Prominent Family Names

Before Rose’s Act in 1813, there was no consistency in the way church records were kept and the standard of record keeping varied enormously. An injunction by Thomas Cromwell in 1538, Vicar General to Henry VIII, required each church in England and Wales to enter christenings, weddings and burials in a register. Elaborate instructions were given for the register’s safe keeping. Parish registers were then accepted as legal documents as they were the only written evidence that could be produced especially in inheritance cases—to support the existence of a marriage or the legitimacy of a child. The first registers were of paper but an Act of 1598 ordered that the registers be copied into parchment books which were more durable and more expensive. The wording of this Act was unfortunate which stated that old registers were to be copied from the first year of Her Majesty’s reign. This provided an excuse to copy only from 1558 when Elizabeth I came to the throne.

During the Civil War many registers were not properly maintained. In 1733 the use of Latin in English and Welsh registers was discontinued. The Hardwicke’s Marriage Act introduced the use of proper marriage registers to prevent clandestine marriages. The Rose’s Act of 1813 required each parish to save separate registers for baptisms, marriages and burials.

W. Buchanan

Baptisms 1560-1999
NAME YEAR RANGE ENTRIES
Smith 1564-1992 373
Price 1581-1965 171
Bowley 1620-1996 154
Maltby 1732-1933 128
Spencer 1560-1886 127
Marshall 1791-1985 105
Sharp(e) 1591-1956 103
Harrison 1769-1991 100
Redfern 1586-1859 99
Holland 1666-1969 85
Powdrill 1772-1997 81
Hallam 1566-1969 79
Hogg 1748-1996 75
Burrows 1561-1931 74
Bexon 1765-1994 74
Hemsley 1645-1872 71
Pepper 1671-1948 63
Dring 1784-1964 61
Shepherd 1562-1973 60
Dabell 1792-1997 59
Goddard 1811-1965 54
Carver 1765-1952 53
Burton 1764-1866 40
Woolley 1740-1995 37
Wheatley 1652-1855 37
Oliver 1602-1802 37
Taylor 1714-1988 36
Hall 1575-1967 34

 

Burials 1560-1999
NAME YEAR RANGE ENTRIES
Smith 1563-1997 265
Bowley 1649-1998 152
Price 1651-1989 130
Holland 1669-1970 117
Sharp(e) 1560-1982 111
Spencer 1566-1993 100
Maltby 1738-1900 100
Powdrill 1794-1996 80
Marshall 1592-1996 78
Hallam 1565-1959 74
Bexon 1578-1985 72
Hemsley 1659-1891 69
Harrison 1635-1970 65
Pepper 1667-1993 62
Redfern 1625-1836 60
Dabell 1826-1996 59
Shepperd 1632-1990 54
Hogg 1726-1917 53
Dring 1745-1900 51
Goddard 1813-1991 45
Carver 1762-1960 40
Taylor 1728-1997 38
Fletcher 1798-1986 36
Burrows 1583-1956 34
Oliver 1610-1839 30

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