Difference between revisions of "England Civil Registration"

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''[[England Genealogy|England]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Civil Registration''' {{England-sidebar}}
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| link5=[[England Civil Registration|Civil Registration]]
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|[[Image:First Avenue House, High Holborn, London.jpg|thumb|right|300px|<center>First Avenue House, High Holborn, London<center>]]
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|}
  
== Historical Background ==
+
==Historical Background==
  
Before 1837 only churches recorded birth, marriage, and death information in England (see [[England Church Records]]). In the early 1800s, Parliament recognized the need for accurate records for voting, planning, taxation, and defense purposes. Legislation was passed to create a civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths for England and Wales and, for registering the same for British subjects abroad. England and Wales registration began on 1 July 1837 and later on, for British subjects living abroad, some records returned to England begin as early as 1790. For a brief list of all those registers of births, marriages and deaths affecting British subjects overseas, see '''Civil Registration of Overseas British Citizens and Military Personnel''' (below).<br>
+
Before 1837 only churches recorded birth, marriage, and death information in England (see [[England Church Records]]). In the early 1800s, Parliament recognized the need for accurate records for voting, planning, taxation, and defense purposes. Legislation was passed to create a civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths for England and Wales and, for registering the same for British subjects abroad. England and Wales registration began on 1 July 1837, and covered births, marriages, divorces and deaths. However one problem with English civil registration is that coverage was not universal, especially in the earlier years before tougher laws in 1874.  Use Church Records in these cases.  
  
=== Civil Registration: in England and Wales  ===
+
Separate legislation and records exist for events at sea, overseas and for those in the army. See the section '''Overseas and Military Civil Registration'''
  
*The jurisdictional basis of civil registration is the Registration District. Registration districts were based on the Poor Law Unions that were formed in 1834.
+
It is thus important to realize the two distinct types of Civil Registration that are referred to throughout this article:
  
*Each quarter, superintendent registrars forwarded copies of their district’s registrations to the Registrar General in London. The registration districts hold the original birth and death records, and the General Register Office holds copies.
+
*'''Indexes''' are the alphabetical lists of birth, marriages and deaths drawn up by the General Register Office(GRO) for each quarter.
  
*Ordained clergy of the Church of England, the established church, were automatically entitled to perform and register marriages. Clergy of other denominations could not perform legally valid marriages until 1898, when they could apply to become 'Authorised Persons'. Prior to that date, a Registrar of Marriages had to be present. Civil marriages could be performed in the register office, but these were rare until the 20th century.
+
*'''Certificates''' refer to the original documents that recorded the information. You need to have the index entry for a record to be able to find the certificate.
  
*Quaker and Jewish marriages were performed by Registering Officers and Secretaries of Synagogues, respectively. They were also required to deposit completed registers at the Register Office, and to forward quarterly copies to the Registrar General.
+
:
  
{{Wikipedia|General Register Office}} One problem with England Civil Registration is non-universal coverage. An estimated 90 to 95 percent of births and nearly all deaths and marriages were reported. A new registration Act in 1874 placed the responsibility on parents to inform the registrar of all births, but this made no discernible difference to the rate of registration, which by 1875 was around 99 percent. If you cannot find a birth, marriage, or death record in civil registration, search church records.
+
==Information Recorded in Civil Registers==
  
It is thus important to realize the two distinct types of Civil Registration that are referred to throughout this article:  
+
===Births===
* '''Indexes''' are the alphabetical lists of birth, marriages and deaths drawn up by the General Register Office(GRO) for each quarter.
+
 
 +
A birth certificate usually gives:
 +
 
 +
*birth date and birthplace
 +
*child’s name and sex
 +
*father's name and occupation
 +
*mother's full name including her maiden name
 +
*informant’s name, relationship to the baby, and residence
 +
*when registered and the name of the registrar
 +
 
 +
The father, mother, neighbor, or other person present at the birth must register a birth within 42 days. The 1874 act imposed a fee for late registration (43 days to 6 months). This penalty may have persuaded some parents to "adjust" their child's birth date to avoid paying the fee. After six months the birth could not be registered.
 +
 
 +
====Stillbirths====
 +
No provision was made for registering stillbirths until 1874, when a new law required a death certificate before burying stillborn children. Since 1927, all stillbirths (any birth where the child never took a breath) are recorded in the Register of Stillbirths, which is not available to the public.
 +
 
 +
====Adoptions====
 +
Civil registration adoption certificates began in 1927, giving the child’s new name, birth date, court, entry date and reference number, and district and subdistrict of birth as well as the adoptive parents’ names, addresses, and occupation(s). Adoption records may be consulted only by arrangement with the Office for National Statistics.
 +
 
 +
Pre-1927 adoption records are kept by the agency or institution which handled the adoption and are very difficult to locate. Many no longer exist. For more information, see:  
 +
 
 +
*Stafford, Georgina. ''Where to Find Adoption Records: A Guide for Counsellors''. London, England: British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering, 1993. (Family History Library {{FHL|647592|title-id|disp=book Ref 942 D27sgw}}.)
 +
 
 +
====Abandoned Children====
 +
Since 1977 the births of abandoned babies, whose parentage is unknown have been recorded in the Abandoned Children Register. Before this, these births were registered at the register office in the district where the child was found. 
 +
 
 +
Application for certificates can be made in writing to:
 +
 
 +
General Register Office, Adoptions,
 +
 
 +
Trafalgar Road, Southport, PR8 2HH.
 +
 
 +
===Marriages===
 +
*[https://search.findmypast.com/search-world-Records/britain-marriage-licences Britain, Marriage Licences] at FindMyPast - index & images ($)
 +
 
 +
A marriage certificate gives:
 +
 
 +
*marriage date and place
 +
*names of the bride and groom, their ages, their marital "condition" (single or widowed), their professions, and their residences at the time of the marriage
 +
*names and occupations of their fathers (and sometimes whether they were deceased)
 +
*signatures or marks of the bride, groom, and witnesses
 +
*also notes whether the bride and groom were married in a church (with the denomination given) and, if so, whether they were married by banns or by license.
 +
 
 +
The law required all marriages to be recorded in a civil register immediately after the ceremony. Marriages were often performed at the bride’s parish
 +
 
 +
Because the marriage information found in the civil certificates of marriage, are an exact replica of the church registers of marriage, there is no need to consult civil records(for which payment is requirement) if the Anglican Church records are more freely available elsewhere.
 +
 
 +
===Divorces===
 +
 
 +
Divorce records contain information on family members, their marital history (including marriage date and place), property, residences, and sometimes dates of events such as children’s births. To search an index to Divorce Records, see "Key Websites" below.
 +
 
 +
====Pre-1858====
 +
Before 1858, a divorce required an Act of Parliament, restricting it to the aristocratic and wealthy whose marital lives were of concern to Parliament. Divorces were a type of "Private Act", lists in chronological order are available on the [http://www.legislation.gov.uk/changes/chron-tables/private Private and Personal Acts] page of legislation.gov.uk. Information may also be available at the [http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/parliamentary-archives/explore-guides-to-documentary-archive-/familyhistory/ Parliamentary Archives]
 +
 
