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You are here:home > Leisure > Arts and Heritage > Family and local history > Family History > Parish Registers

Parish Registers

Millbrook parish marriages 17th century

Before registration of births, marriages and deaths was introduced in 1837, parish registers are the primary source for family historians. Even after 1837, using parish registers of baptisms, marriages and burials can be a useful alternative to the civil records.

Southampton Archives holds Church of England parish records for Southampton, including original registers of baptisms, marriages and burials. At their most numerous there were 33 parishes in Southampton. The dates earliest register dates from 1552 and some parishes have deposited registers as recent as the 21st century.

All of the registers before 1837 are transcribed and indexed. Volunteers are in the process of compiling a surname index for registers after 1837 which for most parishes has been completed up to the early 20th century. This means that you don't need to know which parish your ancestor lived in to find an entry.

Obtaining copies

Many Southampton registers have been microfilmed and it is possible to get copies of entries printed out from film. Copies of the microfilms are also available at the Local and Maritime Studies Library.

If you need to obtain a certified copy of your baptism entry please contact the Archives direct.

The International Genealogical Index

The International Genealogical Index (IGI) provides a name indexes to christenings and marriages in church records, mainly before 1837. It can be very useful for finding events if you know the county but not the exact parish or date it took place. The IGI is arranged alphabetically by surname within each county. It can provide you with enough information to located the original church record entry.

The Local and Maritime Studies Library holds a microfiche copy of the index. 'Family Search' is a free online version of the IGI which can be accessed from the computers in the library or from home.

Contact information