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ENGLISH & WELSH ROOTS - Government Records of Births, Marriages & Deaths:Civil Registration in England and Wales - Part I
Article posted: April 29, 1999
By: Fawne Stratford-Devai   Biography & Archived Articles


This issue of British Roots is the first of two articles which examine in detail the central government records of Births, Marriage and Deaths in England and Wales - known as Civil Registration. Part 1 includes information about: registration districts; what information is included on certificates of birth, marriage and death; how to use the central indexes from afar; how to order certificates and making payments from abroad.

If you are working from the known to the unknown in your research (from yourself backwards), civil registration records are a great source to begin with if your English and Welsh research falls in the period after 1837.

Civil Registration of births, marriages and deaths began in England and Wales July 1st, 1837. In 1927 the registration was expanded to include stillbirths and adoptions. To give you some idea of the scope of the system we know that in the early years some 500,000 births, 125,000 marriages and more than 350,000 deaths were recorded and indexed each year.

Civil Registration was introduced in the following areas at different time periods:

CHANNEL ISLANDS: GUERNSEY (including Alderney, Herm, Jethou and Sark) in 1840 available from: The Greffe, Royal Court House, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 2PB (Telephone +44 1481 725277). Registers of births and deaths from 1840 and of marriages since 1919 are held as well as copies of wills. Although Alderney and Sark kept their own records, enquiries should first be made here.

JERSEY in 1842 available from: Judicial Greffe (Jersey), States Building, 10 Hill Street, Royal Square, St Helier, Jersey JE1 1DD (Telephone +44 1534 502300) web site Registers of births, deaths and marriages date from 1 August 1842 - they also hold copies of wills.

THE ISLE OF MAN: since 1878 (but marriages from 1884) available from Civil Registry (Isle of Man), The Registries, Deemsters Walk, Bucks Road, Douglas, Isle of Man IM1 3AR (Telephone +44 1624 687039) web site: . The registry has the statutory registers of marriages from 1883 onwards, and of births and deaths from 1878, plus earlier Anglican registers of baptism, marriage and burial.

The discussion which follows does not apply to civil registration in the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man. Both of these areas had separate systems of civil registration - please use the contact information listed above.

Getting Started on Civil Registration - What you should prepare in advance:
As discussed previously, family history demands a step by step approach - working back in time from the known to the unknown. Begin by finding out what your family already knows. Who is your earliest known relative? Do you have the date and place of that person's birth, marriage or death? When using civil registration records you will need to know your ancestor's correct full name and an approximate date for the event (birth, marriage or death). The best case would be if you know the actual month and year!

You should know what locality the event occured in - this is especially true if you are researching a common name such as John Smith. Remember, just because a person was born in a particular town and died in the same town, they may have married in a completely different parish - the parish of their spouse. Civil registration records were recorded and filed by "registration districts". So not only do you need to know a place and a county with the UK for your ancestor but now you need to also know what registration district it was located in. In addition, registration districts have changed boundaries and amalgamated over time which means the records could now be in a different registration district.

Locating the registration district for your search:
In my first British Roots article I noted the importance of understanding the geography of an area where you are researching. That geography goes beyond simply knowing the names of the towns and villages and which county they are located at different time periods. The geography lesson must also include an understanding of the administrative district or jurisdictions the town or village was located in if you want to find government records.

In the case of civil registration records, you must know the registration district your village or town is located in. There are maps available of the registration districts in England and Wales including separate maps for the period before and after 1851. In the 19th century there were more than 600 registration districts in England and Wales!

An excellent online resource is the Index of Places in England and Wales provided on the GENUKI website. This resource will show for each place listed, the county and registration district in which the place was situated during the years 1837-1930. The website is located at: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/civreg/places/ .

If your ancestors lived in a fairly small village, it would also help you to have a fairly detailed map of the area which includes the location of larger towns within the county so you can begin to orient yourself to the wider picture. For example, you may have some information that tells you your ancestor was from Chipping in England. Ok, which Chipping? Chipping in Lancashire? Chipping Barnet in Hertfordshire? Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire? Chipping Ongar in Essex? Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire? Chipping Sodbury in Gloucestershire? It makes a great difference. Even the two Gloucestershire Chippings are in different registration districts. Chipping Campdem is in Shipston on Stour district and Chipping Sodbury is in Chipping Sodbury district.

