• grenjaðarstaðir

The Parish Register

The parish register on display here covers exactly 250 years, 1742-1992. They come from a single parish, that of Grenjaðarstaðir in Aðaldal, a popular benefice and one that boasts impressive archives. The register gives a rough account of the lives of the people from the parish by documenting their baptisms, confirmations, sometimes weddings and lastly their deaths and burials. Similar registers are extant from most of Iceland's parishes and in some places they are still being used to document this type of information. The data can be used to trace people's lineage and addresses as well as conduct social studies, and as historical documentation for the churches they hail from.

Historical data from the Middle Ages that concerns churches and benefices mostly documents their assets and power and documents detailing property and rights are the oldest documents in some churches' archives. In the 18 th century priests were expected to register much more of their activities and detailed laws were written about priest duties from 1743-1746. Priests were expected to keep these registers, i.e. registrations of their ministration duties, as well as parish accounts, also known as house call books since each priest was expected to visit every farm annually to observe the Christian practices and the education of the young. These two types of books are called church books but church archives include more categories, such as letter books and copy books that document letters to the priests, usually from provosts or bishops. Other categories include property books, books on the reading society and weather books that some priests maintained.


National Archives of Iceland

ÞÍ. Kirknasafn. Grenjaðarstaður. BA/1  - BA/9