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England, Staffordshire, Church Records - FamilySearch Historical Records

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England, Staffordshire, Church Records, 1538-1944
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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 1538-1920
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service: Staffordshire


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

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[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 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.

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Digital Folder Number List[edit | edit source]

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. The list does not contain any description of the DGS folder's content. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at England, Staffordshire, Church Records Digital Folder Number List.


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

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptism

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

Marriage

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Parish
  • Residences
  • Ages
  • Birth years
  • And possibly
    • Occupation
    • Marital status
    • Fathers' names

Burial

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

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

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person
  • Date of the record

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

View the Images[edit | edit source]

To view images in this collection:
  1. Look at the Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
  2. Go to the Browse Page
  3. Select the Film number 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.

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

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

  • 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
    • 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

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

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

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

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 Records.

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