This collection contains images of Church of England parish registers and bishop’s transcripts of baptism, marriage, and burial records during the years 1532–1812 from various parishes in Northamptonshire, England. In addition to keeping parish registers, lists of baptisms, marriages, and burials were required to be sent to the bishop of the diocese. These copies of the parish registers, called bishop’s transcripts, can sometimes fill in gaps where parish registers are missing. They may vary slightly from the parish registers, however. This may be because an error was made as the information was copied, or a correction or additional details may have been inserted as the copy was being recorded for the bishop. For these reasons, if both copies are available, it’s wise to check both of them.
Both the British government and the church had an interest in record keeping, and a 1538 Act of Parliament required ministers in the Church of England to record baptisms, marriages, and burials. This database includes records with dates ranging from 1532 up until 1812, after which George Rose’s Act called for preprinted registers to be used for separate baptism, marriage, and burial registers as a way of standardizing records.
See the browse on the right to determine which parishes are included in this collection and the date coverage for each parish.
Children were usually baptized within a few days or weeks of birth. The records generally include when baptized and in what parish, child’s Christian name, parents’ given names and the family surname, residence, father’s occupation, and who performed the ceremony. Sometimes you’ll find additional details such as date of birth. Early records may contain less detail.
Couples were usually married in the bride’s parish. Marriage records typically include the bride and groom’s names, residence, date and location of the marriage, names of witnesses, condition (bachelor, spinster, widow, or widower), and the name of the officiant. Some records may also include the father’s name and occupation. Early records may contain less detail.
Burials took place within a few days of death. Records generally list the name of the deceased, residence, burial date, and age at death. Early records may contain less detail.
Nov 2019: Added images and indexes previously missing for Towcester 1714-1777 Parish Register.