In 1538 a law was passed ordering the clergy to record baptisms, marriages and burials (Parish Registers). These details were to be written down after the Sunday Services.
Some years later, in 1597, Queen Elizabeth I ordered that all existing records should be copied into parchment books. Some, but not all of the early records survive and these are usually deposited at the relevant County Record Offices.
Parish Registers are of the utmost importance in helping to trace ancestors and build a family tree and are invaluable in genealogy. Once the county from which your forefathers hailed is established, the transcription can be purchased and the relevant baptisms, marriages and/or burials confirmed, adding to your family history. Please note that baptisms can also be referred to as Christenings
Parish Chest has transcriptions of parish registers and parish records of baptisms, marriages and burials from almost all parts of Britain and some other countries.
More parish register transcriptions on fiche or in booklets can be found on the relevant family history society pages.