We are the official repository for Church of England (Anglican) records in Bedfordshire. You can find what Anglican records we hold here.
Protestants who do not conform to the established Church of England are known as non-conformists. These include: Baptists, Congregationalists, Methodists, Moravians and the Society of Friends (Quakers).
Non-conformist churches are not obliged to pass their records to us and so our coverage is incomplete in place, date and denomination. Here is a list of microfiche and microfilm copy records that we have where the original registers aren’t held by us.
For original registers of non-conformist denominations, you can search our online catalogue for details using this guide.
For some denominations there is a specific collection of records that all have the same collection reference. For example our Methodist records have the reference MB, our Moravian records have the reference MO and the Society of Friends (also known as the Quakers) has the reference FR.
You can enter those references into the Reference search box and use the Subject terms ‘Registers of marriages’, ‘Registers of baptism’ and ‘Registers of burials’ to locate any registers we hold within that collection (example below).
The two other main non-conformist groups that we hold records for are the Baptists and the Congregationalists. Both keep their records quite differently to other denominations and there is no overall circuit grouping as there is with the Methodists and Quakers. Most of the Baptist records have an X reference although a small collection of records can also be found under Z676. Records for Congregational chapels can also be found under X. As X is a generic collection reference which contains thousands of different types of records, you will need to enter some extra terms to get the information you need.
In addition to using X in the Reference box, you can try an Expert Search and use the Subject Term ‘Baptists’ and the place. For Congregational records use the Subject Term ‘Congregational Church’ and the place along with X as the reference. There is one exception to this and that is the Bunyan Meeting Church in which has its own collection reference BY.
N.B. It’s worth noting that whilst every village or town had at least one Anglican Church they didn’t always have a non-conformist place of worship so your ancestors may have travelled to the nearest town for worship. Also note that the Quakers (FR) and Baptists sometimes list births and deaths of their members so you can also use the Subject terms ‘Registration of births’ or ‘Registration of deaths’ to see if any of these types of registers are within the collection.
We hold very few records of the Catholic faith, but these could be found by using the Subject Term ‘Roman Catholic Church’ and the Reference X.
Some non - conformist register transcripts are available to buy on microfiche, see: Non-Conformist Register Transcripts