This collection contains registrations of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, banns, and burials for individuals who served in the British military, including those stationed overseas. This collection is unique in that the original records were recorded by military chaplains. Because of this, the collection combines the level of detail you find in parish records with the uniformity of civil registrations.
While the Church of England is the official state religion of the United Kingdom, people of other faiths have been able to join the British military since 1793.
Using this Collection
The collection includes the following information:
Names of parents
Names of bride and groom
Ranks or professions of the couple
Regiment(s) of the couple
Names of fathers
Names of witnesses
Name of deceased
Date of death
The British military served all over the world, so depending on where your ancestor was stationed and how long they served, they may have multiple records from more than one place.
The original collection is housed in the National Archives of the UK in Surrey. Original records are not available to the public; however, copies may be purchased here.
Collection in Context
In 1534, Henry VIII split from the Catholic Church and formed the Church of England. By establishing royal control over religious concerns, the English state was allowed to access and regulate church records. The Church of England has kept records of baptisms, marriages, and burials since 1538. While not included in the original decree, confirmation records were often logged as notes in baptismal registers.
In 1812, George Rose’s Act called for pre-printed registers to be used for separate baptism, marriage, and burial registers as a way of standardising records. In a further effort to standardize and unify vital records, the General Register Office (GRO) was founded in 1836 to register births, marriages, and deaths.
Genealogy Supplies (Jersey) Limited. “A History of Parish Registers.” Last Modified 2020, https://parishregister.co.uk/about/history
King, Echo. “UK Birth Index Update.” Ancestry.com. Last Modified February 9, 2009, https://blogs.ancestry.com/ancestry/2009/02/09/uk-birth-index-update/
The National Archives. “Birth , Marriages, and Deaths in the Armed Forces.” Last Modified 2020. https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/birth-marriage-death-armed-forces/
Waller, Ian and Swiford, Christopher. “Guide Two: Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates: A Guide to Using the Records of Civil Registration.” Society of Genealogists. Last Modified 2017, http://www.sog.org.uk/learn/help-getting-started-with-genealogy/guide-three
UK Parliament. “Roman Catholic’s Army and Navy Service Bill.” Last Modified May 4, 2018. https://api.parliament.uk/historic-hansard/commons/1807/mar/05/roman-catholics-army-and-navy-service
"UK, Military Records of Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages and Burials, 1813-1957" database with images Fold3 (https://www.fold3.com/publication/1125/uk-military-records-of-baptisms-confirmations-marriages-and-burials-1813-1957: accessed December 4, 2022)
- Publication Title
- UK, Military Records of Baptisms, Confirmations, Marriages and Burials, 1813-1957
- Total Records
- Content Source
- The National Archives of the UK
- Published on Fold3
- 24 Nov 2021
- Last Updated
- 24 Nov 2021
- This collection contains registrations of baptisms, confirmations, marriages, banns, and burials for individuals who served in the British military, including those stationed overseas. This collection is unique in that the original records were recorded by military chaplains. Because of this, the collection combines the level of detail you find in parish records with the uniformity of civil registrations.