Course details

Parish Registers of England and Wales (115)


Church of England parish registers, the records of baptism, marriage and burial, are the most important source for genealogists wanting to extend their family history research to the period before civil registration. Parish registers can start as early as 1538 in England and Wales and continue in use today. They remain an important resource even after the start of civil registration, providing additional information and supplementing missing civil records in the early years of registration. However, the information contained in parish registers has not remained constant over the centuries. It is important to understand the changes in requirements over time to be able to understand what a record is likely to able to tell you (and what it may not).

This three-lesson course gives you the information and confidence you need to find parish register entries for your ancestors, understand the historical context and interpret your findings. In the first lesson you will learn about the history of parish registers and the many formats in which they appear. More details on the specifics for baptisms, marriages and burials follow in the other two lessons. Lesson Two includes an introduction to old handwriting and Latin, in the context of parish registers. In the final lesson you will bring everything together to construct a family tree. Throughout is discussion on how to access parish registers in various formats and use some of the key websites.

Note: This course was previously titled "All About Parish Registers".

STUDENTS SAID "It highlighted little nuggets of information that are going to be so useful!"

Lesson Headings:
  • * The history of parish registers
  • * Marriage records and an introduction to old handwriting and Latin
  • * Baptism and burial records

See How the Courses Work.

Relevant Countries: England & Wales

Course Length: 3 lessons (around 3 weeks of study)
Start Date:   
Cost: £30.00

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