Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Parish, an ecclesiastical and now, in the British Empire, a civil district, generally comprising the locality originally placed under the charge of one priest or minister, and now separately rated to the relief of the poor. Originally the parish (Late Latin, parochia, paracia; ecclesiastical Greek, pavoiltia, "neighbourhood") was the district or diocese under the charge of a bishop. In Great Britain up to 1894 about two-thirds of the civil parishes, which are divisions of a town or county for purposes of local government, were conterminous with the ecclesiastical parishes, and the controlling local authority in England and Wales was the vestry under the presidency of the incumbent, the officers being churchwardens, overseers, guardians, and constables; but from 1894 the elective parish council is to have the control of all the temporal business of local government so far as it is delegated to the parish, and the limits of civil parishes are considerably altered in many cases. Independent subdivisions of towns and counties for special purposes have also been called parishes. In Louisiana, United States, the counties are called parishes.