Love & Death in The Archives – Parish Records Workshop

  • 6th April 2018

Parish Registers are a well used part of our collections, perhaps our most commonly used, being a key source of personal details for family historians. Everyday you can see people browsing them on microfilms here in The Hive. However whilst these are important, there is far much more to parish records than just the registers, and you can find out more in a workshop on Wednesday 18th April.

Baptism of Henry Jetto in the Holt parish registers

Everywhere in England was covered by a parish, so it meant that if parishes were asked to do a job then everywhere in the country should be covered. So over the years extra jobs were added to the list and it took up a large civil role. For instance the parish looked after the poor law for hundreds of years, so they accumulated hundreds (sometimes thousands) of forms relating to the assessing of claimants, sorting out payments, and in some cases finding alternative people to take responsibility. They were also the focus of much community activity, managing some charities, repairing roads, and in some places organising the creation of the local war memorial, and the parish records can reflect these.

Distribution of charity money in All Saints parish, Worcester

A large number of people were involved in running the parish, so what is included and what is written can change depending on the personality of the writer. So we can get occasional comments on individuals in the parish registers, sometimes providing more details such as remarking on Black people who are baptised, or we find a vicar fills in details such as the occurrence of an earthquake in the register. In a previous blog we featured some amazing drawings in the Kidderminster registers.

Drawing of Richard Baxter in Kidderminster St Mary’s parish register

During the workshop, held here in The Hive, you’ll get the opportunity to see some of the original documents from the past 500 years, hear about some of strange stories, as well as finding out how to search for the records you might want.

This is the first of three workshops looking at different sources within our collections, helping you make the most of the amazing collections, introducing you to new sources or helping you make more of ones you already use. The others are on photographs and Quarter Sessions.

You can book online and the cost is £8. If you have any questions please ring us on 01905 766352 or email

Cover of brochure for raising funds for war memorial from the All Saints Worcester parish deposit


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