 +
====1858 onwards====
 +
Civil divorce registration began in 1858. These divorce records are confidential for 75 years. The National Archives has a useful [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/divorces/ Help Page for Divorces]. Records up to 1916 can be searched on Ancestry in the collection [http://search.ancestry.com.au/search/db.aspx?dbid=2465&geo_a=r&o_iid=41021&o_lid=41021&o_sch=Web+Property England and Wales, Civil Divorce Records, 1858-1916]. 
 +
 
 +
Relatives of divorced persons may obtain information on divorces that occurred in the last 75 years by contacting:
 +
 
 +
 
 +
'''Principal Registry of the Family Division<br>'''Decree Absolute Section<br>First Avenue House<br>42-49 High Holborn<br>London WC1V 6NP<br>England
 +
 
 +
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7947 7017<br>Internet: [http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/courts/hearing-lists/list-pr-family-division.htm Family Division]<br>
 +
 
 +
Historic newspapers may mention divorces if the figures involved were well known.  ''[http://www.timesplus.co.uk/ The Times] ''- to search for and view historical articles from 1785-1985 of divorce cases in the news
 +
 
 +
The Family History Library has:
 +
 
 +
*FamilySearch.org has {{FHL|1110522|title-id|disp=indexes to the Divorce Decrees and Matrimonial causes, 1858-1958}} - on microfilm.
 +
*{{FHL|695681|title-id|disp=Index to divorces (as listed in Palmer's Indexes to "The Times" newspaper, London) 1788-1910}}.
 +
 
 +
===Deaths===
 +
*'''1980-2020''' [https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10938/united-kingdom-death-index-1980-2020?s=275764761 United Kingdom, Death Index, 1980-2020] at MyHeritage - index ($)
 +
*'''2007-2020''' [https://search.findmypast.com/search-world-Records/england-and-wales-deaths-2007-2020 England & Wales Deaths 2007-2020] at FindMyPast - index ($)
  
*  '''Certificates''' refer to the original documents that recorded the information. You need to have the index entry for a record to be able to find the certificate.   
+
A death certificate usually gives:
  
{{see also|General Register Office for England and Wales}}
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*death date and place
 +
*full name of the decedent, their sex and age, their occupation (or for a child, usually the name of a parent)
 +
*cause of death
 +
*name, residence and relationship of the informant to the decedent
 +
*date registered and the name of the registrar.<br>
  
=== Civil Registration: Overseas and Military  ===
+
On certificates for adults, the names of parents are never given. In considering whether to order a death certificate, remember that the information on the certificate may be limited or inaccurate because it is based on the <u>informant’s</u> knowledge. It can be helpful for those looking for clues about persons born or married before July 1837.
  
 +
==Overseas and Military Civil Registration==
 
Parliament passed legislation creating a civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths for English, Scots, Irish and Welsh subjects living abroad, or also known as British subjects abroad. Where registration in England and Wales began 1 July 1837, for those British and Irish subjects living overseas, registration began at differing time periods in different countries. <br>  
 
Parliament passed legislation creating a civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths for English, Scots, Irish and Welsh subjects living abroad, or also known as British subjects abroad. Where registration in England and Wales began 1 July 1837, for those British and Irish subjects living overseas, registration began at differing time periods in different countries. <br>  
  
Line 32: Line 121:
 
For a brief list of the several register series of births, marriages and deaths affecting British subjects abroad, consider the various records cited below. Some of these records are held at the General Register Office (sometimes known as The Registrar General) at:<br>  
 
For a brief list of the several register series of births, marriages and deaths affecting British subjects abroad, consider the various records cited below. Some of these records are held at the General Register Office (sometimes known as The Registrar General) at:<br>  
  
::The National Archives  
+
::The National Archives
 
::Ruskin Avenue
 
::Ruskin Avenue
::Kew, Richmond  
+
::Kew, Richmond
 
::Surrey,
 
::Surrey,
 
::United Kingdom
 
::United Kingdom
 
::Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444
 
::Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444
::Email:  contact form (in lieu of email): [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/contactform.asp?id=9 web form]  
+
::Email:  contact form (in lieu of email): [http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/contact/contactform.asp?id=9 web form]
  
 
And some registers are held at:<br>  
 
And some registers are held at:<br>  
Line 49: Line 138:
 
::United Kingdom
 
::United Kingdom
 
::Tel 0151 471 4801
 
::Tel 0151 471 4801
:;Email: overseas@ons.gov.uk  
+
:;Email:overseas@ons.gov.uk
 
   
 
   
  
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|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffff" align="left" colspan="6" | <sub>'''BMDReg = [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ BMDRegister.co.uk]'''</sub>
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|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffff" align="left" colspan="6" | '''<sub>FMP = [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/ findmypast]</sub>'''
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| bgcolor="#ffffff" align="left" colspan="6" | <sub>'''TGEN = [http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd TheGenealogist.co.uk]'''</sub>
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| colspan="6" bgcolor="#ffffff" align="left" |<sub>'''TGEN = [http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd TheGenealogist.co.uk]'''</sub>
 
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| colspan="6" bgcolor="#ffffff" align="left" |<sub>'''TNA = [http://nationalarchives.gov.uk NationalArchives.gov.uk]'''</sub>
 
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{| width="550" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1" align="center"
 
