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{{FamilySearch Collection
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{{breadcrumb
|CID=CID1465706
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| link1=[[England Genealogy|England]]
|title=England, Sussex, Parish Registers, 1538-1910
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|  link2=
|location=England}} <br>
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| link3=
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|  link4=
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| link5=[[Sussex, England Genealogy|Sussex]]
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}}
  
== Collection Time Period ==
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{{England HR Infobox
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| CID=CID1465706
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| title=England, Sussex, Parish Registers, 1538-1910
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| location= Sussex (England)
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| LOC_01 = Sussex
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| LOC_02 =
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| alt_flag = Flag of Sussex.png
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| alt_flag_desc = Flag of Sussex
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| loc_map =GB Locator Map Sussex.png  
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| record_type =Parish Registers
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| start_year =1538
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| end_year =1910
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| FS_URL_01 =[[Sussex Church Records]]
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| FS_URL_02 =[[Sussex Genealogy]]
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| FS_URL_03 =[[England Church Records]]
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| FS_URL_04 =[[Quick Research Links - England]]
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| FS_URL_05 =[[England Record Finder]]
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| FS_URL_06 =[[England Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records]]
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| FS_URL_07 =
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| FS_URL_08 =
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| FS_URL_09 =
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| FS_URL_10 =
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| FS_URL_11 =
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| FS_URL_12 =
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| FS_URL_13 =
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| FS_URL_14 =
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| FS_URL_15 =
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| RW_URL_01 =[http://www.sussex-opc.org/index.php?no=1+ Sussex Online Parish Clerks]
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| RW_URL_02 =
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| RW_URL_03 =
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| RW_URL_04 =
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| RW_URL_05 =
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| custodian =[https://www.westsussex.gov.uk/leisure-recreation-and-community/history-and-heritage/west-sussex-record-office/ West Sussex Record Office]
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}}
  
This collection covers records for the years from 1530 until 1900.  
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== What is in This Collection? ==
 +
This collection contains an index to baptismal, marriage, and burial records from the county of Sussex for the years 1538-1910. The original records are held at the West Sussex Records Office.
  
== Record Description ==
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Parish registers have been kept at the local level across England since the mid-1500s. Due to this long and relatively stable tradition, these records are central to English genealogical research as they are often one of the only sources for finding families and individuals in England before the start of civil registration in 1837.
 +
   
  
These parish registers were acquired from the East and West Sussex Record Offices under multiple projects. The source list contains a total of (263) unique rolls of microfilm - (231) of these rolls of microfilm have never been indexed. The remaining rolls have only partial indexes and should be re-indexed as a part of this project. The contract with the East and West Record Offices limit the publication of images. Because of these restrictions, we are moving this forward as "Publish Index" only project.
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=== Image Visibility ===
  
Baptisms (christenings), marriages, and burials were recorded on blank pages in a bound book called a register. The events of baptism, marriage, and burial were all recorded in one volume until 1754, when a law required that marriages be recorded in a separate book. Banns, or proclamations of “an intent” to marry, were recorded in yet another book. Starting in 1812, preprinted registers were introduced and separate registers were kept for baptisms, marriages, and burials. Before 1812, bishops’ transcripts were usually recorded on loose pieces of paper. Following that year, the transcripts were recorded on the same preprinted forms as parish registers.
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{{Image Visibility}}
  
In 1537 the Church of England mandated that parishes begin keeping church registers by the next year (1538). These church registers continue to the present. Bishops’ transcripts, or copies of parish registers, were required beginning in 1598 and continued to the mid-1800s. The vast majority of the English population belonged to the Church of England. Only since the mid-19th century have other religious groups made headway.
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 +
== What Can These Records Tell Me? ==
 +
The following information may be found in these records:
 +
{{col-begin|width=auto}}
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{{col-break}}
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'''Baptism'''
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*Name of the child
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*Date and place of baptism
 +
*Gender
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*Names of parents
 +
{{col-break}}
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'''Marriage'''
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*Name of the bride and groom
 +
*Date and place of marriage
 +
*Genders
 +
*Marital status
 +
*Fathers' names
 +
*May include age and estimated birth year
 +
{{col-break}}
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'''Burial'''
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*Name of the deceased
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*Date and place of burial
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*Age
 +
*Estimated birth year
 +
{{col-end}}
  
