Accessing Church Records
Are you researching your ancestors and would like to better understand the role of church records in your studies?
Hopefully, this page, although related quite specifically to Fulford Parish, Staffordshire, may be used as to how to access data not only from St Nicholas Church in Fulford, but from church registers throughout the UK.
St Nicholas Church, Fulford
Church records can make an important contribution to family researches, so this is an outline of the records the church keeps and how they are made available.
The church has records of events that happen within its building and churchyard. So church records will contain registers of baptisms, marriages, and funeral services in the church; and also burials in the churchyard. They are, therefore, less comprehensive than civil registers which contain all births, marriages and deaths. Most of which are now available via the internet at www.staffordshirebmd.org.uk.
In order to store historic registers in the best possible conditions, registers are deposited with the local records office when they have entries over 100 years old or when they are full. This means that the church only holds the registers currently in use.
For Fulford, the old registers are in the care of the Staffordshire Record Office, Eastgate Street, Stafford (Tel 01785 278373).
The Record Office holds the registers of baptisms from 1813 to 1949; marriages from 1800 to 2005 and burials from 1815 to 1935. Prior to these dates, information about Fulford was included in the registers of St Michael’s, Stone.
The registers can be consulted at the Record Office, by prior appointment, more easily and comfortably than would have been the case when they were held by the church.
Looking at the old registers can be fascinating. Some information, such as addresses, may be more sketchy than we would like, but, especially in those registers where occupations are recorded, there is a real picture of the changes there have been in the life of this village.