|Hartley - Registers of Births Deaths and Marriages 1712 - 1923|
If the Excel version will not open, try the Comma Separated Value (CSV) file, which will open in most spreadsheet programs but doesn't have as many functions as Excel.
Original images of register pages
Parish registers were first ordered to be kept by Thomas Cromwell, King Henry VIII's chief minister in 1538. From 1598 copies had to be sent to the diocese but the archives index does not list any of these for Hartley. Their format has changed over time as mentioned below. They are the best and sometimes only source for family history before 1837. In that year the state took over civil registration, but the church continued keeping the records for their own ceremonies and there are many rules about how the registers are kept to ensure their survival.
Unfortunately the earlier registers for Hartley have been lost and now only exist from 1712 onwards. The old register did exist in 1750 when a member of the Burrowes family copied the references to their family from it. Click on the links to the left for a spreadsheet transcript of each part of the register. For the christening and marriage registers each entry in the register has multiple rows on the spreadsheet, so each new record is shown by bold text and shading. Where possible the spellings of the surnames have been standardised to their modern format, but the alternate spelling from the register is shown in a separate column.
Rectors had to keep 3 registers:
Christenings or Baptisms - the earlier entries just give the name of the child and that of their parents. A few illegitimite births are recorded and in one case the rector had a guess at who the father was. The residence of the family is not normally given but can probably be assumed to be Hartley unless otherwise indicated. From 1814 new printed registers were used which gave the occupation of the father and where the family lived (only in a few cases is this more helpful than just "Hartley". Then as now infant baptism was the norm, but the registers do record the ages of a few older people to be christened.
Marriages - the ealiest entries mainly give just the names of the bride and groom. From 1758 the couple had to sign the register and each wedding had to have 2 witnesses in the register The names and occupations of the fathers of the couple, and their ages were included from 1837, although all too often the rector merely wrote "full age" to mean they were over 21. The inclusion of signatures is useful in knowing whether someone was literate and the transcript has "S" for someone who signed or "X" for someone who made their mark only.
Burials - again the earlier entries have less detail, often just the name, but on a number of occasions details of their parents or spouse is given or the age if unusual, for example Elizabeth Hoadley (94 in 1774). The 19th century saw age and address being added, one entry of note was John Middleton who was 103 in 1891.