should be checking as well.

You can look for a parish in the Atlas itself, or follow direct links to it from many of our relevant collections - including the 1851 Census.

Lancashire Records1538-1986

We've added more than 5 million new records to our existing Lancashire parish records. So, if you've sturggled to find your family in the past, it's worth trying again now.

You'll find baptisms up to 1911, marriages to 1936, and burials until as recent as 1986. There are lots of different ways to pinpoint your relatives - try name variants, spouses' and parents' names, and nearby parishes.

Manchester Records1758-1987

Search our Manchester Non-conformist Records, 1758-1987, for family members you can’t find in our parish records. The collection contains birth, marriage, and death records from non-conformist congregations – those from churches outside the Church of England.

Discover plenty of information for your tree, including relatives’ names, birth dates, parents’ names and jobs, when they married, where they lived, and when they died.

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Parish records introduction

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.

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