Registers of baptism, marriages and burials
Registers are particularly useful for family history before July 1837 (when Civil Registration of births, marriages and deaths began). The earliest registers are from around 1538 when Thomas Cromwell ordered every wedding; baptism and burial in the parish should be recorded. Shropshire Archives holds registers for most of the 300+ Church of England parishes in Shropshire as well as chapel registers for some non-conformist and Roman Catholic chapel registers.
Finding and using parish registers
You can search most of the Shropshire parish and non-conformist registers up to 1900 on the Find My Past website.
There are over two million entries, wonderful colour images of the registers and you can zoom in to view incredible detail on those very faint or badly written entries.
Access to these images is free on PCs at Shropshire Archives as well as at libraries and local history centres in Shropshire and Telford and Wrekin. If you’re using the site elsewhere, you can search the indexes for free and subscribe or use ‘pay as you go’ credits to view the images.
At Shropshire Archives
Most parish registers after 1900 (and also those before) are at Shropshire Archives.
These registers are mostly on microfiche. Follow the links below for PDF lists which give full details of our holdings for:
The PDFs show what format the registers are in and if there’s any sort of index. Please note that to view any original registers, you’ll need to register for a reader’s ticket.
Find out more
Please check our printable short guides page for much more information about parish, non-conformist and Roman Catholic registers. We also sell maps showing all the Shropshire parishes.
Information in other places
Shropshire Archives does not hold certificates of birth, marriage or death. For these, contact the Shropshire Registration Service or Telford Registration Service. Also, try the General Register Office which holds all certificates for England and Wales.
Some parishes have not yet deposited their parish registers here. The ‘Church near You’ website will help you find contact details for the relevant vicar in the case of Church of England parishes.
From c 1598-1837 vicars made yearly copies of baptisms, marriages and burials. These copies, called Bishop’s Transcripts, are held at Diocesan Record Offices. For Shropshire, these offices are: Herefordshire Record Office, Lichfield Record Office and the National Library of Wales (for the Diocese of St Asaph).