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How Findmypast's parish records can transform your family history

3-4 minute read

By Niall Cullen | December 29, 2022

Findmypast exclusive parish records

When it comes to online church records for the UK, we won't be beaten.

Church or parish records are some of the best resources you can use to take your family tree back further. In many cases, you'll be able to go as far back as the 1500s, when King Henry VIII was on the throne. These records were taken by church officials in every corner of Britain and cover the most important milestones in your family's history.

With parish records, you can unearth details of your ancestors' baptisms, marriages and burials. They also usually include extra insights such as parents' names, making it easy to jump back an additional generation in your family tree with a single record. No other type of record will grow your family tree quicker.

Findmypast parish record hints

In short, they are the building blocks of genealogy.

With the single largest online collection of British parish records, Findmypast is the place to go for these genealogy staples. Many of our collections are made up of exquisite, full-colour images of the original registers. With just a few basic details, you'll be uncovering your ancestors' stories in no time.

Staffordshire baptism record

An excerpt from our Staffordshire Baptisms.

The parish records on Findmypast cover every corner of the British Isles and many of them are exclusive. So, if you've got lineage in Leicestershire or heritage in Hertfordshire, you'll need us to help trace it.

That's not all, though. We also have extensive parish records from across Ireland, British India, New York, Philadelphia, and more, so if you suspect a history of migration runs in the family line, then you're in the right place to explore.

In fact, thanks to our groundbreaking Catholic Heritage Archive project, we have the single largest online collection of Irish family history records, making that tricky genealogy easier than ever to trace.

Again, millions of these records can only be found online at Findmypast.

Findmypast exclusive records

View the map in detail.

Wherever your roots lie in the UK, Ireland, or beyond, our parish records can help you find out more about them and extend them back much further than you ever thought possible. Our intuitive search tools mean all you need are the basics.

Not only do you have the options to add your ancestor's name and birth year, but you can also add their parents' names, the country and county, or you can filter to specific record sets. The 'Optional keywords' feature will search all non-numerical data, including things like residence, occupation, or any extra notes. Margaret Elizabeth Bridge's father, for example, found in our Lancashire Baptisms, is listed as a deaf and dumb missionary.

Margaret Elizabeth, baptised in 1901.

Margaret Elizabeth, baptised in 1901. View this record here.

Don't forget about the name variant tool, the year variant tool, or wildcard searches, particularly if your ancestor is proving to be more elusive.

Feeling more ready to get started? The links below will take you to the highlights of our exclusive parish collections. You can access equivalent pages for marriages and burials via the useful links and resources list on each page.

You can also find parish lists and extra information on these pages, giving you the context you need to bring your ancestors to life.

Is your ancestral home missing from our list of exclusives? Visit the A-Z of records to find hundreds of other parish record collections covering all of the UK or take your search to Ireland with original parish registers from the entire country.

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Picture of Niall Cullen - Content Marketing LeadNiall Cullen