Early parish registers transcribed by Anthony Wood

In the late 1670s, Anthony Wood transcribed the entries of many of the early parish registers of the city of Oxford, and the full transcription can be found in the book Wood’s City of Oxford (Vol 3, pp. 198–264). Wood’s transcription is valuable, as:

  1. He was looking at these registers when they were in a much newer and better condition than they are today;
  2. He added many helpful personal comments against people’s names, e.g. “Born in a house in Canditch (where Mris. Brooks liveth or therabouts) against the theatre”
  3. He actually knew some of the parish clerks who made the seventeenth-century entries, and was able to comment on their reliability.

Here is a list of the pre–1680 registers of Oxford that Wood transcribed, with his own introductory words:

  • St Aldate’s
    St Aldate’s register: the burialls begin 1538; baptismes, 1538; marriages, 1538 — the oldest register in the City….
  • All Saints
    All Saints or Allhallows parish register, beginning 1559: the burialls begin but in 1564. This reigster is imperfect and not well kept….
  • St Clement’s
    St Clement’s register, beginning 1597….
  • St Ebbe’s
    S. Ebb’s register, beginning 1558….
  • St Giles
    S. Giles, baptisms begin 1576; weddings, 1599, burialls, 1605….
  • Holywell (St Cross)
    S. Cross, vulgo Holywell….
    Wadham College chappell: Note that the dayes of buriall of these persons are mostly set down false by the clerk of St. Cross alias Holywell (a drunken careless clerke) in the parish register….
  • St Mary Magdalen
    S. Mary Magdalen parish register, beginning 1574. Note that his register, which is in paper and much decayed, I transcribed into Dutch paper and bound it up at my owne charg, and gave it to the parish, 1667 ….
    Out of another register, beginning anno 1602….
  • St Mary the Virgin
    S. Marie the Virgin register, beginning 1599….
  • St Martin’s (Carfax)
    S. Martin’s register, beginning 1562….
  • St Michael at the Northgate
    S. Michael’s register, beginning 1558 or 1559….
  • St Peter in the East
    Register of S. Peter in the East, beginning 1558
  • St Peter le Bailey
    Register of S. Peter’s in the Baylie, beginning 1585: vide accompts (where i.e. in the parish accounts, in the receipts e.g. for burials in the church, some names may be recovered) till the register begins….
  • St Thomas
    Register of S. Nicholas, alias S. Thomas: beginning 1560. This register of S. Thomas parish is more full, punctuall, and the best kept of any register in Oxon…. [Unfortunately the early registers Wood looked at no longer exist, but mercifully he has transcribed them]