=== Coverage Table ===
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== Collection Content ==
 +
For additional details about these records and help using them see [[England Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records]]
 +
=== Coverage Tables ===
 +
The coverage tables for this collection indicate the locations, types, and years of available records in this collection. Due to number of parishes included, the coverage information is presented according to the first letter of the name of the parish:
  
Coverage tables are available for this collection. Due to number of parishes included, the coverage information is presented in wiki articles according to the first letter of the name of the parish included. See
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, A - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with A]]
  
[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, A (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Sussex parishes beginning with A]]  
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, B - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with B]]
  
[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, B (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Sussex parishes beginning with B]]  
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, C - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with C]]
  
[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, C (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Sussex parishes beginning with C]]  
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, D-E - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with D-E]]
  
[[England,_Sussex,_Parish_Registers,_Coverage_Table,_D-E_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)|Sussex parishes beginning with D-E]]
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, F - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with F]]
  
[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, F (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Sussex parishes beginning with F]]  
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, G-H - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with G-H]]
  
[[England,_Sussex,_Parish_Registers,_Coverage_Table,_G-H_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)|Sussex parishes beginning with G-H]]  
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, I-L - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with I-L]]
  
[[England,_Sussex,_Parish_Registers,_Coverage_Table,_I-L_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)|Sussex parishes beginning with I-L]]  
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, M-O - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with M-O]]
  
[[England,_Sussex,_Parish_Registers,_Coverage_Table,_M-O_(FamilySearch_Historical_Records)|Sussex parishes beginning with M-O]]  
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, P - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with P]]
  
[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, P (FamilySearch Historical Records)|Sussex parishes beginning with P]]
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, R - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with R]]
  
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage table, S - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with S]]
  
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, T-U - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with T-U]]
  
{{Collection citation| text = “England, Sussex, Church of England, Church Records.” Images. ''FamilySearch''. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.  Citing West Sussex County Record Office, Chichester.}}
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*[[England, Sussex, Parish Registers, Coverage Table, W-Y - FamilySearch Historical Records|Sussex parishes beginning with W-Y]]
  
For a list of localities currently published in this collection, select the [https://familysearch.org/search/image/index#uri=https%3A//familysearch.org/records/collection/1465706/waypoints Browse] link from the collection landing page.  
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== How Do I Search This Collection? ==
 +
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
 +
*Name of the person
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*Date range for the record
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Note:  There are now 5.7 million searchable Sussex County christening, marriage and burial entries  as of 13 Feb 2019: see Familysearch.org/search and type in the place box---"Sussex, England" Births/Baptisms; do same for Marriage and "Death".
  
== Record Content  ==
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=== Search the Index ===
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{{Search Collection Link
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| CID=CID1465706
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}}
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{{HR Tip|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at [https://familysearch.org/search/catalog/1465706 England, Sussex, Parish Registers, 1538-1910]. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.}}
  
<gallery perrow="3" heights="120px" widths="160px" caption="Church of England Parish Record Examples">
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=== How Do I Analyze the Results? ===  
Image:England Church of England Parish Register Christening.jpg|Christening Register
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Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a [[Use_Appropriate_Forms#Prepare_a_Research_Log | research log]].
Image:England Church of England Parish Register Marriage 1747 to 1837.jpg|Marriage Record
 
Image:England Church of England Parish Register Marriage after 1837.jpg|Marriage after Year 1837
 
Image:England Church of England Parish Register Marriage Before 1754.jpg|Marriage before 1754
 
Image:England Church of England Parish Register Burial.jpg|Burial Register
 
</gallery>
 
  
Church of England parish register baptism records usually contain:
+
== What Do I Do Next? ==
 +
=== I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now? ===
 +
*Save or print a copy of the image or record, if possible.  The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index
 +
*Use the information which you have found to estimate ages in other life events.  For example, use a christening date to approximate a marriage date, or a burial record to calculate an estimated year of birth
 +
*Once you have found a christening or a burial church record, you may want to search for birth and death in civil records (1837 and later)
 +
*Use the information you have found to find the person and families in census records
 +
*Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage
  
