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Dorset lies in South West England on the English Channel coast. It covers an area of 1,024 square miles and borders Devon to the west, Somerset to the north-west, Wiltshire to the north-east, and Hampshire to the east.

The Dorset baptism registers record the details of baptisms that took place in parish churches across the county. Before 1837 there was no civil registration of births, so all births were registered in the local parish. The 323,120 baptism records contained within this collection date as far back as 1538.

The amount of information listed varies, but baptism registers tend to list an individual’s name, year of birth, date and parish of baptism, as well as their parents’ names, occupations and residence. Baptism records are of valuable assistance in uncovering the details of a previous generation.