Explore more than 370,000 full colour images of baptisms, banns, marriages and burials from Staffordshire parish registers. These records date back centuries before civil registration started in England.
Before civil registration records, which began in 1837, parish records were the main source for life events. In 1538, after the Church of England’s split from Rome, all parish churches were mandated to register every birth, marriage and death. In some parishes this practice took decades before it was adopted.
Your search results will show Events, which can include Composite, Baptism, Banns, Marriage, Burial and combinations of these. Composite books include all three life events. Prior to 1747, all parish events were recorded in one handwritten volume. By 1813, all three events had three separate printed registers.
Since most of the records were handwritten, they were at the mercy of the clerk. This may lead to your ancestor’s name being spelt incorrectly or difficult to read. Some registers have been damaged over the centuries, which can make it difficult to read certain pages.
In some parishes, the local curate may have included notes about your ancestor, local events or he may have created lists of the amount of baptisms, marriages and burials each year. The Alrewas baptism register of the late 18th century seems to have been used by the curate, John Edmonds, as a kind of parish newsletter in which he outlined events of local and national significance.
As the registers changed over the centuries the amount of information recorded changed too. In each type of record you may find a combination of the following information.
Date of baptism
Name of child
Name of parents – if the child was illegitimate, only the mother’s name was recorded. Some records may include the mother’s maiden name.
Occupation of the father
Place of residence
Name of couple
Ages – many were recorded as ‘Full,’ meaning the person was of full age to be married.
Place of residence
Names of fathers
Date of burial
Place of residence
Age at the time of death – this age was given to the parish by the next of kin, relatives or close friends. If the age was unknown, which was often the case for our ancestors, it was estimated.
Staffordshire Parish Register Collection
These records belong to the Staffordshire Collection, a unique set of records spanning baptisms, banns, marriages and burials, which provide details of the history of Staffordshire and its people.
Since its foundation, the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service has been responsible for the records of Staffordshire parishes. The very first deposit of records obtained by Staffordshire Record Office in 1947 was from the parish of Hamstall Ridware. Registers included in this collection are all held by the Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Archive Service. Registers for those few Staffordshire parishes deposited with other archive services are not included in this collection.
The parish registers in this collection document the key events in the lives of the people of Staffordshire, including the city of Stoke-on-Trent and those parts of the historic county currently within the West Midlands conurbation.
Staffordshire is a county in the West Midlands of England. It borders Cheshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Worcestershire and Shropshire. (If your ancestors’ records cannot be found in these records, you may be able to search for them in bordering counties.)
Stoke-on-Trent is the largest city in Staffordshire, and is administered independently from the rest of the county. Stafford is the county town of Staffordshire. Further your research of Staffordshire by using the Findmypast Newspapers which include 8 different publications from Staffordshire.