*Baptism date
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=== I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now? ===
*Name of the child
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*When looking for an individual with a common name, look at all the search results before deciding which is the correct person
*Sex of the child
+
*If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname
*Legitimacy of the child
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*Be careful using the listed age on a marriage record to estimate a birth year. Rather than listing actual ages, clerks often wrote in 21 as the age of both the bride and groom to show that they each were of legal age
*Marital status of the parents
+
*Search the records of nearby locations
*Social class of the parents
+
**Kent and Surrey to the north
*Name of the father and often mother’s given name  
+
**Hampshire to the west
*May list the residence of the parents, especially after 1812
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*Check for other names. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, a nickname, or an abbreviation of their given name
 +
*Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as scribes heard them.  Try searching based on how the name may have been pronounced
 +
*Vary the search terms. For example, expand the date range or search by either the given name or surname to return a broader list of results
 +
*The individual might not have records in the Church of England at all, but rather might have belonged to a nonconformist denomination
 +
*When you search baptismal records, remember that it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth
 +
*Some parish records might have been lost over time.  Bishop's Transcripts can also be a good source of information
 +
*Note that marriages often took place in the parish where the bride resided
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*Sometimes a person was born out of wedlock ("illegitimate"), and may have been baptised under the mother's maiden or surname, so search under that name--if known.
  
Church of England parish register marriage records usually contain:  
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=== Research Helps ===
 +
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in [[Sussex, England Genealogy|Sussex]].
 +
* [[GuidedResearch:Sussex|Sussex Guided Research]]
 +
* [[England Record Finder]]
 +
* [[England Research Tips and Strategies]]
  
*Marriage date
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== Citing This Collection ==
*Name of the bride and groom
 
*Age of the bride and groom
 
*May list names of parents or other relatives
 
*Residence of the bride and groom
 
*Marital status of individuals and couples
 
*May list the dates that the marriage was announced (also called “banns published”). This normally took place on three separate occasions prior to the marriage and gave anyone with a valid reason a chance to object to the marriage.
 
*After 1754, the full names of witnesses&nbsp;
 
*After 1837, the full names of the fathers
 
*May note if a spouse is single or widowed at the time of the marriage.
 
  
Church of England parish register burial records usually contain:
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Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
  
*Burial date
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{{Collection_Published}}
*Name of the deceased.
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{{Record_Citation}}
*If the deceased is a child, might give the father’s name
 
*If the deceased is a married woman, might give the husband’s name
 
*Age of the deceased
 
*Residence of the deceased
 
*May give the sex of the deceased
 
*Residence of the deceased
 
 
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
 
 
 
Parish registers are one of the best sources for identifying individuals and connecting them to parents, spouses, and other generations. In July 1837, the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. However, parish registers continue to play an important role because they are often more readily available than civil registers. Bishops’ transcripts are a backup source for parish registers that are missing or illegible. If possible, you may want to search both the parish registers and the bishops’ transcripts since one is a handwritten copy of the other and might contain differences.
 
 
 
Baptism or christening records list the parents’ names, making it possible for you to connect your ancestor to an earlier generation. You may find a birth date listed or be able to approximate a birth date.
 
 
 
The following are several ways you can use these records:
 
 
 
*After 1812 the baptismal records list a place of residence, making it easier to identify your family by where they lived.
 
*Use&nbsp;the father’s occupation to identify your ancestor's family when more than one family with the same name lived in the parish.
 
*You can use marriage the residence for the bride and groom to look for their baptisms and to identify the children of this couple.
 
*Sometimes the groom’s occupation is listed, which could help you find more records about the groom.
 
*Marriage records after 1754 list the names of witnesses, who were often family members, and&nbsp;can help you identify your ancestor’s family.
 
*Signatures in the records might be used to identify a particular individual by the handwriting style.
 
*After 1812, and sometimes before, burial records include the age of the deceased, which you can use&nbsp;to approximate the person’s birth year and to find the baptismal record.
 
*If the deceased is a child, the parents’ names might be given, which can&nbsp;help to extend your family another generation.
 
*The occupation of a deceased male might be given (especially after 1812) and can help identify your ancestor when there is more than one person by that name in the area.
 
