Source Information Dorset, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: Dorset Parish Registers. Dorchester, England: Dorset History Centre.

About Dorset, England, Births and Baptisms, 1813-1906

This database contains images of Church of England baptism and christening records in registers from parishes in Dorset County.

Parish Records

Before civil registration in England began in 1837, key events in a person’s life were typically recorded by the church rather than the state. Parish records are the best source of vital record information in England before the nineteenth century and remain an important source thereafter.

Baptismal and Christening Records

Children were usually baptized (or christened) in the Church of England within a few days or weeks of birth. The forms used for the baptismal records in this database recorded the

  • baptismal date
  • child’s name
  • parents’ names
  • parish (abode)
  • occupation
  • person who performed the ceremony

Earlier Records

In 1812, George Rose’s Act called for preprinted registers to be used for separate baptism, marriage, and burial registers as a way of standardizing records. These standardized registers are included in this collection.