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England, Sussex, Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

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England, Sussex, Parish Registers, 1538-1910
CID1465706
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Sussex,  England
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Flag of England
Flag of Sussex.png
Flag of Sussex
GB Locator Map Sussex.png
Location of Sussex, England
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Location of England in the United Kingdom
Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1538-1910
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
West Sussex Record Office


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

This collection contains an index to baptismal, marriage, and burial records from the county of Sussex for the years 1538-1910. The original records are held at the West Sussex 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 | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptism

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

Marriage

  • Name of the bride and groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Genders
  • Marital status
  • Fathers' names
  • May include age and estimated birth year

Burial

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and place of burial
  • Age
  • Estimated birth year

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

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

Coverage Tables[edit | edit source]

The coverage tables for this collection indicate the locations, types, and years of available records in this collection. Due to number of parishes included, the coverage information is presented according to the first letter of the name of the parish:

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

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person
  • Date range for the record

Note: There are now 5.7 million searchable Sussex County christening, marriage and burial entries as of 13 Feb 2019: see Familysearch.org/search and type in the place box---"Sussex, England" Births/Baptisms; do same for Marriage and "Death".

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

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
    • Kent and Surrey to the north
    • Hampshire 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
  • Sometimes a person was born out of wedlock ("illegitimate"), and may have been baptised under the mother's maiden or surname, so search under that name--if known.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

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

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.

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 Historical Records.

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