Finding Names for Temple Work: England

April 2, 2015  - by 

Many opportunities exist to find new family names for temple work in English records. Countless birth, marriage, and death records FamilySearch[1] was unable to acquire in our parents’ generation are now indexed and available for free online thanks to our partners Ancestry and findmypast and volunteer indexers on websites like FamilySearch, FreeBMD, FreeREG, One-Name Studies, One-Place Studies, Online Parish Clerks, and the Register of One-Place Studies. The purpose of this article is to help you select ancestors on your English pedigree to study who lived in certain places or time periods that are likely to result in quick success for finding temple work.


Censuses and civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths yield many new names for temple work, especially for relatives of nineteenth-century LDS converts who remained in England. Censuses and civil registration indexes are all online, see:

Please bear in mind the 110-year rule for submitting names to the temple. Permission is required to submit cousins born 1905 to the present.


Parish registers and wills yield a great deal of family information during this period and specific counties in England are hotspots for temple work. Here are recommended resources for 11 counties that were not heavily extracted. Were your ancestors from any of these counties?

Wills for the period 1400s to 1800s produce many new names for temple work in all English counties. They often predate a town or village’s earliest birth, marriage, and death records (parish registers). The Family History Library has most English wills on microfilm, some counties are now online, and the indexes listed above can help you quickly locate wills of interest.


Temple work has been conducted for only a small portion of the people of medieval England. Probably less than 5% have completed ordinances. The focus has been mainly on nobility and gentry. For the remainder of the population, wills, poll taxes, and manorial court records (written in abbreviated Latin) help reconstruct medieval families. All pre-1500 submissions must be cleared through the Medieval Families Unit.

[1] Formerly the Genealogical Society of Utah.

This article is dedicated to Richard Price, MA, AG, President of Price and Associates Genealogical Services who introduced me to the idea of temple work hotspots in England.

Nathan Murphy

Nathan W. Murphy, MA, AG is a United States and Canada Research Consultant at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah. He specializes in Southern United States and English family trees.

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  1. This is great! Genuine help with finding records of ancestors is so very welcome. Thank you, thank you, thank you…a million times.