It is very important to have an understanding of Registration Districts and your research interests within these districts. Not only are registration districts critical for finding civil registration records of Births, Marriages and Deaths but are equally important when trying to find the census records for your area. These same districts were also used to compile the decennial census for the years 1851, 1861, 1871, 1881 and 1891. There are a number of resources to help you 'map' out your strategy.

HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS
As with most government records, the system of civil registration does not exisit for the convenience of genealogists! The system works in what seems to be a simple fashion at first:
    Births & Deaths:
      1. An event occurs (a birth or a death)
      2. An informant appears before the local registrar who records the information and a certificate is issued.
      3. The local registrar send the Registrar General a copy of each entry at the end of each quarter.
      4. As soon as the local Registrar's record book is full, it is sent to the local Superintendent registrar where it remains permanently.
    Marriages:
      1. A civil marriage ceremony is performed and the even is recorded in much the same manner as a birth or death event.
      2. A marriage ceremony is performed at a church. However, because the registrar is not present at the church, the "authorized person" - usually the clergy or designated member of the congregation, records the event.
      3. Each quarter the church sends all marriages performed to the Superintendent registrar and the General Register Office.
      4. Church registers usually remained at the church but many have now been deposited at county record offices.
As you can see from the process briefly outlined above, each step is farther removed from the actual event. In other words, unless you can turn back the clock and become a personal witness to the event (which we know is impossible) you are always left with some informants reporting of the event. Informants have been known to be notoriously variable in the accuracy of the information reported. Such is the system of civil registration. However, the information contained on certificates is very important to our family history research.

WHAT WILL THE CERTIFICATES TELL YOU?:

Birth Certificate:
    date and place of birth
    full name and maiden surname of the mother
    forename(s) and sex of the child
    the informant's name, address and relationship to the child
    full name and occupation of the father if married to the mother(or if he attended with the mother and signed the registration entry)
    beginning in 1969, the place of birth of both parents
    beginning in 1968, bilingual birth and re-registration entries have been permitted in Wales and Monmouthshire.
Caution: Births were required to be registered within 6 weeks at no charge to the registrant. But if a family did not register the birth until slightly after the 6 week period, it was most tempting to avoid paying the fine by simply stating a later date of birth for the child so the registration remained within the 6 week period. Don't be surprised if you find a parish record of baptism with one date of birth noted and the official registration showing the birth sometime later!

Marriage Certificate:
    date and place of marriage
    marital status of the bride and groom
    whether by banns, licence or certificate
    current address and occupation of the bride and groom
    names and ages of the bride and groom
    names and occupations of their fathers
    names of witnesses
    'full age' indicates that the person was over 21
Caution: just because a certificate states "21" does not mean the person was really 21 years of age. Both 21 and "of full age" simply mean the couple were 21 or older and therefore did not require their parents permission to marry. Unfortunately love is blind, deaf and dumb and will make a lier of you if you are under 21 :-) Often the couple were not 21. As a result a researcher could spend years looking for a birth record that is off by a number of years because the parties were not truthful about their age on their marriage certificate!

Death Certificate:
    name of the deceased
    occupation or the name and occupation of the husband if a married or widowed woman
    date and place of death
    name, address and family relationship if any of the informant
    given age of deceased
    date and place of birth, usual address and maiden name if a married or widowed woman
    From April 1, 1969 - cause(s) of death
Caution: Age at death can be highly suspect. The information is being reported by someone who just lost a family member or friend or spouse. During such grief stricken days one does not always think clearly and could very easily report the incorrect age. I have found entries where the civil registration reported the person as aged 60, the parish burial records stated age 65 at death when in fact other evidence clearly showed the person to be 58 (I guess they looked old for their age!).

