21 November 2016

Researching UK Birth & Death Records Keeps Getting Easier & Easier

Researching UK Birth & Death Records Keeps Getting Easier & Easier

Back in June, I talked about some of my favorite FREE UK research websites in UKBMD and FREEBMD -- great resources for English and Welsh research and they are FREE.

I’ve recently learned from the IAJGS Public Records Access Alert that the situation is now even better (in a way) … (UK) New Way to Search Birth and Death Records in England and Wales for Free shares

GRO Online Historic Indexes

Following successful development and testing, the GRO online historic birth and death indexes are accessible via our website from today, 3 November. The indexes have been created using GRO records which have already been digitised, and cover birth records more than 100 years old, and death records up to 1957 (the latest digitised year we hold).

The online indexes, will provide a customer enhancement, making the indexes more readily available for searching than the microfiche we currently make available via the 7 public libraries / records offices across England and Wales. This service will be in addition to, rather than replacing the facility to search the indexes at the 7 sites. The full set of indexes will still be held and updated at these sites.

The online index also provides enhancements, to that on the microfiche, where possible showing mother’s maiden name for births prior to 1911, and age at death for those records prior to 1865. There is also the facility to purchase a certificate.

The index is accessible free of charge via the GOV.UK website which links to our online ordering site."

You can access the General Register Office (GRO) indexes here. You will first need to register and provide – name, address, email, and a password.

There has been so much progress in accessing UK vital records over the last so many years.  It used to be that you could only identify a relevant document within the quarter of the year in which it was registered, assuming an uncommon name and a small parish.  A lot of guessing used to go into determining whether the certificates you were ordering were for the correct person; often they weren’t!

I searched on my gran’s birth as it falls within the range of available index entries and here is her entry … If I didn’t already have her birth certificate, I could now click the button and order it.

What are your favorite resources for UK research?

Editor’s Note: Read past posts on Upfront with NGS regarding UK Research here.

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