{| width="550" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="1" border="1" align="center"
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" colspan="6" | '''Civil Registration of Births, Marriages &amp; Deaths - Foreign Office (FO) (1761-on) online Indexes'''
+
| colspan="6" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" |'''Civil Registration of Births, Marriages &amp; Deaths - Foreign Office (FO) (1761-on) online Indexes'''
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | <br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | <u>'''Baptisms'''</u>  
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| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |<u>'''Baptisms'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | <u>'''Marriages'''</u>  
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| bgcolor="#ccffff" |<u>'''Marriages'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | <u>'''Burials'''</u>
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| bgcolor="#ffccff" |<u>'''Burials'''</u>
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''TNA'''<br>  
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| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''TNA'''<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1849-2006'''][http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births <br>]  
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| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1849-2006'''][http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births <br>]
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1849-2006''']  
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| bgcolor="#ccffff" |[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1849-2006''']
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1849-2006''']
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1849-2006''']
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" colspan="6" | '''Regimental Registers of Army Soldiers &amp; Their Families Births Indexes (1761-on) online'''
+
| colspan="6" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" |'''Regimental Registers of Army Soldiers &amp; Their Families Births Indexes (1761-on) online'''
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | <br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | <u>'''Baptisms'''</u>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |<u>'''Baptisms'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | <u>'''Marriages'''</u>  
+
| bgcolor="#ccffff" |<u>'''Marriages'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | <u>'''Burials'''</u>
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |<u>'''Burials'''</u>
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''FMP'''  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''FMP'''
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1761-1924<br>''']  
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| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1761-1924<br>''']
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1761-1924'''<br>]  
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| bgcolor="#ccffff" |[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1761-1924'''<br>]
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1761-1924'''<br>]
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| bgcolor="#ffccff" |[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births '''1761-1924'''<br>]
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''TGEN'''  
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| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''TGEN'''
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | [http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/user/subscriptions.php?view=res '''1761-1924''']  
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|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''TNA'''  
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| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''TNA'''
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | '''None'''  
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| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |'''None'''
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | '''None'''  
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| bgcolor="#ccffff" |'''None'''
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | '''None'''
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| bgcolor="#ffccff" |'''None'''
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" colspan="6" | '''Miscellaneous Overseas Births, Marriages &amp; Deaths British Subjects &amp; onShips (RGs 32-34) - (from 1627) online Indexes'''
+
| colspan="6" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" |'''Miscellaneous Overseas Births, Marriages &amp; Deaths British Subjects &amp; onShips (RGs 32-34) - (from 1627) online Indexes'''
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | <br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | <u>'''Baptisms'''</u>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |<u>'''Baptisms'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | <u>'''Marriages'''</u>  
+
| bgcolor="#ccffff" |<u>'''Marriages'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | <u>'''Burials'''</u>
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |<u>'''Burials'''</u>
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''TNA <br>'''  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''TNA <br>'''
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | '''None'''[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births <br>]  
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| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |'''None'''[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births <br>]
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | '''None'''  
+
| bgcolor="#ccffff" |'''None'''
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | '''None'''
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |'''None'''
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''BMDReg'''<br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''BMDReg'''<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/user/register.php?from=%2Fbmdr%2Ffulldetails.php%3F1%3D1%26familysearch%3D1%26id%3D2042182 '''1627-1969'''<br>]  
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|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''TGEN'''  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''TGEN'''
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1627-1969'''][http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ <br>]  
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| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |[http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1627-1969'''][http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ <br>]
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1627-1969'''<br>]  
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| bgcolor="#ccffff" |[http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1627-1969'''<br>]
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1627-1969'''<br>]
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |[http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1627-1969'''<br>]
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" colspan="6" | '''Miscellaneous Foreign Marriages - (1861) online Indexes'''
+
| colspan="6" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" |'''Miscellaneous Foreign Marriages - (1861) online Indexes'''
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | <br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | <u>'''Baptisms'''</u>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |<u>'''Baptisms'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | <u>'''Marriages'''</u>  
+
| bgcolor="#ccffff" |<u>'''Marriages'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | <u>'''Burials'''</u>
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |<u>'''Burials'''</u>
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''TNA'''<br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''TNA'''<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | '''None'''[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births <br>]  
+
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |'''None'''[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births <br>]
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | '''None'''  
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| bgcolor="#ccffff" |'''None'''
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | '''None'''
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |'''None'''
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''BMDReg'''<br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''BMDReg'''<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | NA<br>  
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| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |NA<br>
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | [http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/user/subscriptions.php '''1861-1921''']<br>  
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| bgcolor="#ccffff" |[http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/user/subscriptions.php '''1861-1921''']<br>
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| bgcolor="#ffccff" |NA<br>
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''TGEN'''  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''TGEN'''
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | NA  
+
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |NA
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | [http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd '''1861-1921''']  
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| bgcolor="#ccffff" |[http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd '''1861-1921''']
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | NA
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |NA
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" colspan="6" | '''Miscellaneous Foreign Deaths (RG35) - (from 1791) online Indexes'''
+
| colspan="6" bgcolor="#ffffcc" align="center" |'''Miscellaneous Foreign Deaths (RG35) - (from 1791) online Indexes'''
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | <br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | <u>'''Baptisms'''</u>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |<u>'''Baptisms'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | <u>'''Marriages'''</u>  
+
| bgcolor="#ccffff" |<u>'''Marriages'''</u>
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | <u>'''Burials'''</u>
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |<u>'''Burials'''</u>
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''TNA'''<br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''TNA'''<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | '''None'''[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births <br>]  
+
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |'''None'''[http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births <br>]
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | '''None'''  
+
| bgcolor="#ccffff" |'''None'''
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | '''None'''
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |'''None'''
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''BMDReg'''<br>  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''BMDReg'''<br>
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1791-1921'''<br>]  
+
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |[http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1791-1921'''<br>]
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1791-1921'''<br>]  
+
| bgcolor="#ccffff" |[http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1791-1921'''<br>]
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1791-1921'''][http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ <br>]
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |[http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ '''1791-1921'''][http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ <br>]
 
|-
 
|-
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" | '''TGEN'''  
+
| bgcolor="#ffffcc" |'''TGEN'''
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" | [http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd '''1791-1921'''][http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd <br>]  
+
| bgcolor="#ffcccc" |[http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd '''1791-1921'''][http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd <br>]
| bgcolor="#ccffff" | [http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd '''1791-1921'''][http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd <br>]  
+
| bgcolor="#ccffff" |[http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd '''1791-1921'''][http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd <br>]
| bgcolor="#ffccff" | [http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd '''1791-1921'''][http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd <br>]
+
| bgcolor="#ffccff" |[http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd '''1791-1921'''][http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/search/bmd/overseas/?change_select=bmd <br>]
 
|}
 
|}
  
Line 172: Line 261:
 
1.  Military Records (including Merchant ships) of personnel abroad:
 
1.  Military Records (including Merchant ships) of personnel abroad:
  
::- [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births Regimental Registers of births (indexed)], marriages and deaths 1761-date (OPCS/FMP)  
+
::- [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/search/all/births Regimental Registers of births (indexed)], marriages and deaths 1761-date (OPCS/FMP)
  
::- [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results#count=20&query=%2Bkeywords%3AIndex%20%2Bkeywords%3Ato%20%2Bkeywords%3Acertified%20%2Bkeywords%3Acopies%20%2Bkeywords%3Asoldiers%20%2Bkeywords%3Astations Army Chaplains returns of birth, marriage and death 1796-1880 (all indexed)]  
+
::- [https://www.familysearch.org/search/catalog/results#count=20&query=%2Bkeywords%3AIndex%20%2Bkeywords%3Ato%20%2Bkeywords%3Acertified%20%2Bkeywords%3Acopies%20%2Bkeywords%3Asoldiers%20%2Bkeywords%3Astations Army Chaplains returns of birth, marriage and death 1796-1880 (all indexed)]
  
::- [https://familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlehitlist&columns=*%2C0%2C0&filmno=6137268 Marine births] and [https://familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=726184&disp=Index+to+marine+death+returns+%28deaths+++ Marine deaths at sea from 1837-1965 (indexed)]  
+
::- [https://familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlehitlist&columns=*%2C0%2C0&filmno=6137268 Marine births] and [https://familysearch.org/eng/library/fhlcatalog/supermainframeset.asp?display=titlefilmnotes&columns=*%2C0%2C0&titleno=726184&disp=Index+to+marine+death+returns+%28deaths+++ Marine deaths at sea from 1837-1965 (indexed)]
  
 
::- [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/#bmd Merchant Marine Births, marriages and deaths 1854-1891]
 
::- [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/#bmd Merchant Marine Births, marriages and deaths 1854-1891]
Line 183: Line 272:
 
2.  The Registrar General also had custody of non-statutory registers of births, marriages, deaths and burials overseas from 1826-1951 which originally were sent to the Bishop of London's diocesan office. These registers are now held at The National Archives, and some copies at FamilySearch include''':'''  
 
