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Top five birth certificate resources

Birth records can give you a wealth of basic details and extra information about your family members

The General Register Office

For simple one-stop access to the English and Welsh collection of birth records, the GRO is still the best starting point. You can buy official certified copies of any ancestor’s birth record. For older records, you’ll receive a cut-and-paste facsimile slice from the record inserted on a modern form.


ScotlandsPeople provides the equivalent service north of the border. Births are listed in the Statutory Births Index, with complete listings from 1855 to 2009. You can order a paper copy of older records, and the site also includes census details and other essential records.

Local record offices

All councils keep local BmD records on file, and will supply certified copies on request. Some councils also offer supporting research which can reveal background details – occupations, date of marriage, street names, and so on – where these were included in birth records.

You can find out which local record office you need to contact or visit on the Directgov website.


FreeBMD offers a partial transcription of the indexes used by local councils and the GRO. Currently there are over 200 million records available, all for free. the list isn’t complete, so don’t be surprised if you don’t find a listing. But it’s always worth beginning a search here.


UKBMD is a similar project, which includes local and national indexes.  It includes all of the indexes used by the GRO and by certain local councils. You can search by county or by council – but check that your local or intended council are listed on the site, because not all are included.


This entry was posted on Thursday, December 13th, 2012 at 11:55 am and is filed under BMDs, Getting started, Online resources, Research tips, Top starter tips. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.

| BMDs, Getting started, Online resources, Research tips, Top starter tips | 13/12/2012 11:55am
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