The parishes are arranged in alphabetical order.
For each parish the following sections are included, where relevant:
Some brief notes of general interest with usually a photograph related to the parish.
This section describes the nomenclature and status of the parishes and other ecclesiastical and civil units. The definitions are based on those used by Frederic A. Youngs in his 'Guides to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol. I, Southern England 1979' and 'Vol.II, Northern England 1991', published by the Royal Historical Society. An explanation of the terms used is given in the Definitions of terms used in parish guides section of this website. For a more detailed reading see the 'Definition of Terms' section in the above books.
The ordnance survey reference is quoted for each unit, followed by road directions.
Local names, especially of hamlets, townships etc. within the parish are given. Such information is useful since in census returns from 1851 the place of birth, as supplied by the informant, is sometimes that of a local hamlet rather than that of the parish of which it was a part.
Gives the dedication of the parish church and / or associated chapelries.
Names the Archdeaconry & Diocese with jurisdiction over the parish. Identifies alternative forms of jurisdiction, e.g. Extra-parochials. It is useful to identify the diocese to which a parish belonged when probate or ecclesiastical records are sought. For definition of terms see Definitions of terms used in parish guides.
Ancient counties were divided into "Hundreds", which varied in size from area to area. The derivation of the term remains obscure. Hundreds may have originated from the groupings of a hundred hides but that is only one of many explanations proffered by historians. (A hide was a measurement used in the Domesday Book which was a land unit reckoned as between 90 and 120 acres.) They emerged as administrative units in the 10th century. Hundred courts had jurisdiction in cases relating to local issues and apportioned taxes. The courts lost most of their functions after the last quarter of the 19th century. The hundreds of Worcestershire, namely, Doddingtree, Halfshire, Oswaldslow, Pershore and Blackenhurst were inter-mingled. Some records are to be found in county record offices.
Poor Law Union:
Poor Law Unions (PLUs) were formed following the Poor Law Amendment Act, 1834. Their records can be useful in tracing ancestors, particularly for poorer families. Jeremy Gibson (in his book "Poor Law Union Records, 4.Gazetteer of England and Wales", published by the Federation of Family History Societies) points out that the Unions were also used as the basis of districts both for the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths from 1837 on and for the 1841 and subsequent censuses. So, knowledge of which PLU a parish was in can be used for identification of registration districts and locations in censuses.
Our ancestors moved their place of abode more frequently than is often supposed. A move over quite a short distance could be into another parish and it may therefore be necessary to search the records of other near-by parishes. Adjoining parishes are listed in a clockwise direction starting with those on the northern boundary.
The registers listed in this section are the microfilmed records and the documents on open shelves held at the Worcestershire Library & History Centre and the original records held at the Worcestershire Record Office.
The dates given are start and end dates. It should not be assumed that a record of all events is available for the complete range of dates. Only microfilms of registers are normally available for consultation, not original registers.
In most cases the original records and the documents available on open shelves are only listed if they contain records which are not available on microfilm.
From the reign of Elizabeth I, Bishops' Transcripts (or Register Bills) were supposed to be returned annually, by the clergy of each parish, to the bishop, archdeacon or peculiar authority. Their survival has varied widely. There is always a gap for the period of the Civil War and the Commonwealth (the 1640s and 1650s), as diocesan and similar authority was suspended or abolished at the time (and this is the case with Marriage Licence records too). It will be found that after the introduction of civil registration in 1837 only baptisms and burials are usually returned, and the submission of transcripts, in general, died out in the later 19th century. Whilst BTs are of the utmost value when the registers themselves are missing, it should always be borne in mind that they are likely to be a less than full copy, though occasionally they may contain even more than the original. (Extracted from the FFHS Guide to Bishops' Transcripts and Marriage Licences by Jeremy Gibson; for a more detailed description of the records covered see the introduction to that Guide.)
International Genealogical Index (IGI):
The International Genealogical Index, usually known as the IGI, was compiled by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, perhaps better known as the Mormons. It gives information about baptisms and marriages taken from parish registers. A few births and burials are included. It gives the surname and first names of the person registered; the date of the event; the parish where the event took place; the parents or spouse of the person registered. There are only a few entries for records later than 1876. Within each county’s records the index is in alphabetical order of surname. The IGI lists surnames with similar spellings together.