2.  The Registrar General also had custody of non-statutory registers of births, marriages, deaths and burials overseas from 1826-1951 which originally were sent to the Bishop of London's diocesan office. These registers are now held at The National Archives, and some copies at FamilySearch include''':'''  
  
::- [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ Registers and Returns of Births, Marriages and Deaths in Protectorates (RG36)] - 1895-1965  
+
::- [http://www.bmdregisters.co.uk/ Registers and Returns of Births, Marriages and Deaths in Protectorates (RG36)] - 1895-1965
 
::- Indexes to all the above "Miscellaneous" series from 1826-1945 are found in RG43<br>
 
::- Indexes to all the above "Miscellaneous" series from 1826-1945 are found in RG43<br>
  
== Information Recorded in Civil Registers  ==
+
===Merchant Shipping===
  
==== Births  ====
+
The Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 stated that the Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen should record and certify the death of seamen at sea. Prior to this the General Registrar Office (GRO) maintained registers of deaths at sea. These are indexed by the Registrar General of Shipping under Board of Trade references from about 1855. Another location to check for a death at sea is in the ships log.
  
A birth certificate usually gives:  
+
Indexes for Deaths at sea are also located on [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/BirthsMarriagesDeaths.jsp findmypast], these indexes cover 1854-1890.
  
*birth date and birthplace
+
==Accessing England Civil Registration Records==
*child’s name and sex
+
Locating England Civil Registration Records is a two-step process:
*father's name and occupation
 
*mother's full name including her maiden name
 
*informant’s name, relationship to the baby, and residence
 
*when registered and the name of the registrar
 
  
The father, mother, neighbor, or other person present at the birth must register a birth within 42 days. The 1874 act imposed a fee for late registration (43 days to 6 months). This penalty may have persuaded some parents to "adjust" their child's birth date to avoid paying the fee. After six months the birth could not be registered.
+
#Find the GRO Index Entry
 +
#Order the Certificate
  
===== Stillbirths =====
+
===Indexes===
No provision was made for registering stillbirths until 1874, when a new law required a death certificate before burying stillborn children. Since 1927, all stillbirths (any birth where the child never took a breath) are recorded in the Register of Stillbirths, which is not available to the public.
+
There are two forms of the GRO Index:
 
 
===== Adoptions =====
 
Civil registration adoption certificates began in 1927, giving the child’s new name, birth date, court, entry date and reference number, and district and subdistrict of birth as well as the adoptive parents’ names, addresses, and occupation(s). Adoption records may be consulted only by arrangement with the Office for National Statistics.
 
  
Pre-1927 adoption records are kept by the agency or institution which handled the adoption and are very difficult to locate. Many no longer exist. For more information, see:
+
'''GRO Searchable Index'''. For free, anyone can register at the [http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/ GRO] site and search the indexes for births and deaths only. These indexes contain the name of the person registered, the quarter and year of the registration, and the mother's maiden name for births. No other parent or spouse information is included. Searches must include at least the surname, sex, and year; searches can also include registration district, mother's maiden name (births only) and age at death (deaths only). Reference information (year, quarter, registration district, volume, and page) must be quoted to order a certificate.
  
*Stafford, Georgina. ''Where to Find Adoption Records: A Guide for Counsellors''. London, England: British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering, 1993. (Family History Library {{FHL|647592|title-id|disp=book Ref 942 D27sgw}}.)
+
To find a spouse in a marriage, use the fact that both parties will have the same reference numbers. Several of the websites that have the indexes do this automatically and list the possible partners (usually two or more). If you can find the couple in the census, you can usually determine the correct spouse.
  
===== Abandoned Children =====
+
'''Traditional Indexes'''. Formerly known as "St Catherine's Registers," alphabetically-arranged indexes were created by the GRO at the end of each quarter, for births, marriages and deaths. Images and searchable indexes of these appear on several sites. Coverage may not be 100%. Maiden name of mothers are not included before 1911.  
Since 1977 the births of abandoned babies, whose parentage is unknown have been recorded in the Abandoned Children Register. Before this, these births were registered at the register office in the district where the child was found. 
 
  
Application for certificates can be made in writing to:
+
*[http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl FreeBMD]. An ongoing project, accessible for free.
 +
*[http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/ UKBMD website] lists many local BMD websites (e.g. [http://www.lancashirebmd.org.uk/ LancashireBMD]). Some of these sites may include more information than FreeBMD, including Mother's Maiden Name before 1911.
 +
*[https://www.familysearch.org/ FamilySearch]
 +
*[http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/nameindex/ai_content.php The Genealogist website] , [http://www.findmypast.co.uk Findmypast] & [http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ Ancestry.co.uk], [http://worldvitalrecords.com WorldVitalRecords.com] All these subscription sites also include the GRO Indexes. There may be value in searching multiple sites, due to occasional mis-transcriptions.
 +
*The FamilySearch Catalog also contains these indexes {{FHL|47767|title-id|disp=''Index to the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, 1837-1980''.}}. Most years are only viewable on microfilm at the Family History Library, and the remainder only at a FHC or Affiliate Library.
 +
*'''1837-2005''' [https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10442/england-wales-birth-index-1837-2005?s=275764761 England & Wales, Birth Index, 1837-2005] at My Heritage — index and some images ($)
 +
*'''1911-1954''' [https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10092/england-wales-births-gro-indexes-1911-1954?s=275764761 England & Wales Births, GRO Indexes, 1911 - 1954] at My Heritage — index and some images ($)
 +
*'''1538-1973''' [https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-30043/england-marriages-1538-1973?s=275764761 England Marriages, 1538-1973] at My Heritage — index and some images ($)
 +
*'''1837-2005''' [https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10443/england-wales-marriage-index-1837-2005?s=275764761 England & Wales, Marriage Index, 1837-2005] at My Heritage — index and some images ($)
 +
*'''1837-2005''' [https://www.myheritage.com/research/collection-10444/england-wales-death-index-1837-2005?s=275764761 England & Wales, Death Index, 1837-2005] at My Heritage — index and some images ($)
 +
See below for how to order the original once you have the index entry.
  
General Register Office, Adoptions,
+
===Search Tips===
 
 
Trafalgar Road, Southport, PR8 2HH.
 
 
 
==== Marriages  ====
 
 
 
A marriage certificate gives:
 
 
 
*marriage data and place
 
*names of the bride and groom, their ages, their marital "condition" (single or widowed), their professions, and their residences at the time of the marriage
 
*names and occupations of their fathers (and often whether they were deceased)
 
*signatures or marks of the bride, groom, and witnesses
 
*also notes whether the bride and groom were married in a church (with the denomination given) and, if so, whether they were married by banns or by license.
 
 
 
The law required all marriages to be recorded in a civil register immediately after the ceremony. Marriages were often performed at the bride’s parish
 
 
 
Because the marriage information found in the civil certificates of marriage, are an exact replica of the church registers of marriage, the records of the churches represent an original copy of each marriage certificate sent to the General Register Office. 
 
