Find your ancestors in Cheshire Vital Records Browse 1500-1991

Explore bishop’s transcripts, non-conformist registers, and parish registers from Cheshire. You can search the records by parish, event, or record type. All three sources are significant for family history.

The records found in the Cheshire vital records browse include baptisms, marriages, and burials; therefore, the information you will find in each record will vary. The facts recorded also vary depending on the age of the record and its condition. The details found in earlier records are sparse, but the later records, especially in the twentieth century, were meticulously kept and recorded a number of key facts about your ancestor. For each record, you should find the following:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Event date
  • Parents’ names
  • Spouse’s name
  • Residence

Parish registers – Parish registers are records of all the vital events which occurred within the parish. After the establishment of the Anglican Church of England, Thomas Cromwell, the Vicar General, mandated in 1538 that all parishes were to keep records of marriages, baptisms; and burials. Until the nineteenth century, most events were all recorded in one volume, then in the mid- to late nineteenth century, each event was given its own volume. Parish registers are a staple of genealogical research and, for many family trees, a starting point for tracing your ancestry.

Bishop’s transcripts – Bishop’s transcripts are copies of the parish registers, which were annually sent to the diocesan registrar, the bishop. In 1597, Elizabeth I ordered the practice of creating bishop’s transcripts. These are an excellent resource for family historians because if there is any damage to the original parish register, a second record of the event can be consulted in the bishop’s transcripts. Gaps will be found within the records. In 1646, the office of the Bishop was abolished during the time of the Commonwealth and was not reinstated until 1660.

Non-conformist registers – Non-conformist is a term used to describe religious denominations outside of the established church. In England, the established church was the Church of England. Non-conformists include Methodists, Baptists, Roman Catholics, Quakers, Unitarian, and more. The records for the non-conformist denominations in Cheshire started from 1862.