Bruton Parish Church Register 1868-1908 - Preface

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year Eighteen Hundred and Fifty-Nine,
By Charles W. and Robert P. Hayes,
In the Clerk’s Office of the District Court of the United States for the Northern District of New York.



The following work grew out of the additions and alterations found necessary in
using the ordinary form of Parish Register. It is published at the request of
sundry clergymen, by whose suggestions the plan has been much improved.
But it is based in great part, as every similar work must be upon the admira-
ble form of Register published long ago by Messrs. Standford & Swords; to the
author of which the Church is indebted for the first and hitherto the only attempt
to provide for the proper collection and preservation of Parochial Records. It is
hoped that the improvements made upon that basis, and especially the additional
forms contained in the Register, will be considered a sufficient apology for its

The chief objection likely to be made to the plan is the difficulty, in large
parishes, of always obtaining and recording properly the details for which forms are
provided. To this may be answered:
Few will doubt that the full registration here provided for is desirable when

Such full record will seldom be made, as all experience shows, without the
use of tabular forms.

A blank space or column, where all the details cannot be obtained, is better
than no provision for them, where they can and should be recorded.

The cases are, after all, rare, where a little care on the clergyman’s part will
not obviate all such difficulty. In the case of persons applying for the baptism of
children, a blank form to be filled up by the applicants, or by the clergyman from
their answers, will almost always effect the object. In a large parish, such blanks
might be printed for Families, Communicants, Marriages, Burials, &c., and accurate
details obtained with very little trouble either to rector of people.

In truth, the success and usefulness of this form, or indeed of any form of
Parish Register, will depend mainly upon one thing—the willingness of clergymen
to bestow as much care upon their Records, and to make their entries with as much
fullness, neatness, and accuracy, as is required in the accounts of every business, how-
ever small and unimportant.

C. W. H.
New Hartford, W. N. Y., March 19, 1859.