It seems to have been a long time coming!
The General Register Office (GRO) for England and Wales has just announced that family history researchers can now get instant-access images of birth records from 1837-1922 and deaths from 1837-1887.
Civil birth and death registration records from selected years are now available as instant-access digital images via the GRO's website at: https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/login.asp
Civil registration in this part of the UK began in 1837 for Births, Marriages and Deaths (BMDs) and until now researchers could not get an instant-access digital image.
Family history researchers have previously had to make do with ordering records as either a print record for £11, or as a PDF for £7. At this price you would need the GRO index references and then have a wait of up to four working days for orders to be despatched.
However, the GRO has now launched a scheme for births from 1837 to 1922 and deaths from 1837 to 1887 to be available as digital images (JPEGS). The online service is the cheapest and simplest way of placing an order but you do still need to order with the GRO index reference number. Their website says that it takes around 10 minutes and you’ll need a debit or credit card and the JPEG cost £2.50.
The General Register Office (GRO) has updated it website so that they now have added to thier online indexes for deaths registered between 1984 to 2019.
The General Register Office holds a central copy of all birth, adoption, marriage, civil partnership and death registrations for England and Wales. Their website service allows you to search their historical birth and death indexes and order copies of registrations in a variety of formats including certificates, PDFs and Multilingual Standard Forms via them at the official government website.
Mark Thomson, Director General of Her Majesty’s Passport Office, has been formally appointed as head of the General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO).
Mr Thomson, who is also Director General of Her Majesty’s Passport Office and sits on the executive management board of the Home Office, becomes the 21st Registrar General since the civil registration of births, deaths and marriages began in England and Wales in 1837.
His appointment to act as head of the General Register Office (GRO
), formally agreed by the Queen, has been made following the departure of the previous Registrar General, Paul Pugh, who has taken up a new role outside HM Passport Office.
Registrar General Mark Thomson said:
The General Register Office is a very important part of the services provided by Her Majesty’s Passport Office and I am honoured to be appointed Registrar General.
I look forward to continuing my work with colleagues in GRO on modernising the registration systems and to ensure our customers receive the best, most efficient service possible.
oversees registration services to the public, including the registration of civil marriage, civil partnerships, births, deaths, stillbirths and adoptions.
It is the Registrar General’s responsibility to make the regulations that govern registrars and the registration processes. He is also required by law to create a free search index of registration records available to the public and to issue certificates on request.
For more information about the Registrar General and the GRO
, visit the organisation page of Her Majesty’s Passport Office
For those new to family history research and looking to get hold of copies of birth, marriage or death certificates, it's important to know how to go about this and to ensure you don't fall into the trap of paying too much when ordering the certificates.
Ordering a certificate in England & Wales will cost you no more than £9.25 from the General Register Office or GRO, but there are private companies currently charging up to £25 for ordering certificates on your behalf.
Below are a selection of links of where to order birth, death or marriage certificates without paying any surcharges. If you have any other handy tips or links please do let us know!
General Register Office for England and Wales online ordering service
current price £9.25
General Register Office for Scotland ordering service
General Register Office for Ireland ordering service
current price €20.00 plus postage
General Register Office Northern Ireland ordering service
current price £14.00
Isle of Man General Registry ordering service
current price £9.50