What can these records tell me?

Each record includes an image of the register book and a transcript for the individual entry. The records are from both grave registers and burials registers. The data recorded in each differ slightly. The grave registers will have the location of the grave and burial date, but the burial register may include the age of the deceased and residence.

The amount of information listed varies, but the Hertfordshire burials usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestor:


  • Name
  • Age
  • Burial date
  • Place of burial


  • Residence
  • Name of individual who performed the burial
  • Notes on circumstances of death
  • Grave location

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For events pre-dating the establishment of civil registration in 1837, parish registers are the principal source of genealogical information for the family historian. The Church of England started to keep registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials in 1538. Of the 132 ancient parishes in Hertfordshire, however, only 16 have registers surviving from this date. The majority of the others date from the beginning of Queen Elizabeth's reign in 1558.

Many registers are sadly defective during the Civil War and Commonwealth period (1643-1660) and the registers for the parishes of Caldecote, Flaunden, Ickleford, and Sacombe do not survive before the 18th century. Serious fires at the parish churches of Northaw and All Saints Hertford severely damaged their registers.

In addition to the ancient parishes, there are many more of modern origin, formed as daughter churches (chapels of ease or district churches) in large or more populous parishes, for example, in the town of Watford.

It is valuable to record the name of the ceremony’s officiant. In some families the reverend or vicar may be a friend of the family or even a relative. The same name could appear again throughout other baptism, marriage, or death records.


The county of Hertfordshire lies in southern England and includes much of the northern and central areas of the London Borough of Barnet. The county town is Hertford. Many examples of Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Roman remains have been discovered in Hertfordshire, and there are a number of Roman roads throughout the county. Modern-day Hertfordshire is served by a network of rail links and direct roads to London.