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We can research all Historic and Genealogical References, Indexes and Collections to help build a picture of your family origins. We can either assist you with a query or conduct all the research for you and produce a report for you to pass on through the Generations.



Sovereign Ancestry Lincolnshire - Genealogy image 2Records of baptisms, marriages and burials have been kept from the earliest of times. However the survival rate for most of the earliest records is somewhat small. During the reign of Henry VIII, in 1538, Thomas Cromwell decreed that proper registers be kept of all baptisms, marriages and burials that occurred in every parish. However, the reality was somewhat different from the ideal. There were further decrees during subsequent reigns but it has to be said that they have left us with a less than ideal legacy of records.


In fact, of the 11,000 or so parishes, there are fewer than 1,000 with complete records back to the 1500s. This is due to various reasons, the primary one being that although it was the responsibility of every priest to keep records the amount of information actually recorded was left to his discretion (or otherwise!) .


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The situation was improved somewhat with the introduction in 1597 of what are known as the Bishop's Transcripts. These are transcriptions of the parish registers which were required to be returned annually to the Bishop. The theory was good, but in practice some registers could not be transcribed because they had been lost or destroyed prior to 1597. Later records often suffered a similar fate. However, the survival rate of the Bishop's Transcripts was much better than the parish registers so between the two we have a much more satisfactory (although not ideal) source of information.


Roman Catholic:
Some registers survive from 1778 when the Roman Catholic Relief Bill was enacted but few were kept prior to this. In 1840 registers were supposed to be surrendered to the Registrar General to comply with the Royal Commission of 1837. However, few were!


Prior to surrendering their registers in 1840 an index was made of all their entries. This index is accessible on microfilm. Usually Quaker records are more detailed than their Anglican counterparts. Of course, Quakers did not believe in the baptism of children but they did record dates of birth in registers. Furthermore they continued to perform marriage ceremonies after Hardwicke's Marriage Act was enacted on 25th March 1754.


The next major innovation was the advent of Civil Registration.


Other records providing useful information when tracing family history can be obtained from documents relating to decennial Census Returns, the first of which was taken on 10th March, 1801, together with those kept under the provisions of the 1662 Law of Settlement & Removal.