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Church of England parish registers recording baptisms, marriages and burials are a genealogical treasure, particularly prior to civil registration in 1837. While a 1538 decree stated these events were to be recorded, compliance was not consistent and so exist variable starting dates of parish records but most by 1600s. Legislation meant registers evolved in what was required to be recorded. Parish registers and the consequent Bishop’s Transcripts an essential tool in English genealogical research.