Parish Registers : A History and Guide
Parish registers are the earliest comprehensive records of baptisms, marriages and burials in England and Wales, dating from 1538. They are still kept, despite the fact that civil registers of births, marriages and deaths have been maintained since 1837 . Parish registers are valuable sources for family and local historians, and may provide the only evidence we have for the existence of our ancestors.
The history and background of parish registers must be understood if they are to be used effectively. Researchers need to know where they can be found, what indexes are available, and, most importantly, what pitfalls to look out for. The aim of this book is to outline their history, to assess the value of the evidence they provide, and to explain how to use them.