A parish register in an ecclesiastical parish is a handwritten volume, normally kept in the parish church in which certain details of religious ceremonies marking major events such as baptisms (together with the dates and names of the parents), marriages (with the names of the partners), children, and burials (that had taken place within the parish) are recorded. Along with these vital details, church goods, the parish's response to briefs, and notes on various happenings in the parish were also recorded.[1] These elaborate records existed for the purpose of preventing bigamy and consanguineous marriage.

The information recorded in registers was also considered significant for secular governments’ own recordkeeping, resulting in the churches supplying the state with copies of all parish registers.[2] A good register permits the family structure of the community to be reconstituted as far back as the sixteenth century. Thus, these records were distilled for the definitive study of the history of several nations’ populations. They also provide insight into the lives and interrelationships of parishioners.[3]