The IGI should be used with caution. The index is not comprehensive, as the researchers were not allowed access to all parish registers. Some of the information is unreliable. For example, there may be multiple records for the same person, if information about them has been submitted by more than one researcher. Transcriptions are not always accurate, and spellings of surnames may vary considerably; however surname variants are listed together. In view of possible inaccuracies, it is always best, if possible, to check the original entry in the parish register. In spite of its shortcomings the index is a useful source if used with caution.
The Index is widely available, both on CDs and microfiche, at record offices and at LDS Family History centres.
These are Church of England registers held at repositories other than the Worcestershire Library & History Centre and Worcestershire Record Office.
Please note that the Society of Genealogists is continually adding registers to its library. You are advised to look at the catalogue http://www.sog.org.uk/prc/worcestershire.shtml for any parish in which you are interested.
These are nonconformist records held at Worcestershire Record Office or other repositories.
Monumental Inscriptions and Associated Documents:
Entries with the reference 'WLHC' are held on the searchroom shelves at the Worcestershire Library and History Centre. Those records marked WRO are held at the Worcestershire Record Office.
Where held, records will normally be found under the ecclesiastical parish name. Records of nonconformist churches have not been listed separately. In the larger towns (Bromsgrove, Dudley, Evesham, Kidderminster, Pershore, Redditch, Stourbridge and Worcester) they may be listed together under 'Nonconformist Records'.
Details of records held at the Worcestershire Library and History Centre and at Worcestershire Record Office are based on the handlist 'Monumental Inscriptions and Associated Documents at Worcestershire Record Office'. This list makes every attempt to include all records of monumental inscriptions at the repositories but does not preclude records being held for churches, churchyards and cemeteries other than those listed. It is recommended that you also check the general index to the inventory at the Worcestershire Library and History Centre if an entry does not appear on that list.
Links are included to the War Memorials described in the “Remember the Fallen” website (http://www.rememberthefallen.co.uk/). These are entered with the kind permission of Sandra Taylor, the site's Researcher and Administrator.
All the censuses between 1841 and 1901 are now available on a number of fee-paying (Subscription or PayAsYouGo) sites including Ancestry.co.uk, FindMyPast.co.uk, thegenealogist.co.uk and genesreunited.co.uk. The 1911 census is available in full or in part on some of these sites. We are unable to advise on the choice of site since researchers' personal preferences will be influenced by the content and search facilities offered by each site. Some sites offer a free trial.
Access to the library edition of Ancestry.co.uk is widely available at most record offices, including Worcestershire Library and History Centre, and some libraries. You are advised to book time on their computers before making a visit.
A free-to-view site is being developed at freecen.org.uk for the 1841, 1851, 1861, 1871 and 1891 censuses. Coverage of Worcestershire parishes is rather sparse at this time.
Census returns can usually be viewed at Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints' Family History Centres.
Some repositories offer census details on microform, disc or printed copy. These are listed for each parish.
Search Services (Fee paying) - BMSGH and Independent:
Details and charges for the search services offered by the BMSGH can be found on the BMSGH main website - www.bmsgh.org
These include the Worcestershire Burial Index and the Worcestershire Marriage Index.
The lists of manorial records have been extracted from the "Handlist of Manorial Documents" held at Worcestershire Library and History Centre. The records are kept at the Worcestershire Record Office, County Hall, Spetchley Road, Worcester, WR5 2NP.
Parish Records on microform at Worcestershire Library and History Centre
These are the parish records, other than registers, held on microfiche or film at the Worcestershire Library and History Centre.
These items are drawn from a list of the records of schools and of other educational establishments held by Worcestershire Record Office. The full list can be accessed at the local history section of the Worcester Record Office website. Please note that these are original documents. To view these documents, please make a note of the reference number and contact the County Hall branch of the Record Office, where they are held.
Lists other known sources.
These are extracts from a number of national and county directories.
Last Updated: 06/07/2012