This database is a collection of historical parish registers from Yorkshire, England. The records in this collection can range in date from the early 1500s to the mid- to late-1800s. Parish records--primarily baptisms, marriages, and burials--provide the best sources of vital record information in the centuries before civil registration. Baptismal records generally list the date of the baptism, the name of the child being baptized, and the name of the father. Marriage records generally include the date of the marriage and the names of the bride and groom. Burial records generally list the date of the burial and the name of the deceased individual. Occasionally burial records will include other bits of information, such as where the individual was from or if he/she was a widow.
Records from various parishes throughout Yorkshire will continually be added to this database for the next couple of months.
What historical background should I know to use this data?
A large number of parish records date from the sixteenth century, when a series of mandates required clergy to compile records of baptisms, marriages, and burials within the parish, and to send an annual copy to the Bishop. Essentially, there are two sets of records: the parish copy and the copy the clergyman sent to the Bishop each year, known as Bishops Transcripts. Many records were destroyed, lost, or simply not kept during the Civil War (1642-60). Of the surviving records, many have since been transcribed and collected by genealogical societies. The records are a valuable resource for finding vital information of people of the time. The content of the records may vary between the two sets.
Civil registration of births, deaths, and marriages, often called General Registration, began in July 1837. It provides a national vital records index that simplifies searches and includes people who may not have been associated with a church. The civil records are more readily available than parish records (parish records after 1837 often aren't filmed) and are easier to use. But many births went unrecorded in the early years of civil registration, so parish records are still extremely valuable.
This information is compiled under licence from the printed parish registers published by the Parish Register Section of the Yorkshire Archaeological Society or the Yorkshire Parish Register Society (together "the Section") and all rights in the material are reserved to the Section. While every care has been taken in transferring the transcripts to this electronic medium, the information may not be complete. The printed volumes on which the following is based may be obtained (in paper or microfiche form) from:
Yorkshire Parish Register Section
Claremont, 23 Clarendon Road
Leeds LS2 9NZ United Kingdom