England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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England, Oxfordshire Parish Registers 1538-1904
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Oxfordshire, England
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Flag of England
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Flag of Oxfordshire
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Location of Oxfordshire, England
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Location of England
Record Description
Record Type Church
Collection years 1538-1904
FamilySearch Resources
Archive
Parrish Church of Banbury, England


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

This collection consist of the Church of England parish registers from 1539 to 1904 which include christening, marriage and burial entries in Oxfordshire County, England. Church records are the main source for genealogy prior to 1837 when civil registration began. After civil registration they are useful in providing supplemental information. A parish is a jurisdictional unit that governs church affairs within its boundaries. From 1538, parishes were required to keep a register of baptisms, marriages, and burials. However, many parishes did not start until later, and there were records that got lost or destroyed. From 1598 copies of records were sent annually to the bishop for the diocese of that area and were called Bishop's Transcripts.

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.

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

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptism

  • Name
  • Date of Baptism
  • Birth Date
  • Parents' Names
  • Parents' Occupation
  • Name of Parish and Diocese

Marriage

  • Name of Couple
  • Date of Marriage
  • Name of Parish

Burial

  • Name
  • Age
  • Date
  • Name of Parish

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

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 Ancestor
  • Approximate date of 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]

  • 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
    • Warwickshire and Northamptonshire to the north
    • Buckinghamshire to the east
    • Wiltshire and Berkshire to the south
    • Gloucestershire to the west
  • 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
  • Some parish records might have been lost over time. Bishop's Transcripts can also be a good source of information
  • 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 England.

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/Guidelines for Articles.

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