England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

This collection will include records from 1538 to 1910.

The collection consists of Church of England parish registers containing baptisms, marriages/banns, and burials. Date ranges of available records may vary by locality. The marriage information may have come from either a marriage record or from a record of banns of marriage.

In 1530, King Henry VIII established the Church in England, also known as the Anglican Church, the State Church, or the Episcopal Church. A law passed in 1537 required ministers to record the baptisms, marriages, and burials that took place in their parishes. Priests recorded these events in registers and kept them at the parish level, which is the lowest level of authority in the Church of England. Within some parishes, chapelries were created to provide for the worship needs of the parishioner when the parish church was not easily accessible. Chapelries sometimes had the authority to perform baptisms, marriages, and burials, so they kept their own registers. Several parishes formed a deanery (presided over by a dean), several deaneries formed an archdeaconry (presided over by an archdeacon), and several archdeaconries formed a diocese (presided over by a bishop).

Beginning in 1598, ministers were required to send copies of their registers to an archdeacon or bishop annually. These copies are referred to as bishops’ transcripts, or sometimes archdeacon transcripts. As a result, two copies of many parish registers exist from 1598 to about the mid-1800s. After civil registration began in 1837, the value of keeping bishops’ transcripts diminished, so by 1870 most parishes had stopped making them.

Banns are proclamations of an intent to marry. After 1754, these banns were required to be read for three consecutive Sundays before a marriage so that anyone with reasons against the marriage could oppose it. Banns were read in both the bride’s parish and the groom’s parish. An alternative was to apply for a license to marry either to the local Diocese or to the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Most bishops’ transcripts of Church of England parish registers have been preserved. Many have also been copied to microfilm or microfiche. The condition of the records is relatively good considering their age and their storage conditions over the centuries. In 1598, ministers were required to copy their registers onto parchment. If the minister failed to make such a copy, the register for that parish and its records did not survive. During the Commonwealth period, 1649–1660, many parish registers disappeared, and many transcripts were not kept because ministers were deposed from their parishes.

Parish registers were created to record church events of baptism or christening, marriage, and burial. Baptismal entries usually list the person’s birth date, and burial entries list the death date. In the Church of England, baptism, which was also called christening, was performed soon after the birth of a child. Marriage in the church legally united a man and a woman for civil legal reasons and for the purpose of founding a religiously sanctified family. Burial is a function of the church to inter the deceased soon after death.

Church of England parish registers are the most reliable and accurate family history source until July 1837, when the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. Information in parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts can be verified against each other. There are often variations in Bishop's Transcripts of names and spellings. Bishop's Transcripts may also omit years or part of years and are incomplete according to Diocesan practice and preservation.

