General collection information
This collection includes Church of England parish registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials between 1538 and 1812 from the historical county of Sussex, England.
Parish records—primarily baptisms, marriages, and burials—were the first sets of vital records kept. Before civil registration began in 1837, key events in a person's life were typically recorded by the church, rather than the government. Dating back to the 16th century, parish records have become some of the longest running records available.
Using this collection
This collection includes the following details:
Parish records are some of the best resources you can use in tracing your family roots. These records were taken by church officials to mark important milestones in people's lives. They often include information about other family members such as parents, making it easy to jump back an additional generation in your family tree with a single record.
Banns were church announcements of a couple's intention to get married. This gave time for the parish to submit objections. Banns may also list whether a person had been previously married.
History of the collection
When Henry VIII established the Church of England, he mandated that parishes keep handwritten records of baptisms, marriages, and burials. Beginning in 1598, clergy were required to send copies of their parish registers to the bishop of their diocese. These copies are known as Bishop's Transcripts and are useful in cases where original records are unreadable or no longer exist.
The Lord Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1753 established a separate register for marriages and required that marriages be performed only in Anglican churches.
In 1812, George Rose's Act called for pre-printed registers to be used for separate baptism, marriage, and burial registers as a way of standardising records.
"Use England Parish Registers To Research Ancestors Pre-1837." Ancestry Blog. 11 April 2014. Accessed 16 February 2021. https://www.ancestry.com/corporate/blog/uk-parish-registers-and-you.