Parish Registers

Parish registers form the most consistent source for baptisms, marriages, and burials in England between the 16th and 19th centuries. Though many have gaps and in some cases are completely missing or lost,  parish registers provide information about men, women, and children of all classes in a single source.

From the Middle Ages the church divided England into dioceses, with each diocese being led by a bishop and divided into parishes. Each parish – usually roughly corresponding to a town or village – was attended to by a vicar or rector.

In 1538 Thomas Cromwell, Henry VIII’s chief minister, issued an injunction that each parish should keep a register of baptisms, marriages, and burials. This was initially controversial and in some locations it was many years before records were kept. In Leicestershire only 14 parish registers starting before 1540 survive, but 143 registers were being kept by 1600.

Some parishes did not keep registers because they were extra-parochial i.e. they were outside the authority of the bishop, or were chapelries of a larger or older parish.

To assist with your research, here is a list of Leicestershire parishes with registers starting before 1850:

Ab Kettleby
Allexton
Anstey
Appleby
Arnesby
Asfordby
Ashby de la Zouch
Ashby Folville
Ashby Magna
Ashby Parva
Aston Flamville
Aylestone
Bagworth
Barkby
Barkestone
Barlestone
Barrow upon Soar
Barwell
Beeby
Belgrave
Belton
Billesdon
Birstall
Bitteswell
Blaby
Blackfordby
Blaston
Bottesford
Branston
Braunstone
Breedon on the Hill
Bringhurst
Brooksby
Broughton Astley
Bruntingthorpe
Buckminster
Burbage
Burrow on the Hill
Burton Lazars
Burton Overy
Cadeby
Carlton
Carlton Curlieu
Castle Donington
Catthorpe
Church Langton
Claybrooke
Cold Overton
Coleorton
Congerstone
Cosby
Cossington
Coston
Cotesbach
Countesthorpe
Cranoe
Croft
Croxton Kerrial
Dadlington
Desford
Diseworth
Dishley with Thorpe Acre
Dunton Bassett
Earl Shilton
East Norton
Eastwell
Eaton
Edmondthorpe
Enderby
Evington
Fenny Drayton
Fleckney
Foston
Foxton
Freeby
Frisby on the Wreake
Frowlesworth
Gaddesby
Galby
Garthorpe
Gilmorton
Glen Parva
Glenfield
Glooston
Goadby
Goadby Marwood
Great Bowden
Great Dalby
Great Easton
Great Glen
Great Stretton
Grimston
Groby
Gumley
Hallaton
Harby
Harston
Hathern
Heather
Higham on the Hill
Hinckley
Hoby
Horninghold
Hose
Hoton
Houghton on the Hill
Hugglescote
Humberstone
Hungerton
Husbands Bosworth
Ibstock
Ilston on the Hill
Isley Walton
Kegworth
Keyham
Kibworth Beauchamp
Kilby
Kimcote and Walton
Kings Norton
Kirby Bellars
Kirby Muxloe
Kirkby Mallory
Knighton
Knipton
Knossington
Laughton
Leicester All Saints
Leicester St George
Leicester St Leonard
Leicester St Margaret
Leicester St Martin
Leicester St Mary
Leicester St Nicholas
Leire
Little Dalby
Little Stretton
Lockington
Loddington
Long Clawson
Long Whatton
Loughborough
Lowesby
Lubenham
Lutterworth
Market Bosworth
Market Harborough
Markfield
Medbourne
Melton Mowbray
Misterton
Mountsorrel
Mowsley
Muston
Nailstone
Narborough
Nether and Over Seal
Nether Broughton
Newbold Verdon
Newton Harcourt
Newton Linford
Normanton le Heath
North Kilworth
Norton Juxta Twycross
Nosely
Oadby
Oaks in Charnwood
Old Dalby
Orton on the Hill
Osgathorpe
Owston and Newbold
Packington
Peatling Magna
Peatling Parva
Peckleton
Pickwell
Plungar
Prestwold
Queniborough
Quorndon
Ragdale
Ratby
Ratcliffe Culey
Ratcliffe on the Wreak
Ravenstone with Snibston
Rearsby
Redmile
Rotherby
Rothley
Saddington
Saltby
Sapcote
Saxby
Saxelby
Scalford
Scraptoft
Seagrave
Shackerstone
Shangton
Sharnford
Shawell
Shearsby
Sheepy Magna
Shenton
Shepshed
Sibson
Sileby
Skeffington
Slawston
Snarestone
Somerby
South Croxton
South Kilworth
Sproxton
Stanton under Bardon
Stapleford
Stapleton
Stathern
Stockerston
Stoke Golding
Stonesby
Stoney Stanton
Stonton Wyville
Stoughton
Sutton Cheney
Swepstone
Swinford
Swithland
Syston
Theddingworth
Thornton
Thorpe Arnold
Thorpe Langton
Thrussington
Thurcaston
Thurlaston
Thurmaston (South)
Thurnby
Tilton on the Hill
Tugby
Tur Langton
Twycross
Twyford
Waltham on the Wolds
Walton on the Wolds
Wanlip
Wartnaby
Welham
West Langton
Whetstone
Whitwick
Wigston Magna
Willoughby Waterless
Wistow
Withcote
Witherley
Woodhouse
Worthington
Wycombe and Chadwell
Wyfordby with Brentingby
Wymeswold
Wymondham