While writing the chapter on parish registers for Tracing Your Georgian Ancestors 1714-1837, I became aware of how little was known about the origins of the ‘extended parish registers’ introduced in some dioceses and parishes from the 1760s onwards, such as Dade and Barrington registers in the dioceses of York and Durham, most of which were discontinued in 1813 when printed Rose registers were introduced. I therefore decided to investigate this topic further myself.

Of the twenty-seven dioceses in the Church of England in the late eighteenth century, it would appear that initiatives to introduce extended parish registers took place in only six. Extended parish registers were also introduced by individual clergymen in a few parishes in other dioceses during the same period. Various sources of influence have been identified, in particular the herald and antiquary Ralph Bigland, who highlighted the deficiencies of existing parish registers in his pamphlet Observations on Marriages, Baptisms, and Burials as Preserved in Parochial Registers, published in 1764.

The results of my research have been presented in the form of an IHGS (Institute of Heraldic and Genealogical Studies) Licentiateship dissertation. I hope to make this information more widely available in published form in due course. In the meantime I will be pleased to supply an electronic copy of my dissertation to anyone who is interested in this topic.