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England, Bristol Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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England, Bristol Parish Registers, 1538-1900
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Bristol,  England
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Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1538-1900
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Bristol Records Office


What is in This Collection?Edit

This collection contains an index to baptism, marriage, and burial records from the city of Bristol for the years 1538-1900. The original records are held at the Bristol Records Office.

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.

What Can These Records Tell Me?Edit

The following information may be found in these records:

Christening

  • Name of the child
  • Gender
  • Date and place of christening
  • Names of the parents

Marriage

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Marital status
  • Fathers' names
  • Residence

Burial

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and place of burial
  • Age
  • Estimated birth year
  • Father's name

Collection ContentEdit

For additional details about these records and help using them see England Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

Sample RecordsEdit

John Smith England, Bristol Parish Registers
Christening
Name John Smith
Event Type Christening
Event Date 31 May 1840
Event Place Redland, Gloucestershire, England
Gender Male
Father's Name John Colston Smith
Mother's Name Edith Smith
Marriage
Name John Smith
Event Type Marriage
Event Date 09 Feb 1891
Event Place Stapleton, Holy Trinity, Gloucestershire, England
Spouse's Gender Female
Marital Status Widowed
Father's Name William Smith
Spouse's Name Mary Ann Northmore
Spouse's Marital Status Widowed
Spouse's Father's Name Benjamin Wall
Burial
Name John Smith
Event Type Burial
Event Date 05 Jul 1867
Event Place Bristol, Holy Trinity, St Philip, Gloucestershire, England
Age 41
Father's Name Smith

Coverage TableEdit

A detailed summary of the types and locations of records is found in the England, Bristol Parish Registers Coverage Table.

How Do I Search This Collection?Edit

Before searching, it is best to know the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • Approximate date of the event

Search the IndexEdit

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

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

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

  • 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

  • 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. Some facts about Bristol, England. The city lies between Somerset and Gloucestershire and has been politically administered by both counties in part at various times
  • 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 HelpsEdit

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

Citing This CollectionEdit

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

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.

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