Do you have Norfolk ancestry? If so, FamilySearch is the site for you! Recently, many Norfolk records have been placed online at FamilySearch. Here is a list of the records and a description of what you might expect to find:
- Parish Registers, 1538-1900. Registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials from the Church of England.
- Bishop’s Transcripts, 1685-1941. Copies of the Church of England parish registers sent to the Bishop. These may or may not contain additional tidbits of information
- Archdeacon’s Transcripts, 1600-1812. Sometimes copies of the parish registers were sent to the Archdeacon instead of the Bishop.
- Marriage Bonds, 1557-1915. If your ancestors were married by License rather than by Banns, then a marriage bond and allegation would be available. The bond was an assurance provided by the bondsmen to the oath of the marriage, that if the marriage oath was broken, then the assurances would be paid.
- Non-conformists Records, 1613-1901. Church records of those not belonging to the Church of England.
- Monumental Inscriptions, 1600-1900’s. The inscriptions on the tombstones of your ancestors.
- Poor Law Records, 1796-1900. If your ancestors were poor and needed assistance they may have been placed in the Workhouse
The Poor Law records may include:
- Admission & discharge books. Those entering and leaving the workhouse. This can list the whole family.
- Baptisms, births, and deaths that occurred in workhouse.
- Workhouse punishment books. Lists those who were punished, the cause of punishment, and the penalty inflicted.
- In-door relief books listing those receiving assistance in the workhouse. These records may list spouse and children.
- Out-door relief books. Those receiving assistance living outside of the Workhouse. These records may list spouse and children.
- Poor Rates. A rate collected from parishioners (lists names) by the Overseers of the Poor to help fund the workhouse.
- Guardian Minute Books. The minute books of the Board of Guardians who oversaw the poor relief in the workhouses.
- Register of Electors, 1844-1952. Those who were eligible to vote.
Although these records have not yet been indexed, the actual images are available for browsing and viewing! In order to be more effective in searching the images, you will need to know the time period in which your ancestors lived and the name of their parish of residence. These digitized images were stored on microfilm and originally were available only at the Family History Library or on loan at one of over 4,500 Family History Centers worldwide. At the beginning of this year, they were made available on FamilySearch.org and can now be accessed anywhere in the world with Internet connection.
For more information on Norfolk Poor Law records, see the England Norfolk Poor Law Union Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) article in the Family Search Research Wiki.