List of Parishes With Available Records

Aldercar

Alfreton

Alsop En Le Dale

Alvaston

Ashbourne

Ashford In The Water

Aston-on-trent

Bakewell

Barlborough

Barrow Upon Trent

Baslow

Beeley

Belper

Blackwell

Bolsover

Bonsall

Boulton

Boylestone

Bradbourne

Bradwell

Brailsford

Brampton

Brassington

Bretby

Brimington

Buxton

Calke

Calow

Carsington

Castleton

Chapel-en-le-frith

Chellaston

Chelmorton

Chesterfield

Church Broughton

Clay Cross

Clowne

Codnor

Cotmanhay

Crich

Cromford

Dalbury

Darley Abbey

Darley Dale

Denby

Denby Common

Derby

Dore

Doveridge

Dronfield

Duffield

Eckington

Edale

Edensor

Edlaston

Egginton

Elvaston

Etwall

Eyam

Fenny Bentley

Findern

Foremark

Glossop

Great Longstone

Great Wilne

Hallam Fields

Harpur Hill

Hartington

Hartshorne

Hathersage

Hayfield

Hazelwood

Heage

Heanor

Heath

Hognaston

Holbrook

Holmesfield

Hope

Horsley

Horsley Woodhouse

Hulland

Idridgehay

Ironville

Kedleston

Killamarsh

King Sterndale

Kirk Hallam

Kirk Ireton

Kirk Langley

Little Eaton

Littleover

Long Eaton

Longford

Longlane

Lullington

Mapleton

Mapperley

Marston Montgomery

Marston On Dove

Matlock

Melbourne

Mellor

Mickleover

Milford

Monyash

Morley

Morton

Mugginton

Newbold

Newhall

Newton Solney

Norbury

North Wingfield

Ockbrook

Old Brampton

Old Whittington

Overseal

Parwich

Peak Forest

Pentrich

Pilsley

Pinxton

Pleasley

Quarndon

Radbourne

Repton

Riddings

Ridgeway

Ripley

Risley

Rowsley

Sandiacre

Sawley

Scarcliffe

Scropton

Shardlow

Sheldon

Shipley

Shirebrook

Shirley

Shottle

Smalley

Smisby

Snelston

Somercotes

Somersal Herbert

South Wingfield

Spondon

Stanley

Stanton

Staveley

Stoney Middleton

Sudbury

Swanwick

Swarkestone

Tansley

Thorpe

Ticknall

Tideswell

Tissington

Town End

Turnditch

Upper Langwith

Wardlow

Wessington

West Hallam

Whaley Thorns

Whittington Moor

Whitwell

Wingerworth

Winshill

Winster

Wirksworth

Woodville

Yeaveley

Record Content

Baptismal Records

Church of England parish register baptism records usually contain:

  • Baptism date
  • Name of the child
  • Gender of the child
  • Legitimacy of the child
  • Marital status of the parents
  • Social class of the parents
  • Name of the father and often mother’s given name
  • May list the residence of the parents, especially after 1812

Marriage Records

Church of England parish register marriage records usually contain:

  • Marriage date
  • Name of the bride and groom
  • Age of the bride and groom
  • May list names of parents or other relatives
  • Residence of the bride and groom
  • Marital status of individuals and couples
  • May list the dates that the marriage was announced (also called “banns published”). This normally took place on three separate occasions prior to the marriage and gave anyone with a valid reason a chance to object to the marriage.
  • After 1754, the full names of witnesses
  • After 1837, the full names of the fathers
  • May note if a spouse is single or widowed at the time of the marriage

Burial Records

Church of England parish register burial records usually contain:

  • Burial date
  • Name of the deceased. If the deceased is a child, the father’s name might be given. If the deceased is a married woman, the husband’s name might be given.
  • Age of the person
  • Residence of the deceased
  • May give the sex of the deceased
  • Residence of the deceased

How to Use the Record

To search for a person in a Church of England parish register, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Where the person lived and the corresponding parish
  • When the person lived; if you do not know the time period, you must estimate it from what you know of more recent generations. A useful means of locating parishes prior to 1851 is England Jurisdictions 1851 available at maps.familysearch.org

Search the Collection

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

Baptism or christening records list the parents’ names, making it possible for you to connect your ancestor to an earlier generation. You may find a birth date listed or be able to approximate a birth date. After 1812, the baptismal records list a place of residence, making it easier to identify your family by where they lived. The records also list the father’s occupation, which makes it easier to identify your ancestor's family when more than one family with the same name lived in the parish.

Marriage records after 1754 list the names of witnesses, who were often family members. These can help you identify your ancestor’s family. Signatures in the records might be used to identify a particular individual by the handwriting style.

Banns indicate the parish of residence of the bride and groom. This information often leads to the records of another parish. You can search for the baptisms of the bride and groom in the parishes of residence since these might also be the parishes where they were born.

If possible, you may want to search both the parish registers and the bishops’ transcripts since one is a handwritten copy of the other and might contain differences.

After 1812, and sometimes before, burial records include the age of the deceased. Use this age to approximate the person’s birth year and to find the baptismal record. If the deceased is a child, the parents’ names might be given. This information helps to extend your family another generation. The occupation of a deceased male might be given (especially after 1812) and can help identify your ancestor when there is more than one person by that name in the area. Knowing the occupation might also provide you the opportunity to find other records about your ancestor.

General Information About These Records

Parish registers are one of the best sources for identifying individuals and connecting them to parents, spouses, and other generations. In July 1837 the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. However, parish registers continue to play an important role because they are often more readily available than civil registers. Bishops’ transcripts are a backup source for parish registers that are missing or illegible.

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Don't overlook FHL Place England, Derbyshire items or FHL Keyword England, Derbyshire items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see England Archives and Libraries.

Known Issues with This Collection

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For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

National Archives

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.


Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"England, Derbyshire, Church of England Parish Registers, 1538-1910." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Church of England. Record Office, Matlock.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 18 June 2014, at 17:10.
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