Civil Registration in England and Wales -Gro Indexes

Civil Registration in England and Wales -Gro Indexes

Civil Registration in England and Wales -GRO Indexes.

The General Register Office (GRO) is responsible for the recording of births,deaths and marriages throughout England and Wales. This organisation was previously known as Somerset House and more recently St Catherine’s House. The Genealogy Centre holds the GRO indexes from the beginning of registration in July 1837 through to 1970. These records are housed in the Genealogy Centre. Indexes for the years 1837-1900 are on microfilm and for 1901-1970 on microfiche.

The indexes to births,deaths and marriages are collated quarterly for each year from the commencement of civil registration on July 1st 1837 to 1970.Within each quarter indexes are arranged alphabetically by surname and then by given name (within each surname). Each entry in the index contains surname, first name, registration district,registration district number and registration number. This information will enable the researcher to write to the local registry office to obtain the certificate at a reduced cost.

Details of registrars are also on the internet : When sending for certificate the following information should be quoted: Year,Quarter,Surname,First Name, Registration District,Registration District Number and Registration Number. Its also possible to order online : .

If you are unsure where an event took place but know the county , the registration district number may provide a clue. Each country is allocated a number. These will be found on registration district maps posted in a prominent place in the Genealogy Centre, e.g., 2c indicates an event in Kent.

It should be noted that people serving in the armed forces are not always found in the main sequence of St Catherine house indexes. There is a separate index,known as the GRO Overseas Indexes. These indexes include births,deaths and marriages of serving military personnel, foreign office and consular staff working outside Britain. British subjects living in countries under British administration, such as India,Egypt and the Mediterranean may also be included . Once found certificates may beobtained in the same way as other GRO entries.

I hope everyone likethis story and let me know what you think ofit.

George T Saviel

3 October 2010

Image by Paula R. lively – fisher via Flickr

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