Below is some basic information that may help you.

What the index at this Record Office covers – birth, marriages and deaths registered under the Civil Registration Scheme in England and Wales from 1837 to 1995

Where can I obtain a certificate?

  • The Register Office where the event was registered
  • General Register Office at Southport (you will also need to supply the volume and page number which is quoted on the micro-fiche records after the Registration District)
  • The Family Records Centre, 1 Myddelton Street, Islington, London

Information required to obtain a certificate Name, Date (quarter & year), Registration District

Why can’t I find a particular name?

  • Variations in the spelling of a name
  • Some people avoided registration, especially in the early decades
  • Registration comes under the date the event was registered, not the date the event happened which would be some time earlier e.g. in the previous quarter.

What do I do if I find several names on the index that could be the person I am looking for?

Use other sources to work out which is the correct person e.g. census records might help you work out when someone was born, who they were married to and where they lived. Marriage certificates give the father’s name of both bride and groom.

If I have several names that could be the person I am looking how do I ensure that the Register Office send the certificate for the right person?

When you apply for your certificate from the Register Office as well as giving the name, date and registration district supply another piece of information that will uniquely identify that person. For example, if you have found 5 entries for the marriage of John Smith in a certain year and you know that the person you are tracing was a hat maker when you request the certificate as well as supplying the name, date of marriage and registration district specify that you only want certificates for John Smiths who were hat makers.

Records before 1837 – Parish records are often a good place to start. There is no national index so consult the Google search engine using “Diocesan Record Office” as the search term. This will indicate which record offices are Diocesan record offices and so will hold parish records.

Civil Registration after 1995 – the following places hold indexes after 1995

  • Harris Library, Market Square , Preston PR1 2PP
  • Huddersfield Central Library Local History Unit, Princess Alexandra Walk, Huddersfield
  • Liverpool Record Office, Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EW – to 1996