HOW TO FIND CIVIL REGISTRATION RECORDS:
The original central registers of births, marriages and deaths kept by the government are now at the The Family Records Centre, 1 Mydlleton Street, Islington, London, England for the years 1837-1997. The Family Records Centre is online at: . Unfortunately, the general public is NOT allowed to view the original registers in any form. Instead, researchers must make use of the central indexes for births, marriages and deaths. Once the event has been located in the indexes, certificates can be ordered from the General Register Office.

Researchers should also be aware that until 1997, civil registrations were located at St.Catherine's House. You may come across older books and guides to English and Welsh research that make reference to St.Catherine's House - please remember it is now the Family Records Centre where the information is held.

If you are absolutely certain of the registration district and the details of the event and parties involved, you can bypass using the central indexes and simply apply to the Local Register Office for a copy of the certificate. Please see the section below on Local Register Offices for more details.

The Central Indexes of Births, Marriages and Deaths:
In order to find the registration for your ancestor in the central government registers held by the General Register Office (GRO), you must first use the central indexes. Reseachers cannot examine the original registrations. Only the original central government indexes that are held in London can be viewed on microfilm or microfiche through local Family History Centers of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To learn more about the resources of the LDS please see my previous British Roots Article. Once an entry has been found in the index, researchers must order the certificates directly from the GRO.

Using the indexes through the LDS:
In the past, the LDS Family History Library in Salt Lake City only offered the Civil Registration Indexes for England and Wales on microfilm - they are now also available on microfiche. The difference between the microfilm or microfiche versions can be important since the microfiche versions of the indexes are significantly less expensive to order on loan through your local Family History Center (FHC). As well as being far less expensive, the microfiche can remain on indefinite loan at your local FHC.

To locate the correct microfilm or microfiche for the indexes, at your local Family History Center:

On the CD Family History Library Catalogue on the computer, the Civil Registration Indexes are titled: "Index to the civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths for England and Wales, 1837-1983". They are contained on more than 21,500 individual pieces of microfiche.

The Catalogue will also give you a listing of the hundreds and hundreds of microfilm that cover the government Civil Registration Indexes. If you are not finding what you need - ask for help. The FHC are always staffed by friendly, helpful volunteers.

Whether you are looking for the indexes on microfilm or microfiche:
    Each year has four indexes, one for each quarter (March, June, September, and December).

    Within each year, each quarter will have its own individual catalog number for the microfilm or microfiche. The index for a single quarter of one year on microfiche could be on anywhere from 3 to more than 35 fiche!
How do I know which Indexes to Order for births, marriages & deaths?
Remember, each year has 4 quarters - therefore 4 separate indexes.

Birth Indexes are organized first by year, then by months, then by the last name of the child whose birth was registered. Starting in the September quarter of 1911, the mother's maiden name is included in the birth registration indexes. This is an important extra detail which will help when it comes time to order the actual birth registration certificate. A note of caution about birth indexes: birth registrations did not require the child being registered to have a first name. There may be instances where the first name of the child had not been decided at the time of registration, therefore only a last name is given. Parents had up to 12 months to decide on a name. They could later come back and register the name in the local register office - where the name will be recorded. However, that later registered name will not show up on the index entry.

Marriage Indexes are also organized first by year, then by month, then by the last name of the bride or the groom - in essence by quarters. Beginning in the second quarter of 1912, a spouse's name is included in the marriage index volumes. If you are really want to be sure you have the correct ancestors, and as long as the bride was not a widow, you can search the index for both the bride and the groom to make sure the details match.

Death indexes are organized first by year, then by month, then by the last name of the deceased. Beginning in the second quarter of 1866, death indexes include the age at death. This is a real bonus because, for example, you are less likely to inadvertently order the death record for a young child of your ancestor who died at age 3 when you are looking for your ancestor that died at age 60. Finally, beginning in June quarter of 1969, the deceased's date of birth (if known) is included on the Death registration indexes.

Very Important Note: The indexes do not record the actual date the event occurred - they record the actual date the event was REGISTERED. For birth registrations, a parent had 42 days after the birth to register the birth. For example, a birth in February might not show up until the June quarter because it was not registered until later in April. Remember, the quarter of the year in which the event was registered is not necessarily the same quarter that the actual event took place.

