England Births and Christenings (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975 .
This index is an electronic index for the years 1538 to 1975. This index is not complete for any particular place, region or time period. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections. For an outdated but very helpful listing of what parishes are indexed in this collection, see RootsWeb IGI Batch Numbers.
Record Content and Use
For details about the contents of these records and help using them see the wiki article Births and Christenings Vital Record Index Collections (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Tips to Keep in Mind
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 FamilySearch 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 useful in 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.
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 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.
- For a very helpful listing of what parishes are indexed in this collection, see Extracted batches for the British Isles.
- Birth, Marriage and Death Registration Quarterly Index - 1837 to present day. 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 indexes 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 offices 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 and 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:
- Free Registers Online 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.
- Free Censuses Online 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
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.
Citations for 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.
- "England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.
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 Births and Christenings, 1538-1975.|