England, Norfolk, Parish Registers, County Record Office (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, Norfolk, Parish Registers, County Record Office, 1510-1997 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Norfolk,  England
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Location of Norfolk, England
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Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1510-1997
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Norfolk Record Office

What is in the Collection?

This collection will include records from 1510 to 1997.

Parish registers are some of the best sources for identifying individuals and connecting them to parents, spouses, and other generations. In 1837, 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. 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.

Baptisms (christenings), marriages, and burials were recorded on blank pages in a bound book called a register. The events of baptism, marriage, and burial were all recorded in one volume until 1754, when a law required that marriages be recorded in a separate book. Banns, or proclamations of “an intent” to marry, were recorded in yet another book. They were usually done three separate times prior to the wedding and gave anyone an opportunity to object to the marriage. Starting in 1812, preprinted registers were introduced, and then separate registers were kept for baptisms, marriages, and burials. Before 1812, bishops’ transcripts were usually recorded on loose pieces of paper. Following that year, the transcripts were recorded on the same preprinted forms as parish registers.

In 1537 the Church of England mandated that parishes begin keeping church registers. These church registers continue to the present. Bishops’ transcripts, or copies of parish registers, were required beginning in 1598 and continued to the mid-1800s. It is usually preferable to use the parish registers if they survive as a primary record.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Norfolk, Parish Registers, County Record Office, 1510-1997.

Collection Content

Sample Images

England Church of England Parish Register Christening.jpg England Church of England Parish Register Marriage Before 1754.jpg England Church of England Parish Register Marriage 1747 to 1837.jpg England Church of England Parish Register Marriage after 1837.jpg England Church of England Parish Register Burial.jpg

Baptism records before 1812 from Church of England parish registers may contain the following:

  • Date and place of baptism/christening
  • Child's name and gender
  • Parents' names

Baptism records after 1812 may contain additional information:

  • Date and place of baptism/christening
  • Child's given name and gender
  • Child's legitimacy
  • Parents' names and residence
  • Father's profession or occupation

Marriage records prior to 1754 from Church of England parish registers may contain the following:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Residence
  • Marriage banns
  • After 1754 and before 1837, the full names of witnesses were added

Marriage records after 1837 may contain the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Ages
  • Marital status of the bride and groom
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Groom's occupation
  • Name of groom's father
  • Name of bride's father
  • Dates that the marriage was announced (also called "banns published").

Burial records before 1812 from Church of England parish registers may contain the following:

  • Day, month, year and parish of burial
  • Name of the deceased
  • Name of spouse of deceased

Burial records after 1812 may contain the following:

  • Date and parish of burial
  • Name of deceased
  • Age and gender of deceased
  • Residence of deceased
  • Parents' names (if deceased was a child)
  • Spouse's name (if deceased was married)

How Do I Search the Collection?

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.

To search this collection by name:
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 compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Parish name"
⇒Select the appropriate "Event type"
⇒Select the appropriate "Year or year range" which will take you to the images.

Look at the images, comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. 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.

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 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. The records also list the father’s occupation, which makes it easier to identify your ancestor's family when more than one family with the same name lived in the parish.

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. 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. These can help you identify your ancestor’s family. Signatures in the records might be used to identify a particular individual by the handwriting style.

After 1812, and sometimes before, burial records include the age of the deceased. Use this age to approximate the person’s birth year and to find the baptismal record. If the deceased is a child, the parents’ names might be given. This information helps to extend your family another generation. The occupation of a deceased male might be given (especially after 1812) and can help identify your ancestor when there is more than one person by that name in the area. Knowing the occupation might also provide you the opportunity to find other records about your ancestor.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
  • Titles may be clues to property ownership, occupations, rank, or status within the community.
  • You may need to search for both their Indian name and their English name.
  • Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
  • Check for variant spellings of the names.
  • Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. In addition local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search other record collections in FamilySearch from the Norfolk area.

General Information About These Records

The parish register collection was formed from records microfilmed at the Norfolk Record Office, then converted to digital images. Microfilming may not have completely captured all volumes in each parish. The collection was published in February 2010 online. Where more than one village has the same place name, FamilySearch has adopted a different place name from that used in the Norfolk Record Office Catalog.

Norfolk Parishes may be used to identify each parish in the collection. The Diocese of Norwich may include parishes in Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgeshire. Depending on the period of the register, parishes transferred to neighboring Diocese. Search England Jurisdictions 1851 for relevant information in this regard.

The collection did not include those parishes or microfilms held for the Archdeacon's Transcripts for the Diocese of Norwich. If a parish cannot be located in the historical records collection, establish whether the Archdeacon's transcripts from the diocese exist on microfilm by place search in the FamilySearch Catalog. The Norfolk Record Office also has a PDF file of parishes and Archdeacon's Transcripts on its website.

Known Issues with This Collection

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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 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.

How You Can Contribute

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.

Citing this Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

"England, Norfolk, Parish Registers (County Record Office), 1510-1997." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Church of England, Record Office, Norwich.

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, Norfolk, Parish Registers, County Record Office, 1510-1997.

Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Norfolk, Parish Registers, County Record Office, 1510-1997.