Hampshire Genealogical Society

Product Ref: HCD13

Hampshire Marriage Index 1538 – 1659

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Completing the index of Hampshire marriages, this is a searchable index to Anglican (Church of England) marriages in Hampshire (excluding the Isle of Wight) covering the most difficult period, 1538 to 1659. The index includes the ‘Commonwealth Period’ 1649 – 1653, known to family historians as the ‘Commonwealth Gap’.

These early Parish records are notoriously difficult to transcribe, so this work of dedication and determination is a fantastic additional resource for your research.

Background Historical Information

Parish Registers were first ordered to be kept in 1538, by Thomas Cromwell, Vicar General of Henry VIII. Cromwell ordered that every parish must keep a weekly register of all baptisms, marriages and burials. Register entries were to be made every Sunday by the incumbent, in the presence of the churchwardens. The register was kept in a coffer with two locks. Failure to do so resulted in a fine; however, compliance was hit and miss as parishes regarded it as a form of taxation.

Annually from the year 1598, within a month of Easter, the incumbent clergy of each parish were required to send a complete copy of the years register entries to the diocesan registry. These copies are known today by researchers as Bishops’ Transcripts.


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Product Ref: HCD13

This CD is in an Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) file. Windows and Apple Mac users that do not have Acrobat Reader are able to download a suitable version of the reader from the internet.


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