Thursday, 7 January 2016

Ancestry adds Northamptonshire parish records 1532-1912

From Ancestry (


Over seven million historic Northamptonshire parish records digitised for the first time by Ancestry

* Parish baptism, marriage, confirmation and burial records detail 400 years of history in Northamptonshire

* Records are a vital resource for local people trying to locate their Northamptonshire ancestors

* The 2nd Earl of Spencer, poet John Clare, Shakespeare’s grand-daughter Elizabeth Barnard and actress Emma Watson’s 4x great-grandfather all feature in collection

More than three million historic parish records have been published online for the first time – offering a unique insight into the history and people of the county of Northamptonshire.

Digitised by Ancestry, the world’s largest family history resource, from original records held by Northamptonshire Archives Service, the Northamptonshire Parish Registers, 1532-1912 detail millions of baptisms, confirmations, marriages and burials that took place in the local area over a period of 400 years.

Searchable by name, birth date, parish, baptism, marriage, confirmation and burial date, name of spouse and name/s of parents, these records contain vital information for anybody looking to find out more about an ancestor who lived in Northamptonshire.

At the start of the 15th Century, both the British government and the Church of England became particularly interested in record keeping, and a 1538 Act of Parliament required ministers to document the key life events that took place across their parish. In 1812, George Rose’s Act called for preprinted registers to be used for separate baptism, marriage, and burial registers as a way of standardising records.

Starting in 1532, the collection pre-dates the censuses and civil registration making it a valuable resource for anybody looking to trace their ancestors back before official systems were established.

Ancestry’s Senior Content Manager Miriam Silverman comments: “Not only does this collection date back to a period in time when record keeping was rare, it also contains a host of famous names with connections to Northamptonshire. Now is the perfect time to get online and find out more about the lives of people living in the East Midlands over four centuries of fascinating history.”

Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of Northamptonshire County Council, said: “Our county’s history helps form Northamptonshire’s current identity and it’s important for people to know the stories behind the place in which they live.

“We’re very keen to make our county archives available to the largest amount of people possible. Researching family and local history is becoming increasingly popular and this latest development of data being much more readily available will mean that this interest will continue to grow.”

To search the Northamptonshire Parish Registers, 1532-1912 and more than 16 billion historical records worldwide, visit

NB: The records collections are directly accessible via the following links:

NEW Northamptonshire, England, Baptisms, Marriages and Burials, 1532-1812

NEW Northamptonshire, England, Marriages, 1754-1912

UPDATED Northamptonshire, England, Baptisms, 1813-1912

UPDATED Northamptonshire, England, Burials, 1813-1912

(With thanks to Bryony Partridge)

UPDATE: Ancestry has since contacted me to say that the collection actually contains seven million records, and not three million as noted in their original press release - I have updated this above.


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