 
 
==== Divorces  ====
 
 
 
Divorce records contain information on family members, their marital history (including marriage date and place), property, residences, and sometimes dates of events such as children’s births. To search an index to Divorce Records, see "Key Web Sites" below.
 
 
 
Divorce required an act of Parliament until 1857 and was uncommon before the mid-20th century. Records of parliamentary divorce acts are at:
 
 
 
'''[[The Parliamentary Archives (U.K.)|Parliamentary Archives]]<br>'''Houses of Parliament<br>London, SW1A 0PW<br>England <br>Telephone: +44 (0)20 7219 3074<br>Fax: +44 (0)20 7219 2570<br>E-mail: [mailto:lawlords@parliament.uk archives@parliament.uk]<br>Internet: [http://www.parliament.uk/business/publications/parliamentary-archives/archives-highlights/archives-the-suffragettes/ Parliamentary Archives]
 
 
 
Civil divorce registration began in 1858. These divorce records are confidential for 75 years. Records older than 75 years can be consulted at the National Archives in London. Indexes for 1858 to 1937 are available.
 
 
 
Relatives of divorced persons may obtain information on divorces that occurred in the last 75 years by contacting:
 
 
 
[[Image:First Avenue House, High Holborn, London.jpg|thumb|right|200px|First Avenue House, High Holborn, London.jpg]]
 
 
 
'''Principal Registry of the Family Division<br>'''Decree Absolute Section<br>First Avenue House<br>42-49 High Holborn<br>London WC1V 6NP<br>England
 
 
 
Telephone: +44 (0)20 7947 7017<br>Internet: [http://www.justice.gov.uk/guidance/courts-and-tribunals/courts/hearing-lists/list-pr-family-division.htm Family Division]<br>
 
'''Websites for Online Searching'''
 
 
 
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/divorces/ The National Archives Divorce Case Files, 1858-1914 ] - offers a free online index search for Divorce Records (J77 series) from 1858-1937. See their online Catalog, for searches made.
 
*See ''[http://www.timesplus.co.uk/ The Times] ''- to search for and view historical articles from 1785-1985 of divorce cases in the news(nobility, prominent merchants, political figures, and those of the ruling class who often are listed/ mentioned)
 
*[http://www.legislation.gov.uk/changes/chron-tables/private/8 Parliamentary Acts: Chronological Tables of the Private and Personal Acts] - this lists numerous tables of divorce decrees in court cases prior to 1858.
 
 
 
The Family History Library has:
 
 
 
*FamilySearch.org has {{FHL|1110522|title-id|disp=indexes to the Divorce Decrees and Matrimonial causes, 1858-1958}} - on microfilm; order these at a [https://www.familysearch.org/locations FamilySearch Center ]near you.
 
*{{FHL|695681|title-id|disp=Index to divorces (as listed in Palmer's Indexes to "The Times" newspaper, London) 1788-1910}}.
 
 
 
To learn more about divorce records, visit the following Websites.
 
 
 
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=260 www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=260] (before 1858)
 
*[http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=53 www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/catalogue/RdLeaflet.asp?sLeafletID=53] (after 1858)
 
*[http://www.1837online.com/Trace2web/resources/divorcerecords/ www.findmypast.com/helpadvice/knowledge-base/wills-divorces/#divorce]
 
*[http://www.genealogy.about.com/cs/vitaluk/index.htm www.genealogy.about.com/cs/vitaluk/index.htm]
 
 
 
==== Deaths  ====
 
 
 
A death certificate usually gives:
 
 
 
*death date and place
 
*full name of the decedent, their sex and age, their occupation (or for a child, usually the name of a parent)
 
*cause of death
 
*name, residence and relationship of the informant to the decedent
 
*date registered and the name of the registrar.<br>
 
 
 
On certificates for adults, the names of parents are never given. In considering whether to order a death certificate, remember that the information on the certificate may be limited or inaccurate because it is based on the <u>informant’s</u> knowledge. It can be helpful for those looking for clues about persons born or married before July 1837.
 
 
 
== Merchant Shipping Act  ==
 
 
 
The Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 stated that the Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen should record and certify the death of seamen at sea. Prior to this the General Registrar Office (GRO) maintined registers of deaths at sea. These are indexed by the Registrar General of Shipping under Board of Trade references from about 1855. Another location to check for a death at sea is in the ships log.
 
 
 
Indexes for Deaths at sea are also located on [http://www.findmypast.co.uk/BirthsMarriagesDeaths.jsp findmypast], these indexes cover 1854-1890.
 
 
 
== Finding England Civil Registration Records ==
 
Locating England Civil Registration Records is a two-step process:
 
# Find the GRO Index Entry
 
# Order the Certificate
 
 
 
=== Indexes ===
 
There are two forms of the GRO Index:
 
 
 
'''GRO Searchable Index'''. For free, anyone can register at the site of the [http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/ GRO], and search the indexes for Births and Deaths only. These indexes contain the names of the people involved, but not parents or spouses, as well as Age of the deceased (Death Records) and Maiden Name of the Mother (Birth Records)
 
 
 
'''Traditional Indexes'''. Alphabetically-arranged indexes were created by the GRO at the end of each quarter, for births, marriages and deaths. images and searchable Indexes of these appear on several sites. Coverage may not be 100%. Maiden name of Mothers are not included before 1911.
 
* [http://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/search.pl FreeBMD]. An ongoing project, accessible for free. A useful feature for marriages lists all the possible spouses.
 
* [http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/ UKBMD website] lists many local BMD websites (e.g. [http://www.lancashirebmd.org.uk/ LancashireBMD]). Some of these sites may include more information than FreeBMD, including Mother's Maiden Name before 1911.
 
* [http://www.thegenealogist.co.uk/nameindex/ai_content.php The Genealogist website] , [http://www.findmypast.co.uk Findmypast] &amp;&nbsp;[http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ Ancestry.co.uk], [http://worldvitalrecords.com WorldVitalRecords.com] All these subscription sites also include the GRO Indexes. There may be value in searching multiple sites, due to occasional mis-transcriptions.
 
 
 
=== Search Tips ===
 
 
If you cannot locate an index entry, consider the following reasons:  
 
If you cannot locate an index entry, consider the following reasons:  
  
*Surnames are often found under unexpected spellings.  
+
*Surnames are often found under unexpected spellings.
*Events are filed by the date registered, not the date they occurred (for example, a birth on 20 March which was registered on 6 April will be in the April-May-June quarter).  
+
*Events are filed by the date registered, not the date they occurred (for example, a birth on 20 March which was registered on 6 April will be in the April-May-June quarter).
*Indexes were prepared by hand and may contain copying errors (for example, "T" for "F") or omissions.  
+
*Indexes were prepared by hand and may contain copying errors (for example, "T" for "F") or omissions.
*A person may have been registered under a different name than he or she used later in life.  
+
*A person may have been registered under a different name than he or she used later in life.
*Some marriages were indexed by the name of only one spouse.  
+
*Some marriages were indexed by the name of only one spouse.
*A woman’s surname in the marriage index may be her surname from a previous marriage.  
+
*A woman’s surname in the marriage index may be her surname from a previous marriage.
*Family information (particularly age at death) is often misleading.  
+
*Family information (particularly age at death) is often misleading.
*Persons with common names may be difficult to identify in the index.  
+
*Persons with common names may be difficult to identify in the index.
*Some deaths were registered as "unknown."  
+
*Some deaths were registered as "unknown."
*A child born before the parents’ marriage may be registered under the mother’s maiden name.  
+
*A child born before the parents’ marriage may be registered under the mother’s maiden name.
 
