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parish registera list of the baptisms, marriages and burials performed in a church or chapel. Through the use of Anglican parish registers it is possible to examine a number of questions of interest to the historical sociologist and demographer. These include family structure, fertility rates, illegitimacy, infant mortality, birth and death rates, and, to a limited extent, occupational and geographical mobility
Unfortunately not all parish registers have survived. In the 16th-century some churches failed to compile registers, gaps frequently exist in the records of some churches, especially during the Civil War period and many registers have been lost or damaged by fire or flood. From 1561, however, copies of the registers, The Bishops‘ Transcripts (BTs), were drawn up annually. Most of the surviving parish registers (together with the BTs) have now been deposited in County Record Offices.