The Parish Churches of Ranworth with Panxworth,
South Walsham, Upton with Fishley and Woodbastwick

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Tracing family histories

Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began in 1837 and all certificates issued since then are held in The General Register Office. Before this, records were kept only by the Church. Parish Registers are kept and maintained in every Parish and in some, records date back to 1538 when Henry VIII introduced registration.

Each of our Parish Churches maintains registers of baptisms, marriages and burials. When registers are full, they are deposited with the Norfolk Record Office and are made available to the public. The Norfolk Record Office has information from St Helen’s Ranworth, including Panxworth, dating back to 1559; from St Mary’s and St Lawrence’s in South Walsham dating back to 1550 and for St Margaret’s in Upton and SS. Fabian & Sebastian in Woodbastwick, records go back to 1558. The dates covered by the Record Office appear in their parish registers and transcripts summary. If you would like to look at records that may still be in one of our churches, please contact us and address your enquiry to the Churchwardens.

A visit to our lovely country Churchyards may be useful because relationships between people are often recorded in the inscriptions on tombstones. Woodbastwick and Ranworth Churches have transcripts of most of the memorials on the tombstones.

St John from a window in St Mary's Church, South Walsham - click for larger image

St John from a window in St Mary's Church, South Walsham

Woodbastwick Churchyard - click for larger image

Woodbastwick Churchyard