England, Warwickshire, Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, Warwickshire, Parish Registers 1535-1984 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Warwickshire,  England
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Location of Warwickshire, England
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Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1535-1984
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Warwickshire County Record Office

What is in the Collection?

This collection contains church records from Warwickshire, covering the period 1535-1984. Availability of records may vary by year and locality.

A parish register is a record of ordinances performed in the Church of England. Every minister recorded all the baptisms (officially termed “christenings”), marriages, and burials which took place in his parish each year, and bound them into a single, handwritten volume. After 1754, a new law required that marriages be recorded in a separate book, and banns, or proclamations of the intent to marry put forth in the parishes of both the bride and groom, were to be recorded in yet another book. Starting in 1812, pre-printed registers were introduced, and separate registers were then kept for baptisms, marriages, and burials.

Often kept within a county record office or other archive repository, registers 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.

Further information: Church of England Parish Registers

One of the 39 historic counties, Warwickshire is an inland county located in the West Midlands region of England. For a list of all the parishes in this county with links to more information about each of them, see Warwickshire Parishes.

Collection Content

This collection contains baptismal, banns, marriage, and burial records. Banns and marriage record entries together are the most common in this collection, followed by baptismal records, with burial records constituting the smallest portion. Approximately half the records in this collection are post-1837 entries, whereas less than twenty percent are pre-1753.

Sample Image

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The following lists indicate potential information given in each type of record. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all of the listed information.

Baptismal Records may contain:

  • Date and Place of baptism
  • Name of child
  • Sex of child
  • Legitimacy of the child
  • Marital status of parents
  • Social status of parents
  • Names of parents
  • After 1812, residence of the parents

Marriage Records may contain:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of bride and groom
  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Previous marital statuses of bride and groom
  • Names of parents
  • Marital status of other individuals and couples
  • Dates of the proclamation of banns
  • After 1754, full names of witnesses
  • After 1837, full names of fathers

Burial Records may contain:

  • Date and place of burial
  • Name of deceased
  • Age at death
  • Residence of deceased
  • Marital status of deceased
  • Name of spouse
  • Name of father, esp. if infant
  • Sex of deceased

How Do I Search the Collection?

Before beginning a search in these records, it is best to know the full name of the individual in question, as well as an approximate time range for the desired record. When entered into the search engine on the Collection Page, this information provides the quickest, most reliable path to finding the correct person. Of course, other information can be substituted as necessary.

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page to return a list of possible matches. Compare the individuals on the list with what is already known to find the correct family or person. This step may require examining multiple individuals before a match is located.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page
Follow this series of steps to search the digitized records directly:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the "Record Type" heading to go to the images

Compare the information found on the images with what is already known determine if a particular record relates to the correct person. This process may require examining multiple records before the correct person is located.

Many of the records in this collection are written in an old script that may be challenging to read. Refer to BYU’s Script Tutorial for assistance with reading the records.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images of digitized records available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on this website are granted by the record custodians. Due to their restrictions on this collection, certain records may not be displayed in any electronic format and therefore are not available for viewing online. However, some images in this collection may not be available for general viewing, but can be accessed by registered FamilySearch Patrons at the Family History Library or a Family History Center. Registration for a free FamilySearch account can be done here.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking for, What Now?

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record for future reference. See below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if allowed to do so.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the estimated age given in a marriage or burial record to calculate an approximate year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • 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 collection 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?

  • 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, surnames, and place names. Remember that it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name in a church record. See Abbreviations Found in Genealogy Records for some common examples of abbreviations. Note that some women reverted to their maiden name when their husband died, and therefore could be buried under their maiden name.
  • 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 40 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 Worcestershire and Staffordshire to the west, Derbyshire to the north, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire to the east, or Oxfordshire and Gloucestershire to the south. Note that marriages usually took place in the parish where the bride resided.
  • Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible.
  • 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 on nonconformist records.

For additional help searching online collections see FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

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Don't overlook FHL Place England, Warwickshire items or FHL Keyword England, Warwickshire items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see England Archives and Libraries.

Citing this Collection

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer back to information that has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore indispensable to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established formulae in formatting citations also allows others to verify completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.

To be of use, citations must include information such as the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records, if available. The following examples demonstrate how to present this information, and can serve as templates for creating proper citations for both this particular collection and individual records and images within the collection:

Collection Citation:

"England, Warwickshire Parish Registers, 1535-1984." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Church of England, Record Office, Warwick.

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, Warwickshire Parish Registers, 1535-1984.

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 Alaska, Coroner's Inquests Records, 1908-1940.

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.