is the catchment area of a church belonging to the Established Church,
and usually equates to a particular village in rural areas, or neighbourhood
in urban areas. Parish registers are the most important resource
for the genealogist before 1837 because almost all baptisms, marriages
and burials are recorded.
were started by law in 1538 but many survive only from around 1600.
Second copies of the register called Bishops Transcripts, had to
be made from 1598 and these were sent to the Bishop of the Diocese.
are usually at County or City Record Offices, and some libraries
have copies. Nonconformist (Baptist, Congregationalist, Methodist,Quaker,
Roman Catholic etc.) are usually in local record offices or at churches.
Some libraries may have copies.