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England:- Civil Registration

  • Civil Registration of births, marriages and deaths (known as "Vital Records" in some countries) started on 1 July 1837 for England and Wales under the control of the General Register Office and its head, The Registrar General.
    - For further information see Civil Registration in England and Wales.

  • The General Register Office (GRO) has,at various times, been part of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the Identity and Passport Service (IPS) and is now part of The Home Office with a consequent changes of URL for their web site – HM Passport OfficeGeneral Register Office.

  • For an overview of researching using GRO records, look at this GRO page Research your family history using the General Register Office which explains the index references and the county codes used at different times. This PDF file, as well as web sites, lists locations worldwide where the indexes can be viewed: Public holders of the GRO Indexes.

  • Mike Wheatley has provided a mapping of the reference numbers in the registers to registration districts

  • An alternative (and cheaper) method of obtaining information is via the local District Register Offices. A description of how to do this is available along with the location of the local offices.

  • The Registration Districts appropriate to particular towns have been listed on a county basis.

  • Barbara Dixon has produced a very comprehensive description of birth, marriage and death certificates and each field to be found on them.

  • Mike Foster and helpers have transcribed part of the St Catherine's House (General Register Office) Marriage Index for 1849 and 1856.

  • FreeBMD is an ambitious project to make the G.R.O. (formerly St Catherine's) birth, marriage and death indexes available online. Thanks to an enthusiastic band of 11,000+ transcribers, the searchable database now (October 2011) has more than 262,000,000 entries and is adding an amazing 46,000 new entries per day!

  • Advice from The National Archives on the Reproduction of birth, death and marriage certificates.