Births, Marriages and Deaths

Civil Registration

1837 to present

Since 1 July 1837 all births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales should have been recorded by local registrars. The original records are kept in local register offices, and copies are sent to the General Register Office (GRO).

Family Historians are not permitted to look at these records themselves, but can purchase copies of birth, marriage and death certificates.

Certificates can be obtained from the local register office where the event took place, or from the GRO at Southport.


Useful Links

Cheshire BMD contains indexes to most of the records held by the Cheshire registrars, and includes application forms or online payment options for ordering certificates. Details of similar sites for other areas can be found at UK BMD.

Free BMD contains indexes to the copies of the records held by the GRO (currently only partial coverage past 1940).

Ancestry and Find My Past both have the GRO indexes from 1837 up to the 21st Century.

The General Register Office website contains application forms and online payment options for ordering certificates from Southport.

Tip - Index references with a volume reference and page number that look like ‘8a 493’ are GRO references. You cannot use these when you contact local register offices.