If you don't find your ancestor registered in the month when you know or suspect the event took place, try looking at the next several months.

Given how the indexes are structured, you will now understand why I suggested at the beginning that it will help if you know both the month and year that the event took place!

A few details about the indexes:
From the beginning of civil registration in 1837 until 1865, the indexes for births, marriages, and deaths are handwritten. Beginning in the March quarter of 1866, the indexes are printed. What this means is that indexes become much easier to read. As an added bonus, the printed versions also have more entries per page which simply means you will have to order and look at less microfiche or microfilm!

From 1837 to 1851, the volume numbers shown for each entry on the Civil Registration Indexes are given in Roman numerals. There are 27 volumes from I to XXVII. From 1852 until 1946, the registration district codes change numbering method and are now numbered from 1 to 11 with the addition of the letters a, b, c, and d. As a result, after 1852 the volume for Berkshire, Buckinghasmshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex and Oxfordshire will be shown as 3a. Sherry Irvine, in the book, Your English Ancestry - A Guide for North Americans provides a list of the Registration District Codes for both periods. A list of Registration District Codes and further details is also online by Mike Wheatley at: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/civreg/GROIndexes.html.

HOW TO ORDER CERTIFICATES:
Copies of registrations for both England and Wales are available by mail from the General Register Office (GRO), a division of the Office for National Statistics (ONS), in England. You can also order copies of certificates from the local District Register Office which is now responsible for the registration district in which the event was originally recorded. Please note: All of the work that goes into locating an entry in the index is only good when used to locate a certificate from the central registers. In other words, the index information is only good when applying for a certificate from the General Register Office or when having a professional researcher apply for the certificate on your behalf at the GRO. The index information is of NO use when applying for a certificate from a local District Register Office.

Note: Local Register Offices often charge less for obtaining a registration recorded in their locality compared to the fees charged by the General Register Office. Basically, if you request a full certificate, you will get the same information from either source.

A few words of caution when ordering certificates:
It is very important to give the names exactly as they appear in the indexes. Please do not add to, or improvise on the name. Although we know family members were given nicknames or abbreviated names, it is important to order the certificate exactly as the index name states.

In the case of marriage certificates, only one named party is required, either the bride or groom. But also remember, do not give the brides name if you have searched the index and she does not appear - she may have been a widow when she married and will be indexed under her previous married surname.

When requesting death certificates for married women, be sure to give her married surname. For those researchers using computer programs to keep their records, many genealogical computer programs store records under the maiden surname of a woman and it all too easy to request a certificate using her maiden name and not her married name.

ORDERING CERTIFICATES FROM THE GENERAL REGISTER OFFICE (GRO):
The General Register Office is part of the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The ONS is on the internet at the following website: http://www.ons.gov.uk/. The General Register Office is also online at: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons_f.htm. There are now a number of ways to order certificates from the GRO:

Ordering by email from GRO:
The address is: certificate.services@ons.gov.uk It is important that you send as much information as possible with the appropriate fee to help staff find the right record and produce the certificate quickly. When ordering by email, the certificate will be mailed back to you within 28 days.
Ordering by mail from GRO:
Certificates are available by mail by writing to:
General Register Office
PO Box 2, Southport, Merseyside, UK. PR8 2JD
It is important that you send as much information as possible with the appropriate fee to help staff find the right record and produce the certificate quickly. When ordering by mail certificates are usually mailed back to you within 28 days.

Ordering by telephone from GRO:
You can apply by telephone if you want to use your credit card. The ONS accepts Visa, Mastercard, Delta or Switch. The telephone number is +44 (151) 471-4816.
HINT: +44 simply means you must add the numbers at the beginning that you must dial from your country for an international line. For example, from Canada, I would dial 011-44-151-471-4816. The certificate(s) will be mailed to you within 28 days.

Fees for above applications:
For a FULL certificate of birth, marriage or death if you can provide the exact index reference, is £8.00 (UK).

