This data collection contains images of Church of England baptism, marriage, and burial records in parish registers from the county of Warwickshire.
Both the British government and the church had an interest in record keeping, and a 1538 act of Parliament required ministers in the Church of England to record baptisms, marriages, and burials. This database includes marriage records from 1550 up until 1812, when George Rose’s Act called for preprinted registers to be used for separate baptism, marriage, and burial registers as a way of standardizing records. For later Warwickshire parish records, see the links provided in the Related Data Collections section.
Children were usually baptized within a few days or weeks of birth. Earlier records generally listed only the name of the infant, the father’s and/or mother’s name, the date of christening, and whether the child was illegitimate.
Couples were usually married in the bride’s parish. Early records generally listed only the names of the bride and groom and their marriage date.
The 1753 Marriage Act required that marriages in England and Wales be performed in a church, by banns or license, and recorded in a separate register on printed forms. Thus, after the act took effect in 1754, marriage banns typically list
- marital status (bachelor, widow, spinsters, etc.)
A note about when the marriage itself was performed was sometimes added to the bottom of the record.
Records of marriage after 1753 are similar and include
- marriage date
- marital status (possibly)
Burials took place within a few days of the deceased’s death. Records generally listed only the name of the deceased and the burial date. However, sometimes other family members were listed as part of the deceased’s name: for example, “Mary wife of John Smith” or “Matthew son of William Clark.” In earlier records it was not uncommon for women to be referred to simply as “wife of [husband’s name].”