FamilySearch Wiki:WikiProject English parishes

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Revision as of 07:33, 3 December 2012 by DowneOPC (talk | contribs) (census)

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This is a child WikiProject of WikiProject England with a focus on improving the articles about the many hundreds of English parishes.

Christ Church West Bromwich Staffordshire.jpg


Articles about English parishes. As WikiProjects for different English counties are created this project will work in conjunction with those projects on parish articles for each specific county.


Userbox for WikiProject English parishes
Christ Church West Bromwich Staffordshire.jpg This user is a participant in WikiProject English parishes. Flag of England.png
  • Steve
  • Nathan - I am working on developing coverage charts for parish registers available online.
  • User:DowneOPC working on deposited records at Bromley Archives, Kent as part of Kent Online Parish Clerks


Alter contributor prompts

Parish History

Replaced the boilerplate text on parish pages from

Add a general overview of the history of this parish. It can be a few sentences or a couple of paragraphs. If it is a few sentences leave the expansion box in place to encourage a more lengthy history.
Ultimately this section should be written using multiple sources. Notable gazetteers should be listed in the 'Maps and Gazetteer' section and could include a brief extract of the entry.

The aim of the parish history section should be to explain the ecclesiastical and civil parish history of the place and subsequent administrative and boundary changes. It should also reflect parish creations from an original Ancient Parish and identify how 19th and twentieth century population growth altered the approach to meeting the spirtual needs of parishioners. Links to Wikipedia projects for churches and places of worship in some English counties are a valuable resource (often illustrated and with geo map co-ordinates to locate the sites) In many counties images and other information can also be found and linked.

It should identify redundant churches and link to the Churches Conservation Trust site or identify if the deconsecrated building is now in use as a private residential dwelling, commercial premises or conserved.

The aim should be to cater for an international beginner readership as well as the experienced researcher. It is also useful to locate other faiths within a Church of England parish boundary. The Church records section on the page can then develop description of the archive holding the deposited records or indicate if the records are still held in the parish by the incumbent.

Resources section

A link to Family History Library catalogue may fit well in this section.

However the Genealogical Society of Utah microfilm or digital images may represent only a small part of record sources held in archives in various locations. The parish registers and other parish records ( Vestry Meetings minutes; local census material; graveyard maps and lists of burial plots) may remain in either parish or Diocesan registry. Bishop's Transcripts may need explanation as they may have changed location over the centuries.

The ultimate aim is to create a means for any reader to identify how they can search the records either online in an Online Parish Clerk Transcript, images at an archive site (Lincolnshire: Lincs to the past) or the reference in a county archive for both parish and diocese. It is dangerous to assume that the searcher has access to the Family History Library or any of the Branch FamilySearch local church based facilities or is in a position to undertake research personally. If possible an indication of the arrangement of original surviving records and condition can be offered. Downe, Kent offers such descriptions.

Census records

Replaced the boilerplate text on parish pages from

Include an overview if there is any unique information, such as the census for X year was destroyed. Add a link to online sites for indexes and/or images. Also add a link to the Family History Library Catalog showing the film numbers in their collection.
There are a few templates that have been created that may or may not be used.

Although it is commonly thought that surviving enumerators schedules for the decades 1841-1901 constitute surviving census material, the 1851 census had for the first time a religious census. Each enumerator was asked to identify the existing religious group meetings in their designated enumeration district. Although this varied in enumerator performance it has been possible for example to locate a large proportion of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints branches in existence immediately prior to the exodus from Britain to USA therefore references to the religious census for this year are vital to include. Equally important are the locations of other faiths house meetings and temporary structures which precede the building of permanent structures. There were literally thousands of "tin tabernacles" (usually manufactured by Boulton & Co, Norwich) used by all faiths as temporary meeting places. In such places there may be a census record surviving to justify request for land and permanent building. Temporary Roman Catholic Church buildings are also common in the nineteenth and twentieth century as large construction projects caused temporary worker settlements to construct railway viaducts, tunnels, electrical generation or new mining communities. Surviving records could be referenced in this section or a separate heading.

It is also possible in local archives to locate earlier religious census which may have been microfilmed for conservation purposes. Within a Cooperative Indexing agreement under discussion with Bromley Archive (December 2012) is an 1801 church census found on GSU microfilm 2145471 Items 4 - 7 preceding the building of Bromley Common Holy Trinity whose registers commence in 1843. Church census may be found in local archives and generally precede the national census. They were typically undertaken to establish need for additional church building where an Ancient Parish church was failing to meet the needs of parishioners distant from the parish at either the request of local clergy or parish councils and local church members.

Such additional record sources where found in local archives are an essential record source to preserve to help researchers locate religious groups and where possible names of ancestors. DowneOPC 07:27, 3 December 2012 (UTC)


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