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How to search parish records

Parish records are by far the most important source for family historians before 1837. These handwritten records, kept by the church, have survived for several centuries and can often be difficult to find, fragile and, of course, difficult to read!

Generally, researchers turn to parish registers to look for a baptism, marriage or burial in a particular place having gained a clue to the parish concerned from other sources such as the census. The first thing to establish is whether or not that place was a parish in its own right or was in fact a township or hamlet in another parish.

To find these records on the site, if you select 'Search' from the top navigation bar and then you will be presented with a drop down menu and if you select 'Birth, Marriage and Death' this will take you to a new page. You can then filter it down the left-hand side to search just Parish records.

Alternatively, you can select 'Search A-Z of all Records' from the drop down menu and filter it by area such as 'Kent Parish Baptisms' and then you can search within the specific record set.

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