Birth, marriage and death records are an essential resource for family historians, and this handbook is an authoritative introduction to them. It explains the original motives for registering these milestones in individual lives, describes how these record-keeping systems evolved, and shows how they can be explored and interpreted.
Authors David Annal and Audrey Collins guide researchers through the difficulties they may encounter in understanding the documentation. They recount the history of parish registers from their origin in Tudor times, they look at how civil registration was organised in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and explain how the system in England and Wales differs from those in Scotland and Ireland.
The record-keeping practiced by nonconformist and foreign churches, in communities overseas and in the military is also explained, as are the systems of the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. Other useful sources of evidence for births, marriages and deaths are explored and, of course, the authors assess the online sites that researchers can turn to for help in this crucial area of family history research.
1. Parish Registers, Part 1. 'Every Weddyng Christenyng and Buryeng'
2. Parish Registers, Part 2. 'A True and Just Account ... of All Sorts of Persons within the Commonwealth''
3. Parish Registers, Part 3. 'The Imperfect Method ... Generally Pursued'
4. Civil Registration, Part 1. 'A Complete Register of the Births, Deaths and Marriages of His Majesty's Subjects in England'
5. Civil Registration, Part 2. 'It is Expedient to Amend the Acts Relating to the Registration of Births and Deaths in England'
6. Civil Registration, Part 3. 'Indexes of the Registers to be Made and Kept in the General Register Office'
7. Nonconformist Registers: 'That All Registers and Records Deposited in the General Register Office by Virtue of this Act Shall be Receivable in Evidence in All Courts of Justice'
- Presbyterians, Congregationalists and Baptists
- Other Protestant Denominations
- Roman Catholics
- Non-parochial Registers
- Other Registers
8. Overseas and at Sea: 'Any Child of an English Parent Born at Sea on Board a British Vessel'
9. Military Sources: 'The Registration of Deaths, Births and Marriages Among Officers and Soldiers of Her Majesty's Land Forces'
10. Scotland: 'A Complete and Uniform System of Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages should be Established and Maintained in Scotland
11. Ireland: 'A Complete System of Registration of Births and Deaths Should be Established in Ireland'
12. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man
13. Divorce: 'Every Person Seeking a Decree of Nullity of Marriage, or a Decree of Judicial Separation, or a Dissolution of Marriage'
14. Adoption: 'The Registrar-General Shall Establish and Maintain a Register to be Called the Adopted Children Register'
- England and Wales
- Nothern Ireland
- Republic of Ireland
15. Unexpected Sources
16. Accessing the Records
- Civil Registration
- Online Access
- Parish Registers
- Nonconformist and Other Registers
- Roman Catholic Records
- Jewish Records
Appendix: The Legislation