England, Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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England, Norfolk, Bishop's Transcripts, 1685-1941
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of England|
|Flag of Norfolk|
|Location of Norfolk, England|
|Record Type||Bishop's Transcripts|
|Norfolk Record Office|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 General Information About These Records
- 3 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 4 Collection Content
- 5 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 6 What Do I Do Next?
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
This collection contains Bishops Transcripts for the County of Norfolk from 1685 to 1941 that are arranged by church jurisdiction and in yearly bundles.
Baptisms (christenings), marriages, and burials were recorded on blank pages in a bound book called a register. The events of baptism, marriage, and burial were all recorded in one volume until 1754, when a law required that marriages be recorded in a separate book. Banns, or proclamations of “an intent” to marry, were recorded in yet another book. Starting in 1812, pre-printed registers were introduced, and then separate registers were kept for baptisms, marriages, and burials. Before 1812, bishops’ transcripts were usually recorded on loose pieces of paper. Following that year, the transcripts were recorded on the same pre-printed forms as parish registers.
Parish registers were created to record church events of baptism or christening, marriage, and burial. Baptismal entries usually list the person’s birth date and burial entries list the death date. In the Church of England, baptism, which was also called christening, was performed soon after the birth of a child. Marriage in the church legally united a man and a woman for civil legal reasons and for the purpose of founding a religiously sanctified family. Burial is a function of the church to inter the deceased soon after death.
Church of England parish registers are the most reliable and accurate family history source until July 1837, when the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. Information in parish registers and bishops’ transcripts can be verified against each other. It is usually preferable to use the parish registers if they survive as a primary record.
The transcript series is useful in the event that:
- The parish register has not survived
- The register is still in the parish and has not been deposited in an archive
- The parish register is too fragile to use or preserve by filming or digital imaging
- The parish register is incomplete or cannot be read (transcript may be legible or contain omitted entries).
Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Images in this collection are available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account here.
For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.
General Information About These Records
Parish registers are one of the best sources for identifying individuals and connecting them to parents, spouses, and other generations. In July 1837 the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. However, parish registers continue to play an important role because they are often more readily available than civil registers. Bishops’ transcripts are a backup source for parish registers that are missing or illegible. If possible, you may want to search both the parish registers and the bishops’ transcripts since one is a handwritten copy of the other and might contain differences.
To Browse This Collection
The information in these records usually include the following:
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Norfolk, Bishop's Transcripts, 1685-1941.|
What Can These Records Tell Me?
The following information may be found in these records:
For additional details about these records and help using them see England Bishop's Transcripts (FamilySearch Historical Records)
How Do I Search This Collection?
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of the person you are looking for
- Approximate date of the event
Search the Index
View the Images
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
- Select County
- Select Ecclesiastical jurisdiction
- Select Year
- Select Parish range to view the images.
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
- Suffolk to the south
- Cambridgeshire to the west
- Lincolnshire to the northwest
- 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
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Norfolk.
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, Norfolk Bishop's Transcripts, 1685-1941." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing Church of England. Record Office, Central Library, Norwich.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
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?
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