England, Kent, Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England
Kent

This collection consists of parish registers from the county of Kent for the years 1538-1911.

Access the Records
England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Kent,  England
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Flag of England
GB Locator Map Kent.png
Location of Kent, England
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Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1538-1911
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Kent History and Library Centre


Why Should I Look at This Collection?

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.

What is in This Collection?

This collection contains an index and images of baptismal, marriage, and burial records. Availability of records varies by year and locality.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images of digitized records available for all users. However, the rights to view images on this website are ultimately granted by the record custodians. Due to their restrictions, the images in this collection are not available for general viewing, but may be accessed at the Family History Library or at a local family history center.

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

How Do I Search This Collection?

You can find records either by searching the index or viewing the record images. Before using either search method, it is best to know the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • Date range for the record

As you search, compare your results with this information to find a match.

Search the Index

  1. Go to the collection page.
  2. Fill in the requested information.
  3. Click Search to return a list of possible matches.

View the Images

  1. Go to the collection browse page.
  2. Click on the correct Name of County link.
  3. Click on the correct Name of Town/Parish link.
  4. Click on the correct Event Type and Year Range (With Volume) link to go to the image viewer.
  5. Use the onscreen controls to move between record images as you look for a match.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Fully transcribe and cite the record for future reference; see below for assistance in citing this collection.
  • Make sure to look at an image of the original record. The online index entry only lists the most basic information from a record; the original may contain further information which was not included in the index. Save or print a copy of the image whenever possible.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • If in the appropriate period, use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in civil records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are the England Census and the England Civil Registration records.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Remember that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
  • Check for variants of given names and surnames. An individual might appear under a different name in a record for a variety of reasons:
    • An individual might have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name.
    • Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as they were pronounced. Pay attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try spelling variations that could have that pronunciation.
    • Some women reverted to their maiden names after the death of their husbands.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of results which can then be examined for matches. You might also try expanding the date range; this is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth.
  • Search the records of nearby locations. In the period of this collection, most people never moved more than 20 miles away from the place of their birth, though smaller relocations were not uncommon. For this particular collection, this step may require finding records in the bordering English counties of Sussex to the south, Surrey and Middlesex to the west, or Essex across the estuary of the River Thames to the north. If the individual lived in the northwestern area of Kent, a thorough search of London records might be necessary. 

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection

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

"England, Kent, Parish Registers,1538-1911" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Kent Archives Office, Maidstone.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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 Records.

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