To visit one of the Devon Record Offices it is normally necessary to book in advance, so ensure you ring the relevant office to arrange a visit. You might also like to establish the records that you would like to view and ensure that you book the relevant viewer, either a microfiche or microfilm reader.
A listing of the Parish Registers for conformist and non-conformist churches/chapels in Devon and the Record Offices where they are held are available on the Devon County record site at:
You may also like to remember to take your notebook and a pencil - the use of pen is forbidden for obvious reasons!
The Civil Registration of Births, Marriages and Deaths was established in England and Wales on the 1st July 1837, although didn't become law until 1874, so some early events may not have ever have been registered. But at some point in your research you may like to acquire, or need to obtain a certificate to further your research. How to obtain certificates can be somewhat confusing, so hopefully the details below with help.
General Register Office (GRO) Index
In order to obtain a certificate you may need to look up the General Register Office Index more commonly know to genealogists as the GRO. An online version FreeBMD (Free Births, Marriages and Deaths), is in the process of being transcribed and hosted Rootsweb. At the moment the index is only partially complete. Births, Marriages and Deaths, that you cannot find online can be viewed at various Family History Centres, an increasing number of public libraries and also at the Family Records Centre (FRC) in London.
FreeBMD is always looking for new transcribers, so if you have any time to spare then they will welcome your help. No experience is required and you won't even have to leave your computer. A transcriber myself - it is actually quite therapeutic! More details can be found at Join FreeBMD
You can obtain certificates in one of four ways from:
A listing of the Parish Registers for conformist and non-conformist churches/chapels in Devon are available on the Devon County record site at:
These registers have been copied onto microfilm or microfiche are and available for viewing at the Devon Record Offices listed above. Please check though that the registers that you wish to view are available at the record office you anticipate to visit.
For those of you that don't have access to any of the Devon Record Offices the Mormon Church has filmed many of these parishes and you can order the microfilms from your local Mormon Family History Centre - an index to the microfilms and records available on microfiche can be found at the Family History Library Catalogue
Also note that some parish registers have not been deposited at the Record Offices and remain with their relevant parish church. The following site will hopefully help in your quest to find a contact: Find A Church
The (Mormon) Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS) at Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A, has compiled the worlds largest collection of family group sheets, known as Ancestral Files. They also have put their wonderful International Genealogy Index online - commonly known as the IGI.
You can find links to both the IGI and Ancestral Files listed on the Momon's Familysearch Site
International Genealogy Index
The IGI is a collection of transcriptions of baptisms and marriages from some of the parish records across the UK (including about 60% of the parish registers for Devon). It also includes information submitted by members of the Mormon Church. The IGI can be a useful "starting point" for finding your ancestors, although must be recognised as being a secondary source. Always check the original parish registers for anything that you may find, where possible as it is likely that they contain more information. Also as in any transcription, mistakes can be made.
Hugh Wallis has enabled a search of the IGI by surname in a particular parish - you can find more details by clicking below.
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