The manuscript volume here reproduced, contains the earliest records of this parish known to be in existence. Copious extracts from it were taken by Dr. Slaughter and embodied in his “History of Bristol Parish.” The minutes of all vestry meetings from October 30, 1720 to April 18, 1789 are complete except for the period between October 28, 1722 and November 11, 1723. Two leaves of the manuscript are here missing. The earliest recorded date in the register of births, baptisms and deaths is April 12, 1685; the latest, March 9, 1798.
For many years the book was generally supposed to be lost. During the year 1894, however, it came to light in the library of the late Reverend Churchill J. Gibson, of Petersburg, Virginia, where it had been most probably ever since 1848. (See p. 344.)
In the preparation of the copy for the printer, care was taken to follow the original in every eccentricity of spelling and abbreviation and in all mistakes. With the exception of the variations noted on page 396, this is as accurate a reproduction of the manuscript as types will make. Wherever brackets occur in the work, the corresponding portion of the manuscript is either illegible or worn away by time and use. An intentional omission in the original is indicated by a blank space or a dash.
Register [alphabetically by initial letter and including births and baptisms with a few deaths and burials]: p. -395.