England, Staffordshire, Church Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, Staffordshire, Church Records, 1538-1944
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Staffordshire,  England
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Location of Staffordshire, England
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Record Description
Record Type Church and School
Collection years 1600-1920
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
The National Archives

What is in This Collection?

This collection contains an index to and images of baptismal, marriage, and burial records from the county of Staffordshire for the years 1538-1944. This set of records are from the Staffordshire collection held by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service.

The church records in this collection are primarily parish registers. These records have been kept at the local level across England since the mid-1500s, and due to this long and relatively stable tradition, they are central to English genealogical research. Often, they are one of the only sources for finding families and individuals in England before the start of civil registration in 1837.

To learn more about the content and significance of parish registers, please see the England Parish Registers page.

Image Visibility

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 online by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a Family History Center near you, or the Family History Library. Also, the images are viewable to users who are part of the (enter the contributing organization here) and to users who have contributed to the FamilySearch Indexing effort. Learn how to be a part of FamilySearch indexing here.

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?

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptism records

  • Name of the child
  • Date and place of baptism
  • Parish
  • Names of parents
  • May include date of birth

Marriage records

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Parish
  • Residences
  • Ages
  • Birth years
  • May include occupations, marital status, and fathers' names

Burial records

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and place of burial
  • Parish
  • Age
  • Date of death
  • Names of parents

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person
  • Date of the record

Search the Index

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

How Do I Analyze the Results?

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?

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

  • 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?

  • 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
    • Cheshire to the northwest
    • Derbyshire and Leicestershire to the east
    • Warwickshire to the southeast
    • West Midlands and Worcestershire to the south
    • Shropshire 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

Record Finder

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, Staffordshire, Church Records, 1538-1944." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2018. Staffordshire & Stoke on Trent Archive Service, Stafford.
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.