Every Friday, Findmypast announces their latest records on their Findmypast Friday blog posts.

This week two new record sets they’ve just added, caught my attention. These are both the Devon Parish Registers, and Plymouth and West Devon Parish Registers. I’ll admit they caught my attention as a number of my family lines have their roots in Devon, so I had to check them out.

There’s almost half a million images of “ORIGINAL” handwritten registers, that date from the 1500s through until the 1800s. Not transcripts or indexes … they’re the actual original records.

As they are all handwritten, so aren’t searchable, at least not at this stage. But you can narrow down your search by parish and year.

And you might be wondering why the Plymouth records aren’t included in the ‘Devon Parish Registers’ record set, this would be as they come from a different source. So if you have Devon connections, be sure to check both links.

Search now
This collection of records comes from the Devon Archive and Local Studies. Using this collection you can browse over 4,500 handwritten volumes of parish baptisms, marriages, and burials containing over 459,000 records in their entirety.

Since registers were introduced in 1528, all events were recorded in one bound volume. In 1812, an act was passed which required each event to be recorded in its own standardised register book. Most of the books you view from after 1812 are printed registers. The detail for each life event will vary, but most will include the following:

Name, Parent’s names, Baptism date, Residence, Parents’ occupation, Who performed the ceremony.

Name of bride and groom, Marriage date, Bride and groom’s age, marital status, occupations, and residence, Bride and groom’s fathers’ names, Fathers’ occupations, Marriage place, Bride and groom’s signatures, Names of witnesses.

Burial date, Name, Residence, Age at the time of death, A number of records also include the name of a spouse, parents, or next of kin.

Search now –  
Browse over 906 volumes of original parish registers containing over 33,000 records. All images were created from the original registers held at the Plymouth & West Devon Record Office. Move from page to page using the arrows, or go to a specific page. Parish registers are an excellent resource for family historians and local historians, especially if you are tracing your family further than 1837.