*Knowing&nbsp;your ancestor's&nbsp;occupation might also provide you the opportunity to find other records about your ancestor.
 
*Banns indicate the parish of residence of the bride and groom and often lead to the records of another parish.
 
*You can search for the baptisms of the bride and groom in the parishes of residence since these might also be the parishes where they were born.
 
 
 
To search for a person in a Church of England parish register, you must know the following:
 
 
 
*Where the person lived and the corresponding parish
 
*When the person lived (If you do not know the time period, you must estimate it from what you know of more recent generations.)
 
 
 
&nbsp;A useful means of locating parishes prior to 1851 is [[England Jurisdictions 1851]] available at [http://maps.familysearch.org maps.familysearch.org]
 
 
 
== Record History  ==
 
 
 
In 1530, King Henry VIII established the Church in England, also known as the Anglican Church, the State Church, or the Episcopal Church. A law passed in 1537 required ministers to record the baptisms, marriages, and burials that took place in their parishes. Priests recorded these events in registers and kept them at the parish level, which is the lowest level of authority in the Church of England. Within some parishes, chapelries were created to provide for the worship needs of the parishioner when the parish church was not easily accessible. Chapelries sometimes had the authority to perform baptisms, marriages, and burials, so they kept their own registers. Several parishes formed a deanery (presided over by a dean), several deaneries formed an archdeaconry (presided over by an archdeacon), and several archdeaconries formed a diocese (presided over by a bishop).
 
 
 
Beginning in 1598, ministers were required to annually send copies of their registers to an archdeacon or bishop. These copies are referred to as bishops’ transcripts, or sometimes archdeacon transcripts. As a result, two copies of many parish registers exist from 1598 to about the mid-1800s. After civil registration began in 1837, the value of keeping bishops’ transcripts diminished, so by 1870 most parishes had stopped making them.
 
 
 
Banns are proclamations of an intent to marry. After 1754 these banns were required to be read for three consecutive Sundays before a marriage so that anyone with reasons against the marriage could oppose it. Banns were read in both the bride’s parish and the groom’s parish. An alternative was to apply for a license to marry either to the local Diocese or to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
 
 
 
Most bishops’ transcripts of Church of England parish registers have been preserved. Many have also been copied to microfilm or microfiche. The condition of the records is relatively good considering their age and their storage conditions over the centuries. In 1598 ministers were required to copy their registers onto parchment. If the minister failed to make such a copy, the register for that parish and its records did not survive. During the Commonwealth period, 1649–1660, many parish registers disappeared, and many transcripts were not kept because ministers were deposed from their parishes.
 
 
 
The Diocese of Chichester Bishop's Transcripts are held at West Sussex Record Office as the Diocesan registry. The Transcripts for West Sussex parishes begin from 1570 onwards whereas those in East Sussex date from 1606; few parishes have a complete series prior to 1641. From approximately 1700 to 1850, the Chichester Diocese has a rather full surviving collection for nearly all parishes in the diocese. In common with other diocese in England incumbents after 1837 did not record marriages due to the introduction of the civil registration marriage return to the local registration district.
 
 
 
As the transcript is contemporary with the parish register entry handwriting problems are present and as any transcript is prone to human error the parish register entry and transcription may not concur on the names or details of the event and some transcripts may have missing years or part thereof if the intended transcription did not take place for part of the year.
 
 
 
=== Why this Record Was Created  ===
 
 
 
Parish registers were created to record church events of baptism or christening, marriage, and burial. Baptismal entries usually list the person’s birth date, and burial entries list the death date. In the Church of England, baptism, which was also called christening, was performed soon after the birth of a child. Marriage in the church legally united a man and a woman for civil legal reasons and for the purpose of founding a religiously sanctified family. Burial is a function of the church to inter the deceased soon after death.<br>
 
 
 
=== Record Reliability  ===
 
 
 
Church of England parish registers are the most reliable and accurate family history source until July 1837, when the government instituted the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths. Information in parish registers and Bishop's Transcripts can be verified against each other. There are often variations in Bishop's Transcripts of names and spellings. Bishop's Transcripts may also omit years or part of years and are incomplete according to Diocesan practice and preservation.
 
