An Act of 1598 required Church ministers to make copies of their parish registers and send the copies to their Archdeacon or Bishop early year. These copies are known as Archdeacon Transcripts or Bishops Transcripts, they are extremely valuable when parish registers have been damaged or have not survived the years. The copies were made and sent to the diocese office every year until the mid 1800’s.
It should be noted that because the transcripts are copies they are open to errors in copying, to not containing all the information that is in the original registers and on some occasions they may contain more information than in the originals. There may well be gaps 1649 – 1660, during the Commonwealth period many parish registers ceased to be kept or were hidden away by clergy fearful that they might be removed from the parish. Bishop/Archdeacon’s Transcripts were not required to be made during these disruptive times.
This collection of scanned images of the original documents are not indexed, they are available for browsing page by page at the FamilySearch website. There is no charge for viewing the documents.
See the lesson on Parish Registers for a more information on what is contained in parish registers.