England, Devon, Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: England, Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912 .
Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The England, Plymouth and West Devon, Parish Registers collection is available to the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The images can be viewed at a FamilySearch Center near you.
This collection contains baptisms, marriages, and burials from parishes in West Devon. This collection was done in cooperation with FindMyPast, and a full version of the index can be found at www.findmypast.co.uk.
Church records are the main source for identifying people prior to 1837 when civil registration began. It is also a main source after 1837 in conjunction with civil registration. The Church of England was formed in 1536, after King Henry VIII severed all ties to the church in Rome. Each local parish was responsible to register all marriages, baptisms and burials starting in 1538. The governing of each parish created a group of records known as Parish chest records. The Church of England has dominated the religious scene in England; therefore it is likely that this is where you will find your ancestors. As time passes other religions began to organize and keep their own records. Those that did not belong to the Church of England were referred to as Nonconformists. The main influence of nonconformism was in larger towns and cities.
Parish registers often record only the marriage date and the names of the bride and groom. The records may also include the marital status and the parish of residence of both parties, the groom’s occupation, signatures of witnesses, and the minister’s name, especially after 1754. Starting in 1813, marital status and occupations may be given. Names of witnesses are also given.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "England, Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Brightsolid. FindMyPast.co.uk.
Baptism records usually contain the following information:
- Date of baptism, sometimes with birth date
- Child's name
- Names of parents
- Occupation of father
Marriage records usually contain the following information:
- Full name of bride and groom
- Maiden name of bride
- Date and place of marriage
- Names of witnesses
Burial records usually contain the following information:
- Name of deceased
- Date of burial
- Age in Years and Months
- Date of death
- Place of death
How to Use the Record
To begin your search in the baptism records, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
- Names of parents
- Approximate year and place of birth
To begin your search in the marriage records, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
- Name of bride or groom
- Approximate year and place of marriage
To begin your search in the burial records, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:
- Name of deceased
- Approximate year and place of death
Search the Collection
To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals 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 the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
- Use the birth year in the marriage and death records to search for baptism records.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
If you can't find the information that you are looking for, consider the following to help you in your search:
- Surnames are often found under unexpected spellings.
- Events are filed by the date registered, not the date they occurred (for example, a birth on 20 March which was registered on 6 April will be in the April-May-June quarter).
- Indexes were prepared by hand and may contain copying errors (for example, "T" for "F") or omissions.
- A person may have been registered under a different name than he or she used later in life.
- Some marriages were indexed by the name of only one spouse.
- A woman’s surname in the marriage index may be her surname from a previous marriage.
- Persons with common names may be difficult to identify in the index.
- Some deaths were registered as "unknown."
- A child born before the parents’ marriage may be registered under the mother’s maiden name.
- Some children were registered as "male" or "female" if a name had not been selected before registration.
Known Issues with This Collection
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 email@example.com. 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.
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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
Citations for individual image records are available for this collection. Browse through images in this collection and click on the “Show Citation” box: England, Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912
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.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
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