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  • Ancient parish - districts in England formed by the 13th century each with its own priest and often with boundaries the same as the local manor; given increasing civil administrative functions, their civil importance declined with the abolition of Church Rates in 1868.
  • Civil parish - in England, the smallest local government division, during the 19th century, took over the civil administrative activities of the ancient parishes and other areas. In Wales, the term used is community.
  • Ecclesiastical parish - a geographic subdivision of a diocese; the term is used in England to distinguish it from the corresponding civil parish.
  • Parish Administration in England and Wales - how English and Welsh parishes were managed from the 16th century and the sort of records which resulted

To find an individual parish page, go to England Parishes which lists the historic counties of England and links to their constituent parishes. For Wales, start with Start your Welsh genealogy.

Hands on keyboard.png Genealogy courses: Learn how to research from an expert in The English Parish.