For those who do not know the exact index reference but can supply the full name and fairly good date of event (and if you want to be sure of what you are getting back, the geographic area or district where the even took place) you will pay slightly more: £11.00 (UK). This extra cost only includes a three year inclusive search (ie: 1900-1902).

Priority "Rush" Orders:
You can apply by telephone or email as noted above stating you want "priority service". The certificate(s) will be mailed out to you on the next working day your application is received. But you will PAY EXTRA for this service. For example

Priority Fees:
If you know the exact index reference a full certificate of birth, marriage or death is £24.00 each. If you do not know the exact index reference but can supply the full name and fairly good date of event (and if you want to be sure the geographic area or district where the even took place) you will again pay more - £27.00 for each certificate. Just as above, this extra cost only includes a three year inclusive search (ie: 1900-1902).

Please be aware that the Office for National Statistics has set the fees for ordering certificates by mail higher than the fees for obtaining certificates in person (a certificate fee for someone applying in person is only £6.50 each). For this reason some genealogists prefer to hire local professional genealogy researchers with access to the ONS office who offer services to obtain certificates in person for less than the ONS mail fees. Please see the section below on hiring professional researchers.

Be careful when ordering from the GRO or when using a professional researcher to order from the GRO. It is important to specify that you want a FULL certificate for Births, Marriages, or Deaths because there are also short certificates which give no information on the parents. When requesting the FULL certificate:

Provide the name and date of the index in which you found your ancestor. Give your ancestor's full name as it appears on the index, make sure you include the district, volume number, and page number. For example:

From the General Index of Births Registered in England & Wales for July, August, and September, 1879:

Name: SURNAME, given name(s)
District: Wycombe
Volume Number: 3a
Page: 100

As you saw from the above fees, if you do not have the index information for the registration you can still order a certificate from the GRO. The less you know, the more it will cost you and the less likely you are to get the correct certificate. Remember, the search period that will be covered by the GRO is only a 3 year period.

When ordering, all payments should be made by credit card, by an International Money Order or by a sterling cheque drawn on a UK bank made payable to ONS expressed in pounds Sterling. See the section below in this article on Making Payments from Abroad.

ORDERING CERTIFICATES FROM THE LOCAL DISTRICT REGISTER OFFICE:

For a list of English and Welsh Register Offices visit the GENUKI site at: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/RegOffice/


Remember, the central index information is of NO use when applying for a certificate from a local District Register Office. If you want to order directly from a Local District Register Office you probably do not need to bother with the indexes if you know the date of the event, the complete names of the person/people, the registration district in which the event took place.

You can also get copies of certificates from the local District Register Office that is now responsible for the registration district in which the event was originally recorded (registration districts have changed and amalgamated over the years). The fee is usually £6.50 (UK) even if you apply by mail. I would also strongly suggest you include return postage (UK) or 2 International Reply Coupons that can be purchased from your post office or at least an additional .50p (50 pence) - making the total cost £7.00 (UK).

If you are ordering certificates from a local Register Office, you will probably have to supply more information:

For Births and Deaths: some offices require the exact place of birth for birth certificates, and exact place of death for a death certificate.

For Marriages: VERY IMPORTANT - for a marriage certificate the exact place of marriage, (i.e. the name of the church or register office), is essential as each church or office is indexed separately. There may well be 50 or more churches in a district and the the staff cannot search all 50 indexes for you.

Researchers must appreciate the job of the registrars is registrations and current marriages! Family history is a distant second place to all other aspects of registration. Although most register offices will oblige wherever possible, it is asking the impossible for them to spend what could be a very frustrating and lengthy period of time looking for that elusive marriage request - and is clearly not possible. Basically then, do not apply to a Local office for a marriage certificate unless you can tell them which church to search.

When ordering from a local District Register Office, payments should be made payable to 'The Superintendent Registrar' unless other instructions are given with the address. If the register entry is not at the office where you sent the application, they MAY forward your request to the correct office (or if it is a busy office, they may just return your request to you).