*Some children were registered as "male" or "female" if a name had not been selected before registration.
 
*Some children were registered as "male" or "female" if a name had not been selected before registration.
  
=== Ordering Certificates Online ===
+
===Ordering Certificates Online===
''Tip for Marriages: If your ancestors married in the Anglican church after 1837, there is no need to pay £9.25, as the Church marriage register will be an exact duplicate of the civil marriages.''  
+
''Tip for Marriages: If your ancestors married in the Anglican church after 1837, there is no need to pay £9.25, as the Church marriage register will be an exact duplicate of the civil marriage.''  
  
 
Civil registration certificates are closed to the public. The only way to obtain one is to order a copy from the Register General Office for England and Wales. You may order through the Internet, telephone or post. The quickest way is to order online, quoting the full reference. ''You should also take care to order only through the official GRO site, and not through any other site, which will often charge more, and take longer.''  
 
Civil registration certificates are closed to the public. The only way to obtain one is to order a copy from the Register General Office for England and Wales. You may order through the Internet, telephone or post. The quickest way is to order online, quoting the full reference. ''You should also take care to order only through the official GRO site, and not through any other site, which will often charge more, and take longer.''  
  
The current price of a certificate is £9.25 pounds sterling with Full Reference. Full Reference includes the type of certificate requested, individual's name, registration district, quarter, year, volume and page number from the indexes. For more information, see their Web site at:  
+
The current price of a certificate is £9.25 pounds sterling with Full Reference. There is currently a trial for ordering digital PDF copies of the certificates for £6.00. Full Reference includes the type of certificate requested, individual's name, registration district, quarter, year, volume and page number from the indexes. For more information, see their web site at:  
 
 
*[http://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/ Certificate Ordering Service]
 
 
 
==== Ordering Certificates by Telephone  ====
 
 
 
Using Visa, Visa Electron, Mastercard, or Maestro, call +44 (0)845 603 7788 and have your details in hand.
 
 
 
The telephone lines are open: Monday to Friday 8:00 am – 8:00pm (excluding Bank Holidays) and Saturday 9:00 am to 4:00 pm (GMT). Have your credit or debit card ready.
 
 
 
==== Ordering Certificates by Mail  ====
 
 
 
GRO PO Box 2 Southport Merseyside PR8 2JD
 
 
 
You can download an application form via [https://www.gov.uk/ GOV.UK]
 
 
 
When requesting a certificate by mail, send the following:
 
 
 
*A check or money order for the search fee (the amount varies)
 
*The full name and sex of the person sought
 
*The names of the parents, if known
 
*An approximate date and place of the event
 
 
 
== Registration Districts  ==
 
 
 
Places in the index are registration districts, which are usually not the same as the actual place of birth. In rural areas many villages and parishes are included in one district. Large cities have many districts.
 
  
The following sources will help identify the district that served the place where your ancestors lived:  
+
*[https://www.gov.uk/order-copy-birth-death-marriage-certificate Certificate Ordering Service]
  
''The Imperial Gazetteer'', included on the [http://www.visionofbritain.org.uk/index.jsp Vision of Britain] web site, gives parishes and their civil districts. (See [[England Gazetteers|England Gazetteers]].) [http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/reg/index.html Genuki.org.uk] and [http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/reg/ UKBMD.org.uk] also provides of list of Registration Districts.
+
==Registration Districts==
  
Population Tables are available for each census year. They give the population for the various localities and are arranged by county, district, and parish. The indexes to these tables are very helpful because they give the district for each place listed. District boundaries changed over time, so it is helpful to refer to these indexes. The Family History Library call numbers for the indexes are as follows:
+
All events in civil registration are arranged by Registration District. These districts usually lump many rural villages together and divide a city very finely.
  
*1841 FHL {{FHL|331855|title-id|disp=942 X22ip 1841}}; {{FHL|331855|title-id|disp=fiche 6036965}}
+
Information about Registration Districts, the parishes they contain and boundary changes over the years can be found at [https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/index.html UKBMD]
*1851 FHL {{FHL|328237|title-id|disp=942 X22ip 1851}}; {{FHL|328237|title-id|disp=fiche 6036964}}
 
*1861 FHL {{FHL|327774|title-id|disp=942 X22ip 1861}}; {{FHL|327774|title-id|disp=fiche 6036966}}
 
*1871 FHL {{FHL|327626|title-id|disp=942 X22ip 1871}}; {{FHL|327626|title-id|disp=fiche 6036967}}
 
*1881 FHL {{FHL|327604|title-id|disp=942 X22ip 1881}}; {{FHL|327604|title-id|disp=fiche 6036968}}
 
*1891 FHL {{FHL|331867|title-id|disp=942 X22ip 1891}}; {{FHL|331867|title-id|disp=fiche 6036969}}
 
*1951 FHL{{FHL|38192|title-id|disp=Q 942 X2i 1951}}; {{FHL|38192|title-id|disp=films 410102–3}}
 
*1961 FHL {{FHL|427048|title-id|disp=Q 942 X2p 1961}}; {{FHL|427048|title-id|disp=film 990257}}
 
*1971 FHL Q {{FHL|146174|title-id|disp=942 X2p 1971}}; not filmed
 
  
 
The following work contains nineteenth century maps and lists of districts:  
 
The following work contains nineteenth century maps and lists of districts:  
  
*''A Guide to the Arrangement of the Registration Districts Listed in the Indexes to the Civil Registration of England and Wales''. Second Edition. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Family History Library, 1977. (Family History Library book {{FHL|942 V2icr |disp=942 V2icr 1977}}; {{FHL|37604|title-id|disp=film 990269 items 4–5; fiche 6020287}})
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*''A Guide to the Arrangement of the Registration Districts Listed in the Indexes to the Civil Registration of England and Wales''. Second Edition. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Family History Library, 1977. (Family History Library book {{FHL|942 V2icr |disp=942 V2icr 1977}}; {{FHL|37604|title-id|disp=film 990269 items 4–5; fiche 6020287}}
 
 
The Family History Library has copies of the indexes. Go to the FamilySearch Catalog to find the film of fiche numbers for each year of birth, death or marriage.
 
 
 
#Go to the [https://familysearch.org/catalog-search library catalog].
 
#Click '''Place Search'''.
 
#Type England and click '''Search'''.
 
#Click '''England''' in the list of results.
 
#Click the topic of '''Civil Registration-Indexes'''.
 
#Click one of the following titles:
 
##{{FHL|47767|title-id|disp=''Index to the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, 1837-1980''. This set is on microfilm}}.
 
##{{FHL|744657|title-id|disp=''Index to the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales, 1837-1983''. This set is on microfiche.}}
 
#Click View Film Notes to see the film and fiche numbers.
 
