GRO Indices

What are the GRO Indices?

The General Register Office Indices are finding aids for all registered birth, marriages and deaths from 1 July 1837 (that magic date again!)

Each Local Registrar was required to to submit copies of all entries in the Registers of Births, Marriages and Deaths to the General Register Office on a quarterly basis.

The quarters were January – March (March quarter), April – June (June quarter), July – September (September quarter) and October – December (December quarter).

A separate index exists for each quarter.

From 1984 the index has been complied annually.

What information do the indices contain?

The indices do not contain all the information that you will see on a certificate: they are merely a finding aid.  You can, however, expect to see the following information:

Birth Indices

September 1837 – December 1865:

Surname, all forenames in full, registration district, volume, page number

March 1866 – December 1866:

Surname, first forename in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number

March 1867 – June 1910:

Surname, first two forenames in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number

September 1910 – June 1911:

Surname, first forename in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number

September 1911 – December 1965:

Surname, first forename in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number plus mother’s maiden surname

From March 1966:

Surname, first two forenames in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number, mother’s maiden surname

Update:  please note that the GRO website – www.gro.gov.uk – now includes mother’s maiden name for all births registered since 1 July 1837.

Marriage Indices

September 1837 – December 1865:

Surname, all forenames in full, registration district, volume, page number

March 1866 – December 1866:

Surname, first forename in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number

March 1867 – December 1911:

Surname, first two forenames in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number

From March 1912:

Surname, first two forenames in full and initials

Death Indices:

September 1837 – December 1865:

Surname, all forenames in full, registration district, volume, page number

March 1866 – December 1866:

Surname, first forename in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number plus the age of the deceased

March 1867 – June 1910:

Surname, first two forenames in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number, age of the deceased

September 1910 – March 1969:

Surname, first forename in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number, age of the deceased

From June 1969:

Surname, first two forenames in full and initials of others, registration district, volume, page number, date of birth (rather than age)

Where can I see the indices?

There are several sites on which you can search the indices: for example:

www.ancestry.co.uk

www.findmypast.co.uk

www.freebmd.org.uk

What do the index entries look like?

You can find the following entry in the Birth Indices for the September quarter of  1837:

Westwood  Mary Ann  Wolverhampton 17 214

which shows you that the birth of Mary Ann Westwood was registered in the Wolverhampton Registration district in the September 1837. The number of the relevant GRO volume is 17:  and the entry is on page number 214.  You will need the volume and page number if you order the certificate from the GRO: but if you order certificates from a Local Registrar you should not quote volume and page number – they are for GRO use only.

The offical GRO site from which you should order certificates is: www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content

A list of Local Register Offices can be found here:  http://www.ukbmd.org.uk/genuki/reg/regoff.html

How much does a certificate cost?

 Certificates ordered from the GRO cost (at the time of writing) £9.25.

Certificates ordered from a Local Register Office cost (at the time of writing) £10.00 – some LROs charge a small additional charge for postage.

Warning:  many commercial firms which provide access to the Indices also have a certificate ordering service.  These firms charge far in excess of the GRO/LRO and obtain the certificates from the GRO.  I advise that you should always order certificates from the GO/LRO.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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