England, Kent, Parish Registers (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts, 1560-1911  and England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. The England, Kent, Parish Registers and Bishop's Transcripts collection is available to the Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers, and to members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The images can be viewed at a FamilySearch Center near you.
For those in the United Kingdom, images may also be viewed by visiting the Kent History and Library Centre in Maidstone, England.

Record Description

This collection will include records from 1538 to 1911.

The first of these collections consists of Parish Registers for the County of Kent. The records contain baptisms, marriages, and deaths for parishes throughout Kent. Availability of records vary by year and locality.

The second collection consists of Bishop's Transcripts for the County of Kent. The records contain yearly summaries of baptisms, marriages, and deaths for parishes throughout Kent. Availability of the records varies by year and locality, and most submissions end by the year 1900.

These projects are part of an agreement with the Centre for Kentish to digitize and publish our microfilm holdings. The images have all been scanned and delivered. We will be creating waypoint data with the help of the archive, we will publish images for FamilySearch Members and deliver the data to the archive as they are implementing the "Reading Room Solution".

For information on the Dioceses and Deaneries in Kent see the wiki article: England, Kent Dioceses and Deaneries.

Bishop's Transcripts exist because of the Order in the Constitution of Canterbury (1597) which compels churchwardens to send within one month of Easter a copy of all baptisms, marriages and burial register entries in the parish register to the bishop. In 1603 it was stipulated that transcripts were to run from Lady Day (25 March).

The Diocese of Rochester Transcripts are arranged by parish and should be contemporary copies of the parish register entries sworn by the churchwardens to be " a true and accurate account". There is variation in performance of these duties and gaps and omissions are common. It is possible that the Transcript may contain entries not found in the parish register and for this reason transcripts should be read in conjunction with parish register where both records are available.

Transcripts prior to 1812 appear to have been destroyed although some survive. Within the Diocese of Rochester the practice of sending transcripts had lapsed by 1800 and few submissions were received. The survival of parish registers therefore may be the more effective means of locating events.

The later series from 1813 is on printed form.

There are two series of Bishop's Transcripts for the Diocese of Rochester held at Kent Archives, Maidstone.

The first series are transcripts up to the year 1812 and are found under reference RT1.

The later series from 1813 are under reference RT2. The series were microfilmed at Kent Archives Maidstone in 1987 by the Genealogical Society of Utah. The process of forming entries in the catalogue for the Family History Library for this era of microfilm acquisition from England was often reliant on the information provided at the time of microfilming and accuracy of the resulting catalogue may be affected. It is advisable to check the Kent Archives catalogue which will include all years in the transcript series; microfilming was undertaken within a year range with a cut off date; later transcript years may exist which were not filmed.

The transcript series usually end within the year range for digital publication adopted by FamilySearch with respect to privacy and data protection.( see the privacy section at the foot of this page).

For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"England, Kent, Parish Registers,1538-1911" Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Kent Archives Office, Maidstone.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These baptismal records generally contain the following information:

England, Kent, Parish Registers Baptism 4989810 338.jpg
  • Date and place of baptism
  • Child's given name
  • Mother's given name and maiden Name
  • Father's given name and surname
  • Parents' residence
  • Father's profession or occupation

These marriage records generally contain the following information:

England, Kent, Parish Registers Marriage DGS 004989812 00587.jpg
England, Kent, Parish Registers Marriage DGS 4989812 21.jpg
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's full name
  • Bride's full maiden name
  • Groom's age at marriage
  • Bride's age at marriage
  • Marital status (usually Bachelor and Spinster)
  • Rank or Profession of groom
  • Residence at the time of marriage
  • Name of groom's father and his occupation
  • Name of bride's father and his occupation
  • Names of witnesses

These burial records generally contain the following information:

England, Kent, Parish Registers Burial DGS 4989812 630.jpg
  • Date and place of burial
  • Name of deceased
  • Age of deceased at time of death
  • Residence of deceased
  • Place of death
  • Name of parish and county where buried

How to Use the Record

To begin your search in the parish registers and bishops' transcripts, it would be helpful if you knew the following information:

  • Name of ancestor
  • Date of event
  • Place of event

Search the Collection

To search this collection by browsing the images:

To search the collection image by image select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page:
⇒ Select the appropriate "Name of County"
⇒ Select the appropriate "Name of Parish"
⇒ Select the appropriate "Event Type and Year Range (with Volume)" which will take you to the images.

Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

For information on using the church records of Kent see the wiki article: England Church Records

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Related Websites

Kent Archives 

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911," images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 24 April 2012), England, Kent, Parish Registers, 1538-1911 > Kent > Barming > Baptisms 1813-1900 > image 20 of 129, William Taylor, baptized 22 May 1823; citing Kent Archives, Maidstone, England.