Manchester Libraries, Information and Archives and Ancestry.co.uk have made available, online, a large collection of Church of England parish registers which span 1541 – 1930 and cover much of the Greater Manchester area. Before the introduction of civil registration in 1837 the births, baptisms, marriages, deaths, and burials recorded in parish registers were often the only official record of people's lives. They're an invaluable resource for family historians.
Manchester is the birth place of Thomas De Quincey, best known for writing Confessions of an English Opium–Eater, he was baptised on, 23 September 1785, in the parish of Manchester, St. Ann.
This baptism entry was recorded before the standardisation of parish registers in 1812 and the start of civil registration in 1837.
John Rylands’s first marriage to Dinah Raby is recorded in the parish registers of Manchester, St John on, 17 August 1825. A permanent memorial to the industrialist and philanthropist was established in 1900 when the John Rylands Library opened, in the register his occupation is recorded as ‘manufacturer’.
The burial record for Maria Malibran (or Maria Felicia Deberiot as she was later known) a French singer, who appeared at the Manchester Festival in 1836, is recorded in the parish registers of Manchester Cathedral. Her death is recorded as the, 23 September 1836. Due to public outcry, she was exhumed and reburied in Brussels, this is also recorded on the register.