Local Register Offices in England are gradually computerising their local indexes and improving the services they offer to onsite researchers. For example, in North Yorkshire the registration service has been restructured from 10 separate registration districts to a single North Yorkshire Registration District with a central repository in Harrogate. The Harrogate repository now has all the county's birth, death and marriage records back to 1837.

Other Ordering Options for certificates:
Local Family History Societies:
Many English Family History Societies offer a certificate service. For a moderate fee over and above the cost of the certificate, someone from the society will visit the Family Records Centre (and if you are lucky, will do a short search) and then forward the certificate.

Hiring a professional researcher:
Professional researchers who will accept your orders for certificates and apply in person on your behalf abound. If you open any copy of Family Tree Magazine or its sister publication Practical Family History, you will find many lists of researchers who offer these services. Their rates vary slightly but appear to average £8.00 for each certificate.

Important note: Although these services are advertised as being cheaper please make sure that the professional researcher accepts payment in US funds and does not charge an additional currency conversion fee. This point is important because the ONS will accept payment in US funds by money order with no currency conversion fee - if the professional researcher charges a conversion fee, their services may suddenly cost more than direct ordering from the ONS. (Sorry Canadian and other genealogists - US funds seem to be the only ones accepted without additional fees). The bottom line is simply : Please read all fees carefully!

MAKING PAYMENTS FROM ABROAD
The General Register Office will accept credit card payments. However, when I have ordered certificates from local register offices it was necessary to send a sterling cheque or money order. In this case there are some options for those of us overseas.

Canadian researchers can make use of the services of ACCU-RATE FOREIGN EXCHANGE, where a sterling cheque can be obtained for the exchange rate only. The last time I used them there was no additional charge for issuing the cheque. Accu-rate also has a website at: http://www.accu-rate.ca/ . Their website clearly provides detailed information on how to order from them http://www.accu-rate.ca/cashcour.htm .

Researchers in the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand can purchase sterling bank drafts from their local Thomas Cook agency. You can also purchase Sterling Travellers Cheques from your local bank, travel agency, or American Express.

Sterling money orders can be purchased in Canada from the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce - please remember there will be a fee for the money order.

Many North American genealogists have used the services of RUESCH International Monetary Services, Inc., as providing the cheapest and most convenient way of sending small payments abroad. Ruesch have offices in Washington, D.C. New York, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles. As with most large businesses, they are also online: http://www.ruesch.com/ . Within the US you can also contact them by calling 1-800-424-2923 and tell them what currency and how much of it you want and they will inform you of the cost. If memory serves me right, the conversion fee is three dollars. You then mail them a cheque for the amount quoted - they will then send you their sterling cheque in whatever currency you have requested in return.

Online resources:
For an excellent web site that not only discusses ordering birth registrations certificates but also provides clear examples of what the certificates look like, visit Mark Howells website at: http://www.oz.net/~markhow/ukbirths.htm .

Index of Places in England and Wales provided on the GENUKI website. An important resource that shows for each place listed, the county and registration district in which the place was situated during the years 1837-1930. The website is located at: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/civreg/places/ .

The website address for the The Family Records Centre where the central indexes are available for researchers to view when visiting the Centre in person at 1 Mydlleton Street, Islington, London, England is: http://www.pro.gov.uk/about/frc/.

Civil Registration in England and Wales explained by the premier website for researching in the UK - Genuki: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/eng/civreg/index.html

As you begin to order certificates, you will find that you incorrectly identified index entries or were sent the wrong certificates. If you are wondering what to do with these unwanted certificates I suggest you visit the UK BDM Exchange at: http://web.ukonline.co.uk/graham.pitt/bdm/ . The purpose of the site is to provide a free resource to genealogists who wish to share information about details contained on birth, death or marriage certificates registered in the UK. In addition they now have a section for the exchange of information in UK Parish Records. Who knows, maybe someone inadvertently ordered a certificate for one of your ancestors!

FreeBMD Project - FreeBMD stands for Free Births, Marriages, and Deaths. The Free BMD Project's objective is to provide free Internet access to the Civil Registration index information from England and Wales. The website is located at: http://test.rootsweb.com/FreeBMD/FAQ.html .

