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The three following lists provide the reference numbers of the registration districts for births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales. These reference numbers also serve as the Volume identifier in the General Register Office's indexes (at the Family Records Centre in London and many other libraries and family history research centres).

Roman numerals were used for the reference numbers until 1851 when the districts were modified and Arabic numerals plus a letter were used. As the older register indexes are updated the Roman numerals are being replaced by Arabic numerals.

1837-1851 (Roman numerals)

Ref.No. Registration District
------  ---------------------
I       London & Middlesex
II      London & Middlesex
III     London & Middlesex
IV      London & Surrey
V       Kent
VI      Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Hertfordshire
VII     Hampshire & Sussex
VIII    Dorset, Hampshire & Wiltshire
IX      Cornwall & Devon
X       Devon & Somerset
XI      Gloucestershire, Somerset & Warwickshire
XII     Essex & Suffolk
XIII    Norfolk & Suffolk
XIV     Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire & Suffolk
XV      Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire & Rutland
XVI     Oxfordshire, Staffordshire & Warwickshire
XVII    Staffordshire
XVIII   Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire & Worcestershire
XIX     Cheshire, Derbyshire & Flintshire
XX      Lancashire
XXI     Lancashire & Yorkshire
XXII    Yorkshire
XXIII   Yorkshire
XXIV    Durham & Yorkshire
XXV     Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancashire & Northumberland
XXVI    Brecknockshire, Carmarthenshire, Glamorganshire, Herefordshire,
         Monmouthshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire & Shropshire
XXVII   Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire,
         Merionethshire & Montgomeryshire

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1852-1946 (Arabic numerals plus a letter)

Ref.No. Registration District
------  ---------------------
1a      London & Middlesex
1b      London & Middlesex
1c      London & Middlesex
1d      London, Kent & Surrey
2a      Kent & Surrey
2b      Hampshire & Sussex
2c      Berkshire & Hampshire
3a      Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex & Oxfordshire
3b      Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Northamptonshire & Suffolk
4a      Essex & Suffolk
4b      Norfolk
5a      Dorset & Wiltshire
5b      Devon
5c      Cornwall & Somerset
6a      Gloucestershire, Herefordshire & Shropshire
6b      Staffordshire, Warwickshire & Worcestershire
6c      Warwickshire & Worcestershire
6d      Warwickshire
7a      Leicestershire, Lincolnshire & Rutland
7b      Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire
8a      Cheshire
8b      Lancashire
8c      Lancashire
8d      Lancashire
8e      Lancashire
9a      Yorkshire
9b      Yorkshire
9c      Yorkshire
9d      Yorkshire
10a     Durham
10b     Cumberland, Northumberland &  Westmorland
11a     Carmarthenshire, Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire & Pembrokeshire
11b     Anglesey, Brecknockshire, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire, Denbighshire,
         Flintshire, Merionethshire, Montgomeryshire & Radnorshire

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Reference Numbers for each County

County                  1837-1851       1852-1946
------                  ---------       ---------
Anglesey                XXVII           11b
Bedfordshire            VI              3b
Berkshire               VI              2c,3a
Brecknockshire          XXVI            11b
Buckinghamshire         VI              3a
Caernarvonshire         XXVII           11b
Cambridgeshire          XIV             3b
Cardiganshire           XXVII           11b
Carmarthenshire         XXVI            11a
Cheshire                XIX             8a
Cornwall                IX              5c
Cumberland              XXV             10b
Denbighshire            XXVII           11b
Derbyshire              XIX             7b
Devon                   IX,X            5b
Dorset                  VIII            5a
Durham                  XXIV            10a
Essex                   XII             4a
Flintshire              XIX,XXVII       11b
Glamorganshire          XXVI            11a
Gloucestershire         XI,XVIII        6a
Hampshire               VII,VIII        2b,2c
Herefordshire           XXVI            6a
Hertfordshire           VI              3a
Huntingdonshire         XIV             3b
Kent                    V               1d,2a
Lancashire              XX,XXI,XXV      8b,8c,8d,8e
Leicestershire          XV              7a
Lincolnshire            XIV             7a
London                  I,II,III,IV     1a,1b,1c,1d
Merionethshire          XXVII           11b
Middlesex               I,II,III        1a,1b,1c,3a
Monmouthshire           XXVI            11a
Montgomeryshire         XXVII           11b
Norfolk                 XIII            4b
Northamptonshire        XV              3b
Northumberland          XXV             10b
Nottinghamshire         XV              7b
Oxfordshire             XVI             3a
Pembrokeshire           XXVI            11a
Radnorshire             XXVI            11b
Rutland                 XV              7a
Shropshire              XVIII,XXVI      6a
Somerset                X,XI            5c
Staffordshire           XVI,XVII,XVIII  6b
Suffolk                 XII,XIII,XIV    3b,4a
Surrey                  IV              1d,2a
Sussex                  VII             2b
Warwickshire            XI,XVI,XVIII    6b,6c,6d
Westmorland             XXV             10b
Wiltshire               VIII            5a
Worcestershire          XVIII           6b,6c
Yorkshire               XXI,XXII,       9a,9b,9c,9d

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There appear to be some inconsistencies and variations in the counties (partly) covered by some of the reference numbers - and so the above lists may not be accurate and complete.

Please notify any errors or omissions to Mike.Wheatley@BL.UK

Data compiled 30 September 1995 by Michael L. Wheatley

Page last amended 6 May 2004 by Malcolm Austen.

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