Parish Registers

Registers of baptisms, marriages and burials constitute the main source for family history research before 1837. There are 257 parishes in Cornwall, of which all have deposited registers at Cornwall Record Office or allowed them to be filmed, most of these are now produced to the public in microfiche form. The dates range, in some cases, from 1538 until the present day. Current registers remain in the parish churches.

The links in the menu will take you to pages listing the parish register transcriptions held at the Cornish Studies Library (CSL).

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You can also access some parish register transcripts at the Cornwall Family History Society and the Courtney Library (Royal Institution of Cornwall).

These are contemporary copies of parish registers.  The 'dates held' are often covering dates, with years missing and some gaps in between.

The CSL holds copies of the Bishop's Transcripts on microfilm for the majority of parishes in Cornwall. Most date from the mid-sixteenth century to approximately 1670-80, from 1737-1740 and from 1773-1812. The list of these holdings is available at the Library. Cornwall Record Office has the originals or microfiche copies of all surviving Cornish Bishop's Transcripts.

In the 19th century most of the population of Cornwall attended Methodist chapels. Cornwall Record Office holds over 500 registers for various Methodist denominations and circuits. The Society of Friends records and certain Baptist and Congregational registers have also been deposited at the Record Office. Fowey Library holds transcriptions of the Fowey Congregational Church Baptisms and Marriages, 1950-1970.