Parish records

Parish records are the most useful sources for discovering your family history before the 1800s. They’re basically birth, death and marriage records created in local churches — going right back to the time of Henry VIII.

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Latest parish releases

Norfolk Records1538-1985

Extensive parish records from the county of Norfolk are the latest addition to our ever-increasing parish database. There are over 4 million records to explore and they reveal the long history of immigration to the area since the time of Henry VIII. Over the centuries large groups of Flemish, Walloon, Dutch, Huguenot and Italian settlers have been attracted to the area and their multi-cultural influence can still be seen in the trades and architecture of the region. It was Flemish settlers who introduced canary breeding and exporting to the city of Norwich in the 1600s and the bird is still reflected in the emblem, colours and nickname of Norwich City Football Club.

Crusheen Records1860-2014

The small Catholic parish of Crusheen (Irish: Croisín) in County Clare, Ireland is the source of the newest additions to Ancestry’s rapidly expanding collection of parish records. We have two new Crusheen Catholic collections for you to explore: Crusheen Catholic Parish Registers, 1860-2014, which include information-rich baptism, confirmation, marriage and burial registers; and Crusheen Catholic School Records, 1862-1919, which include names, birth dates and enrollment dates for each student along with school names and location.

Northamptonshire Records1532-1812

The county of Northamptonshire is the latest addition to Ancestry’s growing collection of parish records. Parish records are a superb resource to help you discover your family history before the 1800s and can even take you right back to the time of Henry VIII. And our new Northamptonshire records are no exception.

But don’t worry if your ancestors didn’t call Northamptonshire home. Our existing Parish records already cover many counties throughout the UK and our new Northamptonshire records are just the first of several new collections we’ll be releasing during 2016, so keep an eye out—there are more on the way.

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Recommended parish records

London Parish Records1538-1980

Our London parish records are among the most popular collections on our site — not least because they cover such a huge percentage of the country’s population.

These baptism, marriage and burial registers provide a complete picture of life in our capital city over more than 400 years. Even if your family doesn’t come from London, it’s likely that at least a few members moved there in search of fame or fortune.

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Irish Catholic Registers1742-1884

Although the official Church of Ireland was Anglican in the 18th and 19th centuries, most people refused to conform. This means Catholic records are your best bet for tracing early births, marriages and deaths.

Split into baptism, marriage and burial records, these comprehensive registers reveal names, dates, places and often other family members. And because they date back before the Great Famine, you’ll find many ancestors who later fled the country for new homes abroad.

West Yorkshire Parish1512-1997

The great wool towns of West Yorkshire were among the first in England to join the machine age, and with the Industrial Revolution their populations swelled. Millions of people have roots in the area, and this collection will take you back through the generations.

The records provide details of over 8 million baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials. You can trace family lines through the booming 18th and 19th centuries, and all the way back beyond the Civil War.