Starting pre-1837 research in England and Wales?

How do I find births before 1837?

Tracing your family tree before 1837

You will usually find parish registers at the local County Record office, or at websites like TheGenealogist that offer searchable transcripts and original images.

When did English parish records begin?

1538

Parish registers were first created in England in 1538 when Henry VIII established the Church of England. By 1597, during Queen Elizabeth’s reign, the earliest parish registers were rewritten on vellum, or animal skin, from 1558. This helped protect parish registers and make them available for research today.

How far back do parish records go?

Parish records are the most useful sources for discovering your family history before the 1800s. They’re basically birth, death and marriage records created in local churches — going right back to the time of Henry VIII.

Can I search death records for free UK?

An online search of the General Register Office (GRO) on the other hand, can help you find death records between 1837 to 1957 and for free. It gives you the name of the person registered, age at death, and the year of their registration.

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