How to interpret the Devon Parish Register, Non-Parochial and Civil Register Lists
These lists include all of the Church of England parish registers, non-conformist registers and civil registers of burial and marriage, which have been received and catalogued in the Devon Heritage Centre at Sowton, Exeter, the North Devon Record Office at Barnstaple and the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office at Plymouth. For information on very recently deposited registers at Plymouth and West Devon Record Office please email them (email address below).
Locations of original registers
Original registers which have a 'B' followed by a number in the location/deposit number column on the right hand side of the list, are held at the North Devon Record Office.
Send any enquiries about these registers to email@example.com
Original registers which have a 'P' followed by a number in the location/deposit number column, on the right hand side of the list, are held at the Plymouth and West Devon Record Office .
Send any enquiries about these registers to firstname.lastname@example.org
All other registers – those with no codes and numbers in the location/deposit number column on the right hand side of the list - are held here at the Devon Heritage Centre.
Send any enquiries about these registers to us at email@example.com
Date coverage of original parish registers
Whenever possible, we have recorded gaps of fifteen years or more in individual registers or register series. We have made an exception when these occur in Church of England parish registers in the middle of the seventeenth century. This is because baptism, marriage and burial entries in the years from 1642 to about 1660 are usually missing, or else the entries are likely to be defective.
Availability of registers in the list
Where registers are microfilmed, they are available to researchers who visit our searchroom, in that format. Parish registers and non-parochial registers which have been filmed will normally be available in microfiche or film format at all three archive offices, but please note that some registers were unsuitable for filming. Unless they have been digitised instead and made available online, it will be necessary to visit the appropriate archive office to carry out research using these original registers.
Some (but certainly not all) of the Devon parish registers have been digitised and made available online through the genealogical website Find My Past. Those registers contain entries which can be searched for and seen as digital images, either at home, or by using public access computers at the above three archive offices or at other libraries and research centres which have a subscription.
The fact that we have included a register in the parish register list does not guarantee that it can be produced for research – a few registers are, unfortunately, very damaged because of fire or previous poor storage conditions while still held in the parish, and the entries cannot be read at all. We don’t produce these in the searchroom.