 
 
Transcription is a human process and can include error. If you are searching a computer data base which has been indexed exactly as viewed it may be necessary to search on variants of the given name and surname. The transcriber may have faithfully rendered Thos. or a Latin spelling like Xpher and your search for Thomas or Christopher may not produce a search result.
 
 
 
Parish register entries may not correspond with post 1837 Civil Registration certificates. The registration of Marriages involves a quarterly return from each authorized person (Registrar General approved) to the local Registry Office and each Registry Office in turn to form a National Index. The transcription of information from the event may not correspond to the original entry.
 
 
 
Since Civil Birth registrations are only partial in the early decades of Civil registration parish registers may be the only source of record for infant birth and death in a period of high infant mortality rates.
 
 
 
== Parish Coverage  ==
 
 
 
Parishes intended to be indexed in both East and West Sussex are included in the following pages
 
 
 
*[[Arundel, Sussex]]
 
*[[Battle, Sussex]]
 
*[[Brighton Chapel Royal, Sussex]]
 
*[[Brighton Holy Trinity, Sussex]]
 
*[[Brighton St John the Evangelist, Sussex|B]][[Brighton St John the Evangelist, Sussex|righton St John the Evangelist, Sussex]]
 
*[[Brighton St Nicholas, Sussex]]
 
*[[Brighton St Peter, Sussex]]
 
*[[Brighton St Stephen, Sussex]]
 
*[[Bexhill St Peter, Sussex]]
 
*[[West Blatchington, Sussex]]
 
*[[Chichester All Saints, Sussex]]
 
*[[Chichester St Andrew, Sussex]]
 
*[[Chichester St Bartholomew, Sussex]]
 
*[[Chichester St Martin, Sussex]]
 
*[[Chichester St Olave, Sussex]]
 
*[[Chichester St Pancras, Sussex]]
 
*[[Chichester St Paul, Sussex]]
 
*[[Chichester St Peter the Great, Sussex]]
 
*[[Chichester St Peter the Less, Sussex]]
 
*[[Cuckfield, Sussex|Cuckfield, Sussex]] [[Dallington, Sussex]]
 
*[[East Grinstead, Sussex]]
 
*[[Hastings All Saints, Sussex]]
 
*[[Hastings St Mary in the Castle, Sussex]]
 
*[[Hastings St Clement, Sussex]]
 
 
 
Parishes in Hove are explained in:&nbsp;[[Hove, Sussex]]
 
 
 
*[[Horsham, Sussex]]
 
*[[Horsham Holy Trinity, West Sussex]]
 
*[[Horsham St Leonard, West Sussex]]
 
*[[Kingston by Sea, Sussex]]
 
*[[Midhurst, Sussex]]
 
*[[Petworth, Sussex]]
 
*[[Rotherfield, Sussex]]
 
*[[Rye, Sussex]]
 
*[[Seaford, Sussex]]
 
*[[Storrington, Sussex]]
 
*[[West Dean, Sussex]]
 
*[[Westbourne, Sussex]]
 
*[[Worthing St Andrew, Sussex]]
 
*[[Worthing St Paul, Sussex]]
 
 
 
Additional Church development in Worthing and other&nbsp;parishes in the town&nbsp;is explained in [[Worthing, Sussex]].
 
 
 
The 207 parishes of East Sussex and 223 parishes of West Sussex included in the Online Parish Clerks database for Sussex are being included in the FamilySearch Research wiki pages. For further information about Sussex Online Parish Clerks (OPC) visit [http://www.sussex-opc.org/index.php?no=1+ Sussex Online Parish Clerks(OPC)] which is&nbsp; free online database volunteer effort to transcribe not only parish register material but all types of records for the two counties.<br>
 
 
 
The Family Search Research Wiki pages also contain references to the existing volunteer effort in East and West Sussex by local Wikipedia contributors over the last decade to provide details of places of worship in both counties which may assist research. These include demolished or disused places of worship and reflect the diverse use of worship buildings to the present day.
 
