This article presents an overview of literature produced in the past century and a half in connection with the study of parish registers. This includes studies by historians, historical demographers, anthropologists, and professional genealogists, and even short articles by amateur enthusiasts. Each work is presented within the context of legal history and the changing methodological approaches to working with parish registers. Parish registers provide a record over several centuries of christenings, marriages, and burials, and as such they rightly rank as an exceptionally significant written source, since in scope and content they form an extraordinarily rich source of information for research on human history. For this reason they have been and will continue to be the subject of great attention from individual researchers and groups of scientists.