Source Information

Ancestry.com. Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531-1812 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2016.
Original data: Anglican Parish Registers. Somerset Archives & Local Studies, South West Heritage Trust, Taunton, England.

About Somerset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1531-1812

This collection contains images of Church of England parish registers of baptism, marriage, and burial records during the years 1531–1813 from the county of Somerset, England.

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 records with dates ranging from 1531 up until 1812, after which George Rose’s Act called for preprinted registers to be used for separate baptism, marriage, and burial registers as a way of standardizing records.

See the browse on the right to determine which parishes are included in this collection and the date coverage for each parish.

About Baptisms:

Children were usually baptized within a few days or weeks of birth. The records generally include when baptized and in what parish, child’s Christian name, parents’ given names and the family surname, residence, father’s occupation, and who performed the ceremony. Sometimes you’ll find additional details such as date of birth. Early records may contain less detail.

About Marriages:

Couples were usually married in the bride’s parish. Marriage records typically include the bride and groom’s names, residence, date and location of the marriage, names of witnesses, condition (bachelor, spinster, widow, or widower), and the name of the officiant. Some records may also include the father’s name and occupation. Early records may contain less detail.

About Burials:

Burials took place within a few days of death. Records generally list the name of the deceased, residence, burial date, and age at death. Early records may contain less detail.

Please note that these images cannot be re-published or distributed without the permission of South West Heritage Trust.