Civil registration of births, marriages, and deaths
began in England and Wales on 1 July 1837. The records are indexed nationwide.
Many of the indexes are available on the Internet. For example, many of the
indexes have been transcribed and are searchable at no charge from
FreeBMD. The indexes are also part of
Ancestry.com's UK and Ireland Collection. The
complete indexes from 1837 to 2004 are available for a fee at
1837 Online.com The
series is also available on microfilm and microfiche from the Family History
Please note that the place listed in the civil
registration index is the name of the registration district, not the name of the
parish. You can find the name of the registration district for your
ancestor's parish by looking up the parish in the
Index of Places in England and Wales.
There is also an online
List of Registration District Numbers.
If all you know is the county where your ancestor was born and you want to know
the names of the registration districts for that county, you can find them in
Registration Districts of England and Wales 1837-1930.
To find the name of the registration district in a Family History Center, look
up the name of the parish in the Imperial Gazetteer of England and
Wales on FHL fiche 6020308 to 6020327. You can find registration district
maps in the following sources:
A Guide to the Arrangement of the Registration
Districts Listed in the Indexes to the Civil Registration of England and Wales
contains nineteenth-century maps. It is on FHL fiche 6020287.
Maps showing superintendent registrar's districts
for 1870, film #1342387.
The civil registration indexes are arranged by event in
chronological order by quarter year. The names registered in each quarter are
listed alphabetically. For instance, if your ancestor was born April 30, 1883,
you would first look for his name in the birth index for the June Quarter, 1883.
However, this is not the date that your ancestor was born, married, or died, but
the date that the event was registered. You need to check the quarter year
when the event occurred and if your ancestor's name is not found, search
The microfiche indexes are faster to use than the ones
on microfilm, but some of the fiche indexes were poorly filmed, so you may need
to double-check the microfilm version. The microfiche numbers are listed below:
Civil Registration Indexes for England and Wales
Type of Record
||1837 - 1983
||6101914 - 6102499
||1837 - 1983
||6102500 - 6103085
1837 - 1983
6103086 - 6103671