 
 
==== Superintendent Registrars  ====
 
 
 
If you know the registration district, you may wish to order a certificate from the superintendent registrar, since search policies are often more liberal and mail order requests less expensive than through the General Register Office (GRO). The GRO index reference numbers do not help the superintendent registrar locate records in his or her district. Registrars usually will not search marriage records because marriage registration procedures are so complex.
 
 
 
Addresses for superintendent registrars’ are found in:
 
 
 
*''The Official List of Registration Offices.'' London, England: Her Majesty’s Stationery Office, 1993. (FHL book Q 942 X4g 1993.)
 
*''District Register Offices in England and Wales''. Fourth Edition. Yorkshire, England: East Yorkshire Family History Society, 1989. (Family History Library book {{FHL|942 E4ew |disp=942 E4ew}} 1989.)
 
 
 
Addresses for the superintendent registrars can also be found on the Internet through the GENUKI Web site at:
 
 
 
*[http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/RegOffice/ Genuki]
 
 
 
Keep in mind that over time district boundaries have changed, and some districts have been abolished. 
 
  
{{featured article}}
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==Tips and Guidance==
  
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/lessons/strategies-for-using-civil-registration-in-the-british-isles-introduction '''Strategies for Using Civil Registration in the British Isles Part 1''']
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*[https://www.familysearch.org/help/helpcenter/lessons/england-and-wales-civil-registration '''England and Wales Civil Registration''']
  
[[Category:England Civil Registration]][[Category:England Vital Records]]
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[[Category:England Civil Registration]]
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[[Category:England Vital Records]]

Revision as of 22:37, 28 July 2021

England Wiki Topics
Flag of England
Beginning Research
Record Types
England Background
Local Research Resources
First Avenue House, High Holborn, London

Historical Background[edit | edit source]

Before 1837 only churches recorded birth, marriage, and death information in England (see England Church Records). In the early 1800s, Parliament recognized the need for accurate records for voting, planning, taxation, and defense purposes. Legislation was passed to create a civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths for England and Wales and, for registering the same for British subjects abroad. England and Wales registration began on 1 July 1837, and covered births, marriages, divorces and deaths. However one problem with English civil registration is that coverage was not universal, especially in the earlier years before tougher laws in 1874. Use Church Records in these cases.

Separate legislation and records exist for events at sea, overseas and for those in the army. See the section Overseas and Military Civil Registration

It is thus important to realize the two distinct types of Civil Registration that are referred to throughout this article:

  • Indexes are the alphabetical lists of birth, marriages and deaths drawn up by the General Register Office(GRO) for each quarter.
  • Certificates refer to the original documents that recorded the information. You need to have the index entry for a record to be able to find the certificate.

Information Recorded in Civil Registers[edit | edit source]

Births[edit | edit source]

A birth certificate usually gives:

  • birth date and birthplace
  • child’s name and sex
  • father's name and occupation
  • mother's full name including her maiden name
  • informant’s name, relationship to the baby, and residence
  • when registered and the name of the registrar

The father, mother, neighbor, or other person present at the birth must register a birth within 42 days. The 1874 act imposed a fee for late registration (43 days to 6 months). This penalty may have persuaded some parents to "adjust" their child's birth date to avoid paying the fee. After six months the birth could not be registered.

Stillbirths[edit | edit source]

No provision was made for registering stillbirths until 1874, when a new law required a death certificate before burying stillborn children. Since 1927, all stillbirths (any birth where the child never took a breath) are recorded in the Register of Stillbirths, which is not available to the public.

Adoptions[edit | edit source]

Civil registration adoption certificates began in 1927, giving the child’s new name, birth date, court, entry date and reference number, and district and subdistrict of birth as well as the adoptive parents’ names, addresses, and occupation(s). Adoption records may be consulted only by arrangement with the Office for National Statistics.

Pre-1927 adoption records are kept by the agency or institution which handled the adoption and are very difficult to locate. Many no longer exist. For more information, see:

  • Stafford, Georgina. Where to Find Adoption Records: A Guide for Counsellors. London, England: British Agencies for Adoption and Fostering, 1993. (Family History Library book Ref 942 D27sgw.)

Abandoned Children[edit | edit source]

Since 1977 the births of abandoned babies, whose parentage is unknown have been recorded in the Abandoned Children Register. Before this, these births were registered at the register office in the district where the child was found. 

Application for certificates can be made in writing to:

General Register Office, Adoptions,

Trafalgar Road, Southport, PR8 2HH.

Marriages[edit | edit source]

A marriage certificate gives:

  • marriage date and place
  • names of the bride and groom, their ages, their marital "condition" (single or widowed), their professions, and their residences at the time of the marriage
  • names and occupations of their fathers (and sometimes whether they were deceased)
  • signatures or marks of the bride, groom, and witnesses
  • also notes whether the bride and groom were married in a church (with the denomination given) and, if so, whether they were married by banns or by license.

The law required all marriages to be recorded in a civil register immediately after the ceremony. Marriages were often performed at the bride’s parish

Because the marriage information found in the civil certificates of marriage, are an exact replica of the church registers of marriage, there is no need to consult civil records(for which payment is requirement) if the Anglican Church records are more freely available elsewhere.

Divorces[edit | edit source]

Divorce records contain information on family members, their marital history (including marriage date and place), property, residences, and sometimes dates of events such as children’s births. To search an index to Divorce Records, see "Key Websites" below.

Pre-1858[edit | edit source]

Before 1858, a divorce required an Act of Parliament, restricting it to the aristocratic and wealthy whose marital lives were of concern to Parliament. Divorces were a type of "Private Act", lists in chronological order are available on the Private and Personal Acts page of legislation.gov.uk. Information may also be available at the Parliamentary Archives

1858 onwards[edit | edit source]

Civil divorce registration began in 1858. These divorce records are confidential for 75 years. The National Archives has a useful Help Page for Divorces. Records up to 1916 can be searched on Ancestry in the collection England and Wales, Civil Divorce Records, 1858-1916.

Relatives of divorced persons may obtain information on divorces that occurred in the last 75 years by contacting:


Principal Registry of the Family Division
Decree Absolute Section
First Avenue House
42-49 High Holborn
London WC1V 6NP
England

Telephone: +44 (0)20 7947 7017
Internet: Family Division

Historic newspapers may mention divorces if the figures involved were well known. The Times - to search for and view historical articles from 1785-1985 of divorce cases in the news

The Family History Library has:

Deaths[edit | edit source]

A death certificate usually gives:

  • death date and place
  • full name of the decedent, their sex and age, their occupation (or for a child, usually the name of a parent)
  • cause of death
  • name, residence and relationship of the informant to the decedent
  • date registered and the name of the registrar.

On certificates for adults, the names of parents are never given. In considering whether to order a death certificate, remember that the information on the certificate may be limited or inaccurate because it is based on the informant’s knowledge. It can be helpful for those looking for clues about persons born or married before July 1837.

Overseas and Military Civil Registration[edit | edit source]

Parliament passed legislation creating a civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths for English, Scots, Irish and Welsh subjects living abroad, or also known as British subjects abroad. Where registration in England and Wales began 1 July 1837, for those British and Irish subjects living overseas, registration began at differing time periods in different countries.

