England, Devon, Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)
This collection consists of parish records from the western part of the county of Devon for the years 1538-1912.
|Access the Records|
England, Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of England|
|Location of Devon, England|
|Record Type||Parish Registers|
|Find My Past|
- 1 Why Should I Look at This Collection?
- 2 What is in the Collection?
- 3 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 4 What Do I Do Next?
- 5 Known Issues with This Collection
- 6 Citing this Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
Why Should I Look at This Collection?
Parish registers have been kept at the local level across England since the mid-1500s. Due to this long and relatively stable tradition, these records are central to English genealogical research as they are often one of the only sources for finding families and individuals in England before the start of civil registration in 1837.
To learn more about parish registers, please see the England Parish Registers page.
What is in the Collection?
The index to this collection refers to baptism, marriage, and burial records. This collection was done in cooperation with FindMyPast, and a full version of the index can be found at their website.
To Browse This Collection
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912.|
Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images of digitized records available for all users. However, the rights to view images on this website are ultimately granted by the record custodians. Due to their restrictions, the images in this collection are not available for general viewing, but may be accessed at a local family history center, at the Family History Library, or online by members of the supporting organization(s).
For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.
This table lists the parishes represented in this collection, as well as the types and years of records available for them. The numbers in parentheses are the Digital Folder Numbers.
|Plymouth St Andrew||1822-1826 (4634281)|
| 1581-1618 (4634280)
1858-1877 certificates (4634221)
1927-1931 banns (4634220)
| 1581-1618 (4634280)|
How Do I Search This Collection?
You can find records either by searching the index or viewing the record images. Before using either search method, it is best to know the following information:
- Name of the person
- Date range for the record
As you search, compare your results with this information to find a match.
Search the Index
- Go to the collection page.
- Enter the requested information into the search box.
- Click Search to return a list of possible matches.
View the Images
- On the coverage table above, find the entry referring to the correct parish, record type, and year range.
- Once you have located the correct entry, make note of the Digital Folder Number in the parentheses.
- Go to this list of digital folder numbers.
- Find the number that matches the number you found in the coverage table. Please note that the numbers on the browse page all have 00 at the beginning; they should otherwise be identical to those in the coverage table.
- Click on the digital folder number to go to the image viewer.
- Use the onscreen controls to move between record images as you look for a match.
What Do I Do Next?
I Found the Person I Was Looking for, What Now?
- Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the index entry for future reference; see below for assistance in citing this collection.
- Look at an image of the original record, if possible. The index entry generally lists only the most basic identifying information for an individual; the original record may contain further information which was not indexed. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
- Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
- If in the appropriate period, use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in civil records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are the England Census and the England Civil Registration records.
- Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?
- If possible, look at an image of the actual record to verify the information listed in the index entry.
- When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
- Check for variants of given names and surnames. An individual might appear under a different name in a record for a variety of reasons:
- Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so the name was written according to its pronunciation. Pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try other spelling variations that could have that pronunciation.
- Individuals might have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name.
- For women, it was not uncommon to revert to a maiden name after the death of a husband.
- Simple clerical errors were always possible.
- Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches. Alternatively, try expanding the date range; this is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth.
- Search the records of nearby parishes. While it was uncommon for an individual in this period to move more than about 20 miles from their place of birth, smaller relocations were not uncommon. For this particular collection, this step may require finding records in the bordering English counties of Cornwall to the west or Somerset and Dorset to the east.
- Some parish records might have been lost over time. If possible, use Bishop's Transcripts as a substitute. See the Devon Bishops' Transcripts page for more information.
- The individual in question may not have records in the Church of England at all, but rather might have belonged to a nonconformist denomination. See England Nonconformist Church Records for more information.
For additional help searching online collections see FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
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 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.
Citing this Collection
Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer to information which has already been found, so proper citations are key to keeping track of research. Correct citations also allow others to check completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.
Below are the proper citations to use for this collection as well as for individual records and images within the collection:
- "England, Devon, Parish Registers, 1538-1912."Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. From "Church of England parish registers 1538-1911." Database and images. findmypast. http://www.findmypast.com : n.d. Citing images provided by FamilySearch International.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.