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Parish RegistersSome notes about local parish registers and at the end some pointers regarding divorce records.
IntroParish Registers (PRs) contain baptisms, marriages and banns and burial entries. They are a valuable source to anyone tracing a (not non-conformist) family back before 1837, when central registration of births, marriages and deaths started.
Of course, after 1837 your ancestor may also have baptised their baby at church, married there or been buried in the churchyard (once South Ealing Cemetery opened in 1868 your ancestor may have been buried there). So from 1837 to the current day there are potentially two records available to help in your research: the certificate from civil registration and the baptism, marriage and burial entries in the PR.
The original PRs for Brentford parishes are held at London Metropolitan Archives (LMA); in each case the LMA reference is given (DRO...) and the dates of baptisms (C), marriages (M) and burials (B):
Some registers are also available on-line:
On this website - some baptismsBefore paying a subscription to ancestry, the next option below, it is worth checking the five sets of Brentford baptisms held on this site, thanks to Peter Stuart's transcriptions: the Name indexes incl WW1 page provides links. They cover baptisms, mostly during the ninteenth century into the early 1900s, to those involved in education, health, the law, public houses and those who worked on the waterways. Worth a try, you may be lucky.
On-line sources: ancestry.co.ukOriginal PRs have been scanned and indexed for the following Brentford parishes on the ancestry.co.uk website as part of the project to incorporate London parish records on their database (you need to pay to see the images - a subscription is the most practical way).
There are two ways to search:
Coverage on ancestry.co.uk
Baptisms 1813 onwards:
Burials 1813 onwards:
If you are not sure where your ancestor was buried and do not have a subscription to ancestry, see burial help for some ideas.
Baptisms, marriages and burials before 1813 are available in larger chunks, for example St Lawrence's records cover 1577 - 1813 in total, spread across 5 registers, the first covering 1570 - 1653. So 'browsing' is trickier: you need to find the right part of the register. One register may contain baptisms, marriages and burials; sometimes entries are completed in different parts of the register (eg baptisms at the front, burials at the back); sometimes entries are chronological (ie mixed); sometimes baptisms, marriages and burials are recorded for a year at a time, but eg baptisms are on left pages, burials are on right pages and marriages fitted into any gaps.
Divorces 1858-1937The National Archives includes a searchable divorce index - scroll down to point 3. to enter the person's name; however the survival rate of files varies:
Published April 2011; updated February 2020