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Researching an Anglican clergyman

Parish church records, non-residence returns and personal papers

Parish church records

Some parish church collections include papers of clergy, or you may find that some of the parish records either mention, or were compiled by, incumbents.

To see a list of the parish records belonging to a particular church, go to our online catalogue. Follow the link ‘Ecclesiastical Parish Records – find a Church of England parish collection’ from the catalogue homepage.

Incumbents are very rarely listed in parish registers. A signed entry in the register or in a bishop’s or archdeacon’s transcript indicates only who the officiating minister was; he may not necessarily have been the incumbent.

Non-residence returns to the Privy Council

These survive, 1814-1922; see list DN/PCS. They are arranged by parish and include information such as:

  • The name of the incumbent
  • Name of the curate (if applicable)
  • Place of residence
  • The reason for non-residence
  • The stipend
  • The names of any other parishes served by the incumbent or curate

Clergymen’s personal papers

The NRO holds the personal papers for a minority of clergymen only.
To find out if we hold papers for a particular priest, search the online catalogue for the clergyman’s name.