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England, Bedfordshire Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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England, Bedfordshire Parish Registers, 1538-1983
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Bedfordshire,  England
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Location of Bedfordshire, England
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Location of England in the United Kingdom
Record Description
Record Type Church
Collection years 1538-1983
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Bedfordshire Archives and Records Service


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection contains an index to Church of England's baptismal, marriage, and burial records from the county of Bedford for the years 1538-1983. The original records are held at the Bedfordshire Record Office and Hertfordshire Record Office.

Parish registers have been kept at the local level across England since the mid-1500s. Due to this long and relatively stable tradition, these records are central to English genealogical research as they are often one of the only sources for finding families and individuals in England before the start of civil registration in 1837.

To learn more about parish registers, please see the England Parish Registers page.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. These images can be viewed at the Family History Library or a Family History Center near you.  

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page. 

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Christening

  • Name of the child
  • Date and place of christening
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Names of parents

Marriage

  • Name of the bride and groom
  • Ages
  • Marital status
  • Names of parents

Burial

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and place of burial
  • Gender
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Name of spouse
  • Names of parents

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching, it is best to know the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • Approximate date of the event

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • If possible, look at an image of the original record. The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index
  • If you find a christening record, look for a civil registration of the birth. Often christenings occurred days or years after birth
  • If you find a marriage record, search for the new family in future censuses
  • Keep in mind that relatives were often mentioned in marriage records as witnesses
  • If you find a burial record, look for a death record in the civil registration
  • Use all information gathered to search in census records

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This can help you find possible relatives
  • Search the records of nearby areas
  • Check for other names. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, a nickname, or an abbreviation of their given name

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Bedfordshire.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


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