For a map of the counties of England, Scotland and Wales before the 1974 boundary changes, I suggest you visit the following website: http://www.genuki.org.uk/big/BRITAIN2.GIF

Published resources:

Family Tree Magazine in particular try and find the back issues for October 1998, November 1998 and December 1998 and read Pauline Litton's always enlightening "Pitfalls and possibilities in family history research" - these three issues feature Civil Registration Records Pitfalls and possibilities.

Family Tree Detective: Tracing your ancestors in England and Wales by Colin D. Rogers (revised and updated). Colin provides extensive details for using civil registration records.

First Steps in Family History - A McLaughlin Guide by Eve McLaughlin .

Tracing Your Family Tree by Jean Cole and John Titford .

Your English Ancestry, A Guide for North Americans - revised edition by Sherry Irvine

Illegitimacy- A McLaughlin Guide by Eve McLaughlin

Record Offices--How to Find Them. A Gibson Guide. By J.S.W. Gibson, and Pamela Peskett

People Count, A History of the General Register Office by Muriel Nissel (second edition 1988). This book offers an interesting account of the instigation and development of the General Register Office, explains many of the mysteries of early mistakes and misrepresentations. (Global Genealogy has this book on order and can supply a copy for you. E-mail inquiries to sandra roberts sandra@globalgenealogy.com

An Index To The Civil Registration Districts of England & Wales 1837 to Date. Containing just over 100 pages divided into two sections. The first section lists the Registration Districts alphabetically giving their County (this includes post 1974 Counties) and Volume number for the periods 1837-1851, 1852-1946, 1946-1965, 1965-1974 and 1974-Date. In the second section the Registration Districts are listed by County and where appropriate the date they were abolished and the Successor Districts are given. The book can be ordered from Peter Pledger who can be contacted by email at p.pledger@messages.co.uk for information on availability and postage.

Next issue - Part 2 of civil registration records. (hot link will work when next issue is posted) Stayed tuned to learn a few of the reasons why you might not find your ancestors in the records of civil registration; why the registration system is a mess; the campaign by genealogists for cheaper access to records of civil registration more than 75 years old; other records of civil registration not included with the main central registration system; other sources to help you with your research in this area.




EXTRA BITS:


Do you have an ancestor that was adopted? If you are in need of United Kingdom adoption information visit ADOPTION INTERLINK UK at: http://www.argonet.co.uk/users/adopt/Srch.html.

Researching in the Channel Islands? Researching your genealogy in the Island's of Jersey, Guernsey, Sark, Alderny and Herm - visit the web page of Alex Glendinning - Alex is the Vice-Chairman of the Channel Islands Family History Society (CIFHS) see his web site at: http://user.itl.net/~glen/ . Also be sure to visit CHANNEL ISLANDS GENEALOGY on the web at: http://members.aol.com/johnf14246/ci.html

Researching in the Isle of Man? A good online starting point can be found at: http://www.isle-of-man.com/interests/genealogy/index.htm.

Searching for the fallen in both world wars? The Commonwealth War Graves Commission is charged with the task of maintaining records of all those who died whilst serving with Commonwealth forces during the First and Second World Wars. A full set of these records are held at the Commission's Head Office in Maidenhead, United Kingdom, (and at its offices in other countries) and staff are available to help enquirers locate a particular grave or a name on a memorial. This service is carried out free of charge for relatives of the casualty concerned, but other enquirers have to pay a small fee for the service. The Commission now have their own web site which has an online database of over 1.5 million graves from both World Wars. The Commission online can be found at: http://www.cwgc.org/. Please note: the information provided in the Commission's register is all the information available for that person. The Commission does not have service records or regimental histories. The website is experiencing some 600,000 hits a week - if the response time is slow - please be patient.

About Fawne Stratford-Devai
Fawne Stratford-Devai's work on Land Records and early Ontario records is well known in the genealogy community. A published author of several Canadian and UK research books, she has also contributed articles to the Ontario Genealogical Society's newsletter "Families" as well as writing for the online family history newsletter the "Global Gazette". Biography


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