Free family history reports are generated through researching four main sources of genealogical records of which parish records are one. BDM certificates, Census Reports and Will and Probate Documents make up the balance, yet parish records are as invaluable as any of them. These documents have been generated by parish churches and other religious groups for hundreds of years, and accordingly can help you to further extend your free family history reports.
BDM certificates and Census Records can lay a strong foundation for free family history reports, but parish records are extremely useful for extending your family tree further back in time. Many parish records are available from the eighteenth and earlier centuries, and their records were generated at a local rather than a national level. They were also produce by the Church rather than the State and record key events in a parishioner’s life.
Their main value lies in data involving baptisms, marriages and burials, and they are one of the longest continuous forms of record keeping used by genealogists to develop free family history reports. You will however need a bit of luck to find ancestors in the earliest documents, but it is possible.Start Your Free Family Tree
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In England and Wales, parish records are kept mostly in county archives, as they have been entered into the public domain. Any citizen can search these records to glean information crucial to building free family tree reports. They are usually made available on microfilm or microfiche, as the originals are mostly too old and fragile to be handled regularly. There is an enormous demand to view parish records due to the rise in people interested in composing free family history records, and often you may have to make an appointment to view them.
Welsh records are kept in the National Library of Wales, with some stored in local repositories. The Society of Genealogists has microfilm and fiche collections for various parishes throughout England, while local history societies may also be able to help you with this aspect of your free family history reports. The best online source for all parish records is the extensive catalogue hosted by the Mormon Church at Family Search
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Despite that most of Ireland was Catholic, the Protestant Church of Ireland was the official state church right up until 1869. That’s not so long ago if you’re looking for information on your great or great-great grandparents to enter into free family history reports. Record keeping by the Church began in the early 17th century in Ireland, although few records survive from that era. Most records you will find will date from around 1870, when they began to be stored at the Public Record Office.Public Record Office links to alt tag
Irish parish records are famously difficult to locate though, as more than half of them were destroyed by fire during the Civil War in 1922. This makes establishing free family history reports for Irish ancestry quite the challenge, but the surviving records are kept in the Irish National Archives, and information regarding them can be found online.
If you locate civil registration records that don’t reveal the information you need to fill in your free family history reports, it is well worth searching parish registers. The fact that there is information dating back as far as the sixteenth century that can extend your free family history reports makes it a valuable resource for genealogists. With a bit of patience and determination, you can uncover that hidden info, and begin using it in your free family history reports.
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