England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts - FamilySearch Historical Records

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England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts, 1560-1911
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Kent, England
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Flag of Kent
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Location of Kent, England
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Location of England
Record Description
Record Type Bishop's Transcripts
Collection years 1560-1911
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Kent History and Library Centre


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of bishop's transcripts from the county of Kent for the years 1560-1911. The originals are held at Kent Archives Office. Availability of records may vary by year and locality.

Beginning in 1598, every parish priest of the Church of England was supposed to make a copy of his parish register and send it to send to the archdeacon or bishop every year. Termed either archdeacon’s or bishop’s transcripts, these copies were generally produced in the same form as a regular parish transcript. Many priests stopped producing these transcripts with the beginning of civil registration in 1837, but they did not fully disappear until after 1870.

As bishop’s transcripts generally contain more or less the same information as parish registers, they are an invaluable resource when parish records have been damaged, destroyed, or otherwise lost. However, because bishop's transcripts are, as their name implies, copies of the original records, they are more liable to contain errors than parish registers might be.

Most collections of bishops’ transcripts have been preserved, and their condition is relatively good considering the age of the records and their storage conditions over the centuries. Many collections have also been copied to microfilm or microfiche.

One of the 39 historic counties of England, Kent is a coastal county located in southeastern England. Much of the northeastern portion of the county is now incorporated into the Greater London metropolis. For a list of parishes which historically made up this county, see the Kent Parishes page.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians.

These images can be viewed online by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at a Family History Center near you, or the Family History Library. Also, the images are viewable to users who are part of the contributing organization.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts, 1560-1911.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Baptismal Records

Before 1812

  • Date and place of baptism
  • Full name of child
  • Sex of child

After 1812

  • Legitimacy of child
  • Full names of parents
  • Residence of parents
  • Marital status of parents
  • Occupations of parents
  • Names of godparents
  • Names, ages, occupations, and residences of witnesses
  • Name of minister

Marriage Records

Before 1754

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Full names of bride and groom
  • Dates of the proclamation of banns
  • Residences of bride and groom

After 1754

  • Full names of witnesses
  • Name of minister

After 1812

  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Previous marital statuses of bride and groom
  • Occupations of bride and groom
  • Birthplaces of bride and groom
  • Full names of parents, including maiden names
  • Names of other relatives present at the marriage

Burial Records

Before 1812

  • Date and place of burial
  • Name of deceased
  • Marital status of deceased
  • Name of spouse

After 1812

  • Age at death
  • Residence of deceased
  • Cause of death
  • Date and place of death
  • Birthdate and place of deceased
  • Sex of deceased, esp. if infant.
  • Name of father, esp. if infant
  • Occupation of father, esp. if infant

 

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

For additional details about these records and help using them see England Bishop's Transcripts - FamilySearch Historical Records

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before beginning a search in these records, it is best to know the following information:

  • Full name of the individual
  • General location of the event
  • Approximate date

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select County
  2. Select Parish
  3. Select Event Type and Year Range (with Volume) to view the images.

Some of the records in this collection may be written in an old script that can be challenging to read. Refer to BYU’s Script Tutorial for assistance with reading the records.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Save or print a copy of the image or record, if possible. The original may contain information that was not recorded in the index
  • Use the information which you have found to estimate ages in other life events. For example, use a christening date to approximate a marriage date, or a burial record to calculate an estimated year of birth
  • Once you have found a christening or a burial church record, you may want to search for birth and death in civil records (1837 and later)
  • Use the information you have found to find the person and families in census records
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • When looking for an individual with a common name, look at all the search results before deciding which is the correct person
  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname
  • Be careful using the listed age on a marriage record to estimate a birth year. Rather than listing actual ages, clerks often wrote in 21 as the age of both the bride and groom to show that they each were of legal age
  • Search the records of nearby locations
    • Essex to the north
    • London and Surrey to the west
    • East Sussex to the south
  • Check for other names. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, a nickname, or an abbreviation of their given name
  • Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as scribes heard them. Try searching based on how the name may have been pronounced
  • Vary the search terms. For example, expand the date range or search by either the given name or surname to return a broader list of results
  • The individual might not have records in the Church of England at all, but rather might have belonged to a nonconformist denomination
  • When you search baptismal records, remember that it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth
  • Note that marriages often took place in the parish where the bride resided

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Kent.


Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation
"England, Kent, Bishop's Transcripts, 1560-1911." images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing Church of England. Kent Archives Office, Maidstone.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records/Guidelines for Articles.