Returns of births, marriages and deaths of British subjects overseas, on ships, and including military personnel and their families were sent to the General Register Office, Bishop of London, and later, to the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys in England. These returns may begin as early as 1627 but most especially by mid-19th century.

For a brief list of the several register series of births, marriages and deaths affecting British subjects abroad, consider the various records cited below. Some of these records are held at the General Register Office (sometimes known as The Registrar General) at:

The National Archives
Ruskin Avenue
Kew, Richmond
Surrey,
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 20 8876 3444
Email: contact form (in lieu of email): web form

And some registers are held at:

The Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS)
Overseas Registration Section
Trafalgar Road
Birkdale, Southport
Merseyside, PR* 2HH
United Kingdom
Tel 0151 471 4801
Email
overseas@ons.gov.uk


There are several significant records collection series, which originate from three government-sponsored categories. Some have been indexed and even scanned (imaged) and made available online. Data content and some images of records can be accessible at the following record archives and/or websites and for the following ranges of years:

BMDReg = BMDRegister.co.uk
FMP = findmypast
TGEN = TheGenealogist.co.uk
TNA = NationalArchives.gov.uk
Civil Registration of Births, Marriages & Deaths - Foreign Office (FO) (1761-on) online Indexes

Baptisms Marriages Burials
TNA
1849-2006
1849-2006 1849-2006
Regimental Registers of Army Soldiers & Their Families Births Indexes (1761-on) online

Baptisms Marriages Burials
FMP 1761-1924
1761-1924
1761-1924
TGEN 1761-1924 1761-1924
1761-1924
TNA None None None
Miscellaneous Overseas Births, Marriages & Deaths British Subjects & onShips (RGs 32-34) - (from 1627) online Indexes

Baptisms Marriages Burials
TNA
None
None None
BMDReg
1627-1969
1627-1969
1627-1969
TGEN 1627-1969
1627-1969
1627-1969
Miscellaneous Foreign Marriages - (1861) online Indexes

Baptisms Marriages Burials
TNA
None
None None
BMDReg
NA
1861-1921
NA
TGEN NA 1861-1921 NA
Miscellaneous Foreign Deaths (RG35) - (from 1791) online Indexes

Baptisms Marriages Burials
TNA
None
None None
BMDReg
1791-1921
1791-1921
1791-1921
TGEN 1791-1921
1791-1921
1791-1921

Here are available military records and where applicable, the respective links to online accessibility:

1. Military Records (including Merchant ships) of personnel abroad:

- Regimental Registers of births (indexed), marriages and deaths 1761-date (OPCS/FMP)
- Army Chaplains returns of birth, marriage and death 1796-1880 (all indexed)
- Marine births and Marine deaths at sea from 1837-1965 (indexed)
- Merchant Marine Births, marriages and deaths 1854-1891


2. The Registrar General also had custody of non-statutory registers of births, marriages, deaths and burials overseas from 1826-1951 which originally were sent to the Bishop of London's diocesan office. These registers are now held at The National Archives, and some copies at FamilySearch include:

- Registers and Returns of Births, Marriages and Deaths in Protectorates (RG36) - 1895-1965
- Indexes to all the above "Miscellaneous" series from 1826-1945 are found in RG43

Merchant Shipping[edit | edit source]

The Merchant Shipping Act of 1894 stated that the Registrar-General of Shipping and Seamen should record and certify the death of seamen at sea. Prior to this the General Registrar Office (GRO) maintained registers of deaths at sea. These are indexed by the Registrar General of Shipping under Board of Trade references from about 1855. Another location to check for a death at sea is in the ships log.

Indexes for Deaths at sea are also located on findmypast, these indexes cover 1854-1890.

Accessing England Civil Registration Records[edit | edit source]

Locating England Civil Registration Records is a two-step process:

  1. Find the GRO Index Entry
  2. Order the Certificate

Indexes[edit | edit source]

There are two forms of the GRO Index:

GRO Searchable Index. For free, anyone can register at the GRO site and search the indexes for births and deaths only. These indexes contain the name of the person registered, the quarter and year of the registration, and the mother's maiden name for births. No other parent or spouse information is included. Searches must include at least the surname, sex, and year; searches can also include registration district, mother's maiden name (births only) and age at death (deaths only). Reference information (year, quarter, registration district, volume, and page) must be quoted to order a certificate.

To find a spouse in a marriage, use the fact that both parties will have the same reference numbers. Several of the websites that have the indexes do this automatically and list the possible partners (usually two or more). If you can find the couple in the census, you can usually determine the correct spouse.

Traditional Indexes. Formerly known as "St Catherine's Registers," alphabetically-arranged indexes were created by the GRO at the end of each quarter, for births, marriages and deaths. Images and searchable indexes of these appear on several sites. Coverage may not be 100%. Maiden name of mothers are not included before 1911.

See below for how to order the original once you have the index entry.

Search Tips[edit | edit source]

If you cannot locate an index entry, consider the following reasons:

  • Surnames are often found under unexpected spellings.
  • Events are filed by the date registered, not the date they occurred (for example, a birth on 20 March which was registered on 6 April will be in the April-May-June quarter).
  • Indexes were prepared by hand and may contain copying errors (for example, "T" for "F") or omissions.
  • A person may have been registered under a different name than he or she used later in life.
  • Some marriages were indexed by the name of only one spouse.
  • A woman’s surname in the marriage index may be her surname from a previous marriage.
  • Family information (particularly age at death) is often misleading.
  • Persons with common names may be difficult to identify in the index.
  • Some deaths were registered as "unknown."
  • A child born before the parents’ marriage may be registered under the mother’s maiden name.
  • Some children were registered as "male" or "female" if a name had not been selected before registration.

Ordering Certificates Online[edit | edit source]

Tip for Marriages: If your ancestors married in the Anglican church after 1837, there is no need to pay £9.25, as the Church marriage register will be an exact duplicate of the civil marriage.

Civil registration certificates are closed to the public. The only way to obtain one is to order a copy from the Register General Office for England and Wales. You may order through the Internet, telephone or post. The quickest way is to order online, quoting the full reference. You should also take care to order only through the official GRO site, and not through any other site, which will often charge more, and take longer.

The current price of a certificate is £9.25 pounds sterling with Full Reference. There is currently a trial for ordering digital PDF copies of the certificates for £6.00. Full Reference includes the type of certificate requested, individual's name, registration district, quarter, year, volume and page number from the indexes. For more information, see their web site at:

Registration Districts[edit | edit source]

All events in civil registration are arranged by Registration District. These districts usually lump many rural villages together and divide a city very finely.

Information about Registration Districts, the parishes they contain and boundary changes over the years can be found at UKBMD

The following work contains nineteenth century maps and lists of districts:

  • A Guide to the Arrangement of the Registration Districts Listed in the Indexes to the Civil Registration of England and Wales. Second Edition. Salt Lake City, Utah, USA: Family History Library, 1977. (Family History Library book 942 V2icr 1977; film 990269 items 4–5; fiche 6020287

Tips and Guidance[edit | edit source]