England Births and Christenings (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 Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 .
Collection Time Period
This index covers events from 1538 through 1975.
This index is an electronic database of information compiled from a variety of sources including the following:
- Family Records
- Church Records
- Civil Registration
This index is not complete for any particular place or region.
The key genealogical facts found in birth or christening index entries may include:
- Name of the child
- Names of the parents
- Birth date
- Christening date (if the source is a church record)
- Family History Library Microfilm and item numbers for the source materials
How to Use the Record
Use this index to help you learn more about your ancestors. The information could help you identify family relationships and lineages as well as direct you to original records of your ancestors, which may contain additional information.
In birth or christening records, if a surname is not listed for the child, the indexer often assigns the father’s surname to the child. This surname may not be correct. So if you are looking for a birth or christening, search by the given name of the child, adding parents' names and as much locality information as is permitted.
It may be necessary for you to conduct a number of searches by father's first name variant to identify all children in the index. Before 1812 both parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts vary in entry for baptism and manuscript entries may contain abbreviation like Wm. (William) Thos. (Thomas). Abbreviations, diminutions (Will, Tom) and variant spelling should all be attempted as search parameters and a single Exact search may not return a result for these reasons. This is not a problem within the search engine but the original record data may be outside the possibility you are searching for and you may need to vary the search parameters to identify the data.
By searching on father's name and a wide year range in the parish it is often possible to locate the baptisms of siblings and if the baptismal register contains Mother's first name this may reduce the number of results from a search. It is possible that more than one father with the same given name and surname in the parish may have children baptised in the same period.
In order to identify the source material for an entry in this index, locate the source film number. This can then be searched in the Family History Library Catalog to obtain the relevant film. As FamilySearch wiki builds you will find the source films referred to in tables for each parish. You may use the reference to the individual and event and the reference usefulin conjunction with Photoduplication Services to find a single event or individual or examine the microfilm(s) indicated.Most archives in Britain also offer a similar service if you are resident there but unable to visit the archive where the record is deposited to conduct a personal search.
Duplicated results in a search may be caused by more than one record source on different source films. It is possible that variation in dates for an individual may be due to reading of banns, objections to marriage, marriage bonds, as well as the marriage entry itself. The search engine will return a number of results for events where more than one source is involved. There is also a possibility of human error both in the original record entries in source material and indexing.
Finding the Original Source for an Entry in This Collection
Each entry in this index has a source listed which includes a batch number. You will need to trace the batch number for the individual entry to learn its source. Please see the following wiki articles for more information on batch numbers:
If an FHL film number is given in the entry for your ancestor, search for it in the Family History Library Catalog.
For over 30 years, volunteer indexers extracted this information from microfilm copies or microfilm hard copy print outs of the original records. In 2001, some of the entries were published on 6 CDs by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the "British Isles Vital Records Index: England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales." This is an index of some births or christenings throughout England. The index is not necessarily complete for any particular place or region.
The transcription effort initially was limited in scope and attempted to retrieve simple names, event type, date and place and relationship. More Baptismal and marriage events were included than burials.
Why This Record Was Created
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsored the indexing of this collection to help individuals find information about their ancestors.
Church records and civil registration were official records and are some of the most reliable sources of information available for those who were born, married, or died in England.
Known Issues with This Collection
Known issues include:
- Attribution of births/christenings to the wrong parish.
- Incorrect parish name.
- Attribution of births/christenings from other countries to England parishes.
- Incorrect film numbers.
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection, please read the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, feel free to report them at firstname.lastname@example.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 Web Sites
www.freebmd.org.uk 1837 to present day. Birth, Marriage and Death registration quarterly index, the transcriptions are still in progress and are freely available. The website explains the registration process and its chronological implementation. The website provides access to their images of the index and a double entry checking system for early years of manually compiled quarterly index years before the introduction of typed inddexes as well as the opportunity to correct entries in the database.
The General Register Office had both a local and national index. Many local Registration offiices historical registrations since 1837 are now computerised by either the registration service or by local community volunteers. Within the FamilySearch wiki in individual parish pages you may find links to local databases such as Cheshire BMD, Lancashire BMD which enable you to search for and print applications direct to the local registration service. These arrangements result in much faster certificate production than application to the national agency.
Efforts are underway to provide online access to every local and national registration of Birth, Marriage and death from the September 1837 quarter in England and Wales.
Two other websites are also available,
www.freereg.org.uk a database of church records for some of the English Counties and still "work in progress". Some records are incomplete due to their destruction and others through non-availability.
www.freecen.org.uk a database of the English and Welsh Census records, 1841 and thereafter every 10 years up to 100 years ago (1911 census). This is still a "work in progress" project.
The above websites are all charitable and rely on volunteer transcribers as can be seen from the 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.|
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also 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 Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection:
"England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975." index, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org): accessed March 4, 2011. Entry for William Henry Baker christened, 6 June 1841, citing Church Records, FHL microfilm 1,940,002; Index entries derived from digital copies of originals housed in various repositories throughout England.
Sources of Information for This Collection
"England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975," index, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org). Index entries derived from digital copies of original and compiled records.
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