Document ID: 108909Print this document
Indexing Project Updates: UK, Bristol - Parish Registers 1837-1900
Links to Project Instructions

Please review the project instructions at the links below before indexing batches. Review the information below the links for updates or revisions to the original project instructions.


Project Home Page | Project-Specific Instructions | Field Helps

There are three types of records in this project:

  1. Christening (also includes baptisms and births)
  2. Marriage (also include banns of marriages)
  3. Burial (also include deaths)
Project Revisions and Reminders

Nonconformist Registers:

It may be difficult to determine the record type on handwritten forms because no headings are recorded. 

If you are unsure of the record type, check the film number at the top of the screen.  Film numbers for burials are:  004308426, 004308431, 004308452, 004308455.

Generally, burials will include both adults and children.  Also look for indications in the records, such as if a record says an individual was interred or a stone was purchased.  See the example of burial records below.  (The numbers in the columns on the right are amounts of money paid.)


Even though the project is burial records, some entries need to be indexed as Other record type:

  • An entry says, “Wm Norton for Mary Edwards.”  You cannot tell if Mary Edwards is deceased or if Wm Norton is making the payment because Mary Edwards is unable to make the payment.  Index the record type Other, and index a record for Wm Norton and another record for Mary Edwards.

  • An entry says “Mrs Elizabeth Gayton’s mother" (or father, sister, grandchild, etc.).  Since the mother is not named and the project has no field for the child (or sibling, grandparent, etc.) of the deceased, index this entry as record type Other.

  • An entry says, “Mr William Gorton for a stone.”  A similar entry says, “Mr Gay for putting a flat stone.”  Since it is likely the stone in being purchased for someone else, use the record type Other to index the records. 

Change in Calendar: 

In England, through 1752, the civil or legal year began on March 25th.  Most records before 1752 begin the new year on this date.  Please record the year as shown on the record and not based on our current calendar year. 


In 1752, the British Empire switched over to the Gregorian calendar, and following the change, their new year officially began on January 1.  However, in some areas,  the "new style" dating was used even before 1752.  In some records, records show "dual dating" of years between January 1st and March 24th.  Index the first year written.  For example, February 2nd, 1745 was written February 2 1745/46.  Index the date as February 2 1745.     


If it is not clear whether a date is in one year or the other, use your best judgment based on the dates shown throughout the record.

Duplicate Images:

Some records have been filmed more than once.  For help with duplicate images, click 101886

Images cut off:


Do not return images for Image Quality Review when they appear to be missing part of the bottom or top of the image.  Index all the information possible on the image.


See headings on the example if the image is cropped from the top.

Words which may be confused as part of the name:

Descriptive words may sometimes be used just preceding or just following the name of an individual.  In old records, the capitalization and punctuation cannot be relied on to indicate that the word is not part of the name.  Be particularly careful when indexing records with Latin terms.  The following list contains some words which may be confused as part of the name and which should not be typed in the name fields.

  • Bastard–meaning the child is illegitimate.
  • Magister–meaning master, as in “Magister John Archibald.”
  • Mulier–meaning woman or sometimes wife, as in Margaretha Smith Mulier.”
  • Parvulus–meaning very small, as in “Parvulus William Smith.”
  • Proles–meaning offspring or child, as in “Proles Petri Collins.”  In this case, the term "proles" may represent the primary individual on the record, but the name is not given.  The name fields would be blanked for the individual, and the name Petri Collins would be indexed in the Father’s name fields.
  • Senex–meaning old man, as in “John Biddle Senex.”
  • Serva or Servus–meaning servant. 
  • Uxor–meaning wife. 
  • Vidua–meaning widow.
  • De–meaning from or of, as in “Gulielmi Collins De Rowington.”  De Rowington is his residence and not part of the name.

  Help with Old English Records:

For a list of Latin words with their English translations, click here.


For help in deciphering dates, click 111804, Reading dates in old English records.


For help in reading old handwriting, click 107333, Handwriting help with indexing records earlier than 1800 A.D. 

Arbitrator Helps

Answer not found above? Try this:

Did this document help you to solve your problem?