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Religious records

Parish registers and records from other faiths are the key source for records of "life events" such as baptisms, marriages and burials before the advent of civil registration in the 19th century.

Notable Dates

  • 1538 in England and Wales - Anglican Church began keeping records of baptisms, marriages and burials
  • 1634 in Ireland - Anglican Church began keeping records of baptisms, marriages and burials

Earliest surviving registers :-

  • 1611 for England;
  • 1541 for Wales;
  • late 18th century for Ireland;
  • 1553 in Scotland - the pre-reformation Catholic Church began keeping baptism and marriage registers;
  • 1560 registers of burials, under the reformed Church of Scotland.

Returns of baptisms, marriages and burials, relating mainly to European and Eurasian Christians in India, Burma and other areas administrated by the East India Company and the Government of India are held by the British Library. The dates covered are:

  • Bengal 1713-1948;
  • Madras 1698-1948;
  • and Bombay, 1709-1948;
  • St Helena (1767-1835);
  • Fort Marlborough (1759-1825);
  • Penang (1799-1829);
  • Macao and Whampoa (1820-1833);
  • Burma (1937-1957);
  • India and Pakistan (1949-1968);
  • Kuwait (1937-1961);
  • and Aden (1840-1969).
 
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