Warwickshire County Record Office - Parish Registers


Warwickshire County Record Office is working in partnership with the Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry(BMSGH) to sell Warwickshire Parish Registers in the BMSGH shop. 

Warwickshire’s Church of England Parish Registers

Lord Macaulay in the third chapter of his ‘History of England’ emphasises the lack of material available to historians and researchers looking for sources illuminating daily life for the majority of the population. After describing life in England in 1685, he writes, ‘Nothing has yet been said of the great body of the people, of those who held the ploughs, tended the oxen, who toiled at the looms …. Nor can very much be said.’ Family historians and record offices have tried to overcome this lack by promoting and interpreting the resources that are available. Now, by building on the work of family history societies like BMSGH and digitising and indexing these records, they can be widely accessible to all.

Parish registers are the most important single source of information for anyone tracing the history of their family. They contain entries for baptisms, marriages, and burials back to 1538 when the Tudor state decreed that these records should be kept. Unfortunately, early registers for parishes have often been lost, and in many parishes they do not start until after 1600 or even 1700. Early registers can be difficult to read because the handwriting is very different and also because the registers may have been damaged over the centuries. Even allowing for these losses, the registers are often the only source of information about most of Warwickshire’s former residents. Warwickshire County Record Office holds most of the historic registers for parishes in the County, including Coventry, but excluding Birmingham. The only exception to this is Stratford-upon-Avon where the original registers are held by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Record Office. 

Initially, Parish registers are added to the shop as images only, customers can buy copies and browse through the images as if they were viewing the original microfilms. The BMSGH are transcribing and indexing each of the Parish registers and once completed, Parish Register images will be sold along with an index. 

Source Information: Original data provided by Warwickshire County Record Office, courtesy of Warwickshire County Council.
All rights are reserved. Any unauthorised act, including but not limited to, publishing, copying, lending, reselling or hiring of this material will constitute an infringement of copyright. The material must not be made available on the internet nor in any form of publication. Data is for personal research use only. Please respect copyright.
Contact Warwickshire County Record Office on 01926 738959  or Priory Park Cape Road Warwick CV34 4JS for further details or in relation to requests for permissions regarding this material. 

Please support Warwickshire County Record Office in its work to make these unique resources more widely available. All money raised helps to preserve the collections and to make them available now and in the future.

Sam Collenette, Archives and Historic Environment Manager, Warwickshire County Record Office, Heritage and Culture Warwickshire, Priory Park, Cape Road, Warwick CV34 4JS, Tel: 01926 738950, email recordoffice@warwickshire.gov.uk, website http://heritage.warwickshire.gov.uk/warwickshire-county-record-office/

This is a very large project and is being split into phases:

Phase 1 - We will publish Parish Register data in the shop without indexes, ie you can just browse the images, these will be pre 1813 images initially

Phase 2 - Our army of volunteers are busy transcribing images and we will then produce indexes and re-publish in the shop, indexes will tend to be from 1813 onwards in this phase as records are recorded on forms and are easier and quicker to read and transcribe

Phase 3 - Our volunteers will transcribe pre 1813 images and once indexed we will update the item in the shop

Phase 4 - We will produce a Warwickshire County index for Baptisms, Banns, Marriages and Burials.

More Parish Registers will be available shortly, watch this space. If you are interested in one which is not yet listed, please contact us and we will make available as soon as possible.

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