Wednesday, February 10, 2010 release 5 million Parish records online

Go back nearly 500 years and research your family ancestors is pleased to announce the release of 5 million Parish records online. The database is a collection of historical parish and probate registers from many Counties of England and Wales dating from the early 1500s to the middle to late 19th Century.

Parish registers which are still kept today have been in existence ever since Henry VIII’s Chief Minister Thomas Cromwell, the 1st Earl of Essex ordered that each parish priest should keep a book to record the date of each wedding, baptism and burial, together with the names of those baptized, married or buried.

New Search Technology
The records are available for viewing online and using new search technology, it allows leading genealogy website to provide 5 million parish records which document baptisms, marriages and burials dating from 1538 to be searched more easily.

The Parish Registers are the Church’s official records of local baptisms, marriages and burials. The Registers date from Tudor times when a law of Henry VIII ordered all clergy to record this information in a register in church.
Centralised Civil Registration was introduced in 1837 to provide one location covering all the parishes in the area, however the parish church registers provide the original source data to this day.

How Parish records can help you?
If you have reached a dead end and want to search further back than 1837 then the Parish registers are ideal as they cover more than 300 years of family history and events. References are made to the causes of death including the plague in 1563 and the Plague of London in 1665. Valuable information for your research may include the names of parents, dates, occupation, parish or place name.

Thanks to these registers, history comes alive when you discover records relating to William Shakespeare and his children in The Registers of Stratford-on-Avon (Warwickshire) for Baptisms 1558-1652

William Shakespeare Baptised 26 April 1564 Gulielmus filius Johannes Shakspere

And his children
Susanna Baptised 26 May, 1583 Susanna daughter to William Shakspere
Hamnet and Judith Baptised 2 February, 1585 Hamnet & Judeth son and daughter to William Shakspere.
(Naturally Latin was in use at the time)

Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of England is mentioned in the London Marriage Licences as the guardian who consented to his sister Mary Walpole’s marriage in May 1684.

Ancestors who lived in the same Parish for more than a few generations, provide a wealth of continuous information. Unfortunately some of the actual Parish records have been lost or destroyed, while some have been copied and stored in County Record Offices. Now researchers have the thrilling prospect of quick, powerful results, and the possibility of finding an original register entry that recorded an event in their ancestors’ lives. now gives easy access to important local records, from churches in Cheshire to burials in Berkshire. Family historians can research their ancestors’ records as contemporaries of famous individuals during the times of Shakespeare, Oliver Cromwell or Captain Cook.

Due to the age of the Parish registers they have been scanned and the images of the original printed pages have been made word searchable using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) which is the recognition of printed or written text characters by a computer to enable the data to be made available on your PC.
See How to search these Documents includes New Search features

The collection is only a part of more than 650 million historic records available online to all members and visitors by way of an annual subscription of just £30.00 or US$50.00 at

The learn more about these new records and how they can help you with your research please click here