Lancashire Civil Registration
Details of Lancashire civil registration districts and the places in each can help in identifying the census returns to consult as they use a common structure.
Current Register OfficesCertificates of birth, death and marriage can be obtained from the Superintendent Registrars at the following District Register Offices:
If ordering from a District Office, please note the following:
(a) the cost of a certificate is currently £7.00 (April 2003) - send a Sterling cheque payable to the Superintendent Registrar plus return postage or two International Reply Coupons.
(b) the reference numbers from the St Catherine's Index are of no value, but the year and quarter may reduce the amount of searching that the office has to perform.
(c) for marriage certificates, the precise place of marriage must be given.
(d) Civil Registration in England and Wales began on July 1st 1837.
The current administrative county of Lancashire provide details of areas covered by each Register Office.
Closed Register OfficesThe following offices have now closed, or are now just branches of another office.
The changes to administrative areas that have occurred over time have not always made it easy to determine who holds the historic records for a particular place when some places in a registration district move to one district and others to a separate one. This is a result of how the records are held. For example all the births in a district are recorded togther in the same register. If a district splits into two the register cannot be broken up and so it will be held by one of the new districts and the other one will know to refer requests for historic records to the other district. Deaths are treated in a similar way.
Marriages can be easier to split up as each church with an authorised person to conduct the marriage (for civil registration as opposed to religious purposes) held its own register. Originally these were mainly Anglican churches, the marriages in other churches and in the register office itself being held in a single register. Over time the ministers in other churches have been deemed authorised persons and so separate registers start to have been held for them.
The current register offices record all current events taking place in their districts, and if they do not have the historic records for places now in their district, they do know which of heir neighbours hold them and work with them to make them available.
National indexesSome of the archives/libraries holding copies of the GRO Indexes, previously known as St.Catherine's house indexes, which can assist you in locating records of births, marriages & deaths are:
- LDS Family History centres.
- Cumbria Record Office, Barrow in Furness 1837-1996.
- Blackburn Local Studies, 1837-1997.
- Blackpool Central Library, Births & Marriages: 1837-1912.
- Bolton Local Studies, 1837-1950.
- Knowsley Local Studies 1837-1983.
- Greater Manchester County Record Office, 1837-1970.
- Manchester & Lancs FHS library, 1837-1910 (sorry, members only).
- Harris Library, Preston.
- St. Helen's Local Archive Centre, 1837-1970.
- Stockport library, 1837-1899.
- Trafford Local Studies, 1870-1940.
- Wigan History Shop, 1837-1918.