The lion’s share of this volume represents a transcription of the Register of Charles Parish, York County, Virginia, which contains the earliest entries of any Virginia church record book in existence. For easy reference, Mr. Bell has re-arranged the contents of the original register into two separate alphabetical lists, one for births and the other for deaths. In the first instance, the researcher can pour over 3,500 entries of births, each one giving the child’s name, the names of the parents, the date of birth and, sometimes, the date of baptism. The nearly 2,000 death records indicate the decedent’s full name and date of death, and, sometimes, the given name of a spouse or parent. Preceding the transcription of the register itself is a narrative history of the formation of Charles Parish and its relationship to York County. Prepared by Mr. Bell, a leading authority on Lunenberg County and Southside Virginia, the historical narrative discusses the origins of the parish, controversies arising out of the election of parish vestrymen, the arrival of parish ministers and their families, and various idiosyncracies found in the register. Every name found in the history and among the birth and death records can be accessed via the complete index at the back of the book.
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