Biggleswade is extremely fortunate in that its Anglican baptism, marriage and burial records from1637 to 1812 have all been transcribed as part of the Bedfordshire project undertaken by Dr FG Emmison as Clerk of Records for Bedfordshire, assistant to the County Archivist. He spent many years from 1930 until mid 40’s cycling around Bedfordshire parishes, listing their records and, wherever possible, making a transcript of their registers to 1812. Dr. Emmison then collated this transcript with the surviving bishop’s transcripts, indexed the whole and produced a duplicated edition of dozens of the resulting typescripts.
The Biggleswade transcriptions may be seen in Volume 30 held by the Bedfordshire Record Office (Bedfordshire and Luton Records and Archives Service – BLARS) or at Biggleswade and Bedford Central public libraries. There are some missing years recorded in the indexes where both registers and bishop’s transcripts were not located or are known to have been destroyed; these will be detailed here in due course. Microfiche of the transcription is also available from the Bedfordshire Family History Society.
The Mormons International Genealogical Index (IGI) contains the baptism and marriage index for Biggleswade and this may be searched on-line at the Family Search web site. Alternatively you can search the IGI for all, or specific names, through a site that details IGI Batch Numbers. For reference the Biggleswade Batch Numbers are:
Baptisms and Births: 1637 to 1812 – P003611; 1813-1875 – C003612
Marriages: 1604 to 1812 – M003611; 1813 to 1882 – M003612
Baptisms and Births: 1762 to 1837 – C090781
Marriages: 1837 to 1888 – M148971
Wesleyan Biggleswade Circuit
Baptisms and Births: 1799-1837 – C065871; 1838 to 1885 – J065872 and K065872
It is important to note that the IGI does not contain all of the detail that is to be found on the films of the original registers or indeed that which is to be found in Dr Emmison’s transcript which is a complete record of the registers..
The Mormons have also filmed not only the pre-1812 material but also many of the later records. These may be seen in BLARS and certainly in Biggleswade Library as well as the LDS Family History Centres, Family Record Centre and Society of Genealogists Library.
As can be seen above some nonconformist registers and church books have also been transcribed and further details of material available will be provided here later.
Allegations and Bonds for Marriage Licences
All the surviving bonds and allegations to 1812 were published in the Bedfordshire Parish Register series volume 14 covering 1747 to 1790 and volume 15 covering 1791 to 1812. These are full abstracts of all the detail in the original. Original bonds and allegations continue to 1822, and allegations alone to 1885. There is an indexed typescript at the Bedfordshire Record Office of these records 1813-1885.
A few Biggleswade peculiar bonds and allegations survive for the epriod 1714-1800, which are not included in the printed volumes. Bedfordshire record office has a card index to unprinted allegations.
2nd Edition of the National Burial Index – Biggleswade
Number of entries is 7320 from 1604-1855
Records held in Biggleswade Library
(on microlfilm or microfiche unless otherwise stated)
Anglican Registers: Baptisms 1813-1930, Banns 1823-1930, Marriages 1813-1928, Burials 1813-1942
Methodist Baptisms 1838-1975 (old paper computer printout)
Index of Churchyard and Cemetery burials 1813-1942 (paper copy)
It is also worth noting that they have the Biggleswade Chronicle from October 1891