Parish registers (PRs) were first required to be kept in England in 1538. In
addition, a duplicate was sent annually to the Bishop of the diocese concerned,
these being referred to as Bishop's Transcripts (BTs). Most of the later PRs
and BTs have survived, but there are many gaps in the earlier series. Except
for very recent ones, surviving BTs and PRs have generally been microfilmed or
microfiched. In addition many PRs and some BTs have been transcribed, both by
individuals or by societies, this process having accelerated in recent years as
interest in family tree research has increased.
The following lists have been gradually compiled on an individual county basis,
generally up to the end of the 19th Century so as not include persons still
living. As far as possible they have been checked against the original records,
usually on microfiche or microfilm, as transcripts, including IGI entries, have
often been found to contain errors and omissions.
In 1837 a standardised civil registration system was introduced, centrally
administered and indexed by the General Register Office in London. Registration
certificates provide more information than that entered in parish registers,
whose use has declined with the drop in church attendance in recent years.