UK Birth, Deaths & Marriages

All of the information contained in these pages has been collated by Dr Colin Dring and Wayne Hancock (with pencils from large volumes of records) and we thank them on behalf of every researcher. As yet the details are unchecked and we would welcome help from anybody willing to check the details with the indexes at the Family Records Centre. Behind the "bare bones" details given in these indexes work is in progress to match these details to families. Once again if you have any information to share with us, we would love to hear from you, and perhaps we have some extra details that may progress your research!

Please remember that Mar, Jun, Sept. & Dec. relate to the quarter that the registration of the event took place, in the later indexes this changes to 1st qtr, 2nd qtr, etc.

BMD register volumeBirths 1837 - 1857
Births 1858 - 1877
Births 1878 - 1897
Births 1898 - 1910
Births 1911-1915
Births 1916-1920
Marriages 1837 - 1876
Marriages 1877 - 1906
Marriages 1907 - 1926
Deaths 1837 - 1866
Deaths 1867 - 1899

Marriage Certificate Details
Death Certificate Details
Birth Certificate Details

Civil Registration began in the United Kingdom 1837. Details of Births, Marriages and Deaths recorded by local registrars were sent to the Registrar General's Office and indexes were compiled. These are what we use to buy the Birth Marriage and Death Certificates today. Originally they were hand written on parchment, then paper, then typewritten. The entries, in alphabetical order, are contained in books about 60 cm/24 ins tall by 40cm/33 ins wide (very approximately) with heavy covers, red for births, green for marriages and black for deaths. Probably, originally the idea was to have a book for each year in which all the entries for that particular event would be entered. However, in some years there are too many entries so there might be 4 books for March (containing Jan/Feb/March entries), June, (Apr/May/Jun), September (Jul/Aug/Sept) and December (Oct/Nov/Dec). Again, sometimes there are too many entries for even four books a year and within each quarter there are several books which go through the alphabet for as many books as are needed. The earlier one are about 16cm/6ins wide.....heavy!!!!! Originally all the books were stored at a place called "Somerset House" overlooking the Thames by Waterloo Bridge in London. You were only allowed to look over a five year period, you obtained a reference of "place, volume and page no" and the certificate cost 3/9d (19p). Then, all the books were moved to a building called St Catherine's House in Kingsway in Holborn in London which is, I expect, where most of us started our research. Over the years it became more and more crowded, and numbers had to be regulated so a couple of years ago a new building was opened, Myddleton House, Myddleton Road, Islington, London, but the Indexes still seem to be called "The St Catherine's House Indexes". They are arranged in metal shelves, about three rows high, in parallel lines with high sloping double sided desks in between each row. You haul down the book. (which has a "handle"), hope that no one has pinched you place, the book thumps down onto the desk and you continue until you have found the correct entry. You then, as before, take the reference, but the certificate now costs £6.50 and it takes about a week to be delivered by post. When you leave the Family Record Centre (as the place is called) your arm feels as if it is out of its socket. The building was meant to be built to last for years, but they reckon, such is the enthusiasm for family history, that it will reach capacity in a couple of years.
Note: Since this was written the records have been transferred to the National Archives at Kew, and the price for a certificate is £7.00 (Jan 2010). They can now be ordered online at and information about ordering can be found at