England, Northampton, Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
Northamptonshire,  England
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Location of Northamptonshire, England
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Record Description
Record Type Church Records
Collection years 1537-1900
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes church records from the county of Northampton for the years 1537-1900. The records were filmed at the Northamptonshire Record Office in Wootton Hall Park, Northampton, England.

One of the 39 historic counties of England, Northampton, or Northamptonshire as it was known during the period of this collection, is an inland county located in the East Midlands of England. For a list of civil parishes historically belonging to this county with links to more information about each of them, see the Northamptonshire Parishes page.

Collection Content

This collection includes mixed christening (baptism), marriage, and burial records.

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 the listed information, as the procedures for keeping parish records evolved considerably over the centuries after 1537. It must also be noted that individual parishes often developed record-keeping traditions unique to themselves.

Christening Records may contain:
Before 1812

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Full name of child
  • Sex of child

Included after 1812

  • Legitimacy of child
  • Full names of parents
  • Residence of parents *Marital status of parents
  • Occupations of parents
  • Names of godparents
  • Names, ages, occupations, and residences of witnesses
  • Name of minister

Marriage Records may contain:
Before 1754

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Full names of bride and groom
  • Dates of the proclamation of banns
  • Residences of bride and groom

Included after 1754

  • Full names of witnesses
  • Name of minister

Included after 1837

  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Previous marital statuses of bride and groom
  • Full names of parents
  • Occupation of groom

Burial Records may contain:
Before 1812

  • Date and place of burial
  • Name of deceased
  • Marital status of deceased
  • Name of spouse

Included after 1812

  • Age at death
  • Residence of deceased
  • Name of father, esp. if infant
  • Sex of deceased, esp. if infant

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
If granted the rights to view the digitized records in this collection (see below), the images may be accessed by following this series of links:
⇒ Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "Record Type"
⇒ Select the "Year Range"
⇒ Select the "Volume Number" 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.

Some of the records in this collection may be written in an old script that can 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, 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 the Family History Library or at a local Family History Center.

What Do I Do Next?

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

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference. See below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
  • 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.
  • 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?

  • 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; transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record. Also remember that it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name, especially in church records. See Abbreviations Found in Genealogy Records for examples of common 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 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 Leicestershire, Rutland, and Lincolnshire to the north; Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, and Bedfordshire to the east; Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire to the south; or Warwickshire to the west. 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.

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

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Don't overlook FHL Place England, Northamptonshire items or FHL Keyword England, Northamptonshire 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 for both this particular collection as well as individual images within the collection:

Collection citation:

" Northampton, Church Records, 1537-1900." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Northamptonshire Record Office, Wootton Hall Park.

Image citation:

The image citation will be available once the collection is published.

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.