England, Durham Diocese Bishops' Transcripts - FamilySearch Historical Records
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England, Durham Diocese Bishop's Transcripts, 1639-1919
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of England|
|Flag of Durham|
|Location of Durham, England|
|Location of England|
|Record Type||Bishop's Transcripts|
|Durham University Library|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection consists of church records from the county of Durham for the years from 1639-1919. The collection also includes records from select parishes in the counties of Northumberland, Yorkshire, and Cumberland.
A parish register is a record of religious ordinances performed in the Church of England. Beginning in 1538, every parish priest was required to write down certain information about every baptism (officially termed “christening” in Anglican use), marriage, and burial that took place in his parish over the course of each year. He was then supposed to bind these pages into a single volume, thereby annually producing a comprehensive history of his ministerial efforts. After 1754, a new law required that marriages be recorded in a separate book, and banns (public proclamations of a couple’s intent to marry) were to be recorded in yet another book. Starting in 1812, pre-printed registers were introduced, and separate registers were then kept for baptisms, marriages, and burials. It should also be noted that many parish records were not kept during the Interregnum, 1649-1660, due to temporary changes in the hierarchy of the Church of England.
Due to this long and relatively stable tradition, parish registers 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.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images. For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for England, Diocese of Durham Bishops' Transcripts, 1639-1919.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
Included after 1812
Included after 1754
Included after 1837
Included after 1812
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
For additional details about these records and help using them see England Bishop's Transcripts - FamilySearch Historical Records
Sample Images[edit | edit source]
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- Name of the person
- Approximate date of the event
Search the Index[edit | edit source]
|This collection does not have a searchable index. Only images are available. See View the Images to access them.|
View the Images[edit | edit source]
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select Place
- Select Parish
- Select Year Range to view the images
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. Some of the records in this collection may be written in an old script that can be challenging to read. Refer to BYU’s Script Tutorial for assistance with reading the records.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
- Save or print a copy of the image or record, if possible. The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index
- Use the information which you have found to estimate ages in other life events. For example, use a christening date to approximate a marriage date, or a burial record to calculate an estimated year of birth
- Once you have found a christening or a burial church record, you may want to search for birth and death in civil records (1837 and later)
- Use the information you have found to find the person and families in census records
- Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- When looking for an individual with a common name, look at all the search results before deciding which is the correct person
- If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname
- Be careful using the listed age on a marriage record to estimate a birth year. Rather than listing actual ages, clerks often wrote in 21 as the age of both the bride and groom to show that they each were of legal age
- Search the records of nearby locations
- Tyne, Wear, and Northumberland to the north
- Cumbria to the west
- North Yorkshire to the south
- Check for other names. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, a nickname, or an abbreviation of their given name
- Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as scribes heard them. Try searching based on how the name may have been pronounced
- Vary the search terms. For example, expand the date range or search by either the given name or surname to return a broader list of results
- The individual might not have records in the Church of England at all, but rather might have belonged to a nonconformist denomination
- When you search baptismal records, remember that it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth
- Note that marriages often took place in the parish where the bride resided
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Durham.
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.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.