 
 
== Related Websites  ==
 
 
 
[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/archon/searches/locresult_details.asp?LR=182 West Sussex Record Office]
 
 
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 
 
 
*[[England Church Records]]
 
*[[Quick Research Links - England]]
 
 
 
=== Contributions to This Article  ===
 
  
 +
== How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki? ==
 
{{Contributor invite}}  
 
{{Contributor invite}}  
  
<br>
+
[[pt:Inglaterra, Sussex, Registros Paroquiais (Registros Históricos do FamilySearch)]]
 
 
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
 
 
 
When you copy information from a record, you should also list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.
 
 
 
A suggested format for citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: [[How to Cite FamilySearch Collections|How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]]
 
 
 
=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
 
 
 
{{Incomplete Citations}}
 
 
 
*United States. Bureau of the Census. 12th census, 1900, digital images, From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: September 29, 2006), Arizona Territory, Maricopa, Township 1, East Gila, Salt River Base and Meridian; sheet 9B, line 71
 
*Mexico, Distrito Federal, Catholic Church Records, 1886-1933, digital images, from FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org: April 22, 2010), Baptism of Adolfo Fernandez Jimenez, 1 Feb. 1910, San Pedro Apóstol, Cuahimalpa, Distrito Federal, Mexico, film number 0227023
 
 
 
[[Category:Sussex|Church Records]]
 

Latest revision as of 00:43, 11 April 2020

Access the Records
England, Sussex, Parish Registers, 1538-1910
CID1465706
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Sussex, England
Flag of England.png
Flag of England
Flag of Sussex.png
Flag of Sussex
GB Locator Map Sussex.png
Location of Sussex, England
England in United Kingdom.svg 2000px.png
Location of England
Record Description
Record Type Parish Registers
Collection years 1538-1910
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
West Sussex Record Office


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection contains an index to baptismal, marriage, and burial records from the county of Sussex for the years 1538-1910. The original records are held at the West Sussex Records Office.

Parish registers have been kept at the local level across England since the mid-1500s. Due to this long and relatively stable tradition, these records are central to English genealogical research as they are often one of the only sources for finding families and individuals in England before the start of civil registration in 1837.


Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.


What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptism

  • Name of the child
  • Date and place of baptism
  • Gender
  • Names of parents

Marriage

  • Name of the bride and groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Genders
  • Marital status
  • Fathers' names
  • May include age and estimated birth year

Burial

  • Name of the deceased
  • Date and place of burial
  • Age
  • Estimated birth year

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

For additional details about these records and help using them see England Parish Registers - FamilySearch Historical Records

Coverage Tables[edit | edit source]

The coverage tables for this collection indicate the locations, types, and years of available records in this collection. Due to number of parishes included, the coverage information is presented according to the first letter of the name of the parish:

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person
  • Date range for the record

Note: There are now 5.7 million searchable Sussex County christening, marriage and burial entries as of 13 Feb 2019: see Familysearch.org/search and type in the place box---"Sussex, England" Births/Baptisms; do same for Marriage and "Death".

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Save or print a copy of the image or record, if possible. The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index
  • Use the information which you have found to estimate ages in other life events. For example, use a christening date to approximate a marriage date, or a burial record to calculate an estimated year of birth
  • Once you have found a christening or a burial church record, you may want to search for birth and death in civil records (1837 and later)
  • Use the information you have found to find the person and families in census records
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for an individual with a common name, look at all the search results before deciding which is the correct person
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname
  • Be careful using the listed age on a marriage record to estimate a birth year. Rather than listing actual ages, clerks often wrote in 21 as the age of both the bride and groom to show that they each were of legal age
  • Search the records of nearby locations
    • Kent and Surrey to the north
    • Hampshire to the west
  • Check for other names. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, a nickname, or an abbreviation of their given name
  • Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as scribes heard them. Try searching based on how the name may have been pronounced
  • Vary the search terms. For example, expand the date range or search by either the given name or surname to return a broader list of results
  • The individual might not have records in the Church of England at all, but rather might have belonged to a nonconformist denomination
  • When you search baptismal records, remember that it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth
  • Some parish records might have been lost over time. Bishop's Transcripts can also be a good source of information
  • Note that marriages often took place in the parish where the bride resided
  • Sometimes a person was born out of wedlock ("illegitimate"), and may have been baptised under the mother's maiden or surname, so search under that name--if known.

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Sussex.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.