England, Bristol 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.


Record Description

This collection includes Church of England parish registers from the county of Essex and dated from 1538 to 1900. The registers contain birth, marriage, and death records.

Church of England parish registers are the most reliable and accurate family history source up until July 1837, when 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. Parish registers are one of the best sources for identifying individuals and connecting them to parents, spouses, and other generations. Information in parish registers and bishops’ transcripts can be verified against each other.

The FamilySearch Wiki contains detailed background on Church of England Parish Registers.

A list of the parishes and events included in this collection are found at: England Bristol Church of England Parish Registers and Bishops Transcripts Coverage Table

Record Content

Baptism records may contain the following information:

  • Name and gender of child
  • Date of baptism
  • Place of baptism
  • Parents' names
  • List of witnesses

Marriage records may contain the following information:

  • Marriage date
  • Place of marriage
  • Name and age of bride
  • Name and age of groom
  • Residence of bride
  • Residence of groom
  • Marital status of bride and groom
  • Parents' names
  • Names of witnesses

Burial records may contain the following information:

  • Name and gender of deceased
  • Age of deceased
  • Residence
  • Marital Status
  • Date and place of death
  • Cause of death
  • Name of parents or spouse of 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

Search the Collection

To search the collection by index:
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 and Tricks.

Using the Information

  • Use the age to approximate the person’s birth year and to find the baptismal record.
  • 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 calculate an 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. Use this information to search for census and other records.
  • Marriage records sometimes state the residence for the bride and groom. You can use this information to look for their baptisms and to identify the children of this couple.
  • 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Be aware the Residence field may have the place hierarchy backward with the parish and town being in reverse order.
  • After 1812 and sometimes before, burial records include the age of the deceased.
  • If the deceased is a child, the parents’ names might be given. This information helps to extend your family another generation.
  • Sometimes the groom’s occupation is listed, which could help you find more records about the groom. Marriage records after 1754 list the names of witnesses, who were often family members.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

Bishops’ transcripts are a backup source for parish registers that are missing or illegible. 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.

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Don't overlook FHL Place England, Bristol items or FHL Keyword England, Bristol 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

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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

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.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citation:

"England, Bristol Parish Registers, 1538-1900." Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing Church of England. Record Office, Bristol.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for England, Bristol Parish Registers, 1538-1900.


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  • This page was last modified on 7 April 2015, at 20:59.
  • This page has been accessed 24,327 times.