Birth, Marriage & Death Certificates

In England since 1837 all births, marriages and deaths were recorded centrally for the whole nation. Before that time they were recorded in parish registers, or not at all in some cases. For family historians, like myself, this central record is a real gift. Once you get the hang of searching the indexes for your ancestors ordering the certificates is simple and can be done on-line direct from the General Records Office for a fee of £7 a throw. Certificates are subject to copy wright so officially displaying scanned copies on a blog or web site would be in violation of that. Shareing the details on the certificates, however, is perfectly OK. I have included details of all the certificates I have and I will continue to update it as I obtain more. Please add details of any you have for others to share.

Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Date Site Last Updated

1st June 2007

Saturday, 10 March 2007

Genealogy sites

As the hobby of family research grows so there are more and more documents that can be discovered on line. This makes it especially easy for the beginner to get started as you can fill out a large part of your family tree without ever leaving your arm chair. This might seem a little boring to many of us but actually going out and doing it on foot can seem very daunting for many when they are just starting out. The trouble with many on-line sites is they seem to want permanent access to your credit card. Most sites need payment before any real information is passed out and I have no problem with this but what I object to is being forced or coerced into granting the providers the right to automatically renew my subscriptions by helping themselves to my credit card without any further authorisation on my behalf. They usually claim this is to make things simpler for us, the customers, but really they are hoping that people will forget to cancel the subscription before the next renewal. It's a con and to highlight this further these sites often include a temporary service where-by they don't automatically renew but for this you pay a steep premium.

So who are the goodies and who are the baddies in this field?
OK, so, to Acclaim or Name & Shame. Below I have listed the sites I have come across or used to date. I have included links to their home pages where appropriate and an indication on how good or bad I think they are. ***Be aware, the following information is only correct at time of publication. It is also based on my personal opinion and experience.*** - this is the main player and seems to have it's hands in a lot of the other genealogy sites as well. If you sign up for a subscription on-line you have to authorise continuous renewals, however, if you do it by phone you can specify a termination so that they won't automatically renew. I have used this and it works fine. There is a pay per view service now that allows you access to 12 records for £6.99. This last 14 days and there is no automatic renewal. or are the best internet providers of genealogy data but they do seem to have a bit of a monopoly.

Family History OnLine is a great site for searching parish records. It is not complete but you can view exactly what records are available for what counties before you pay any money. Searching is free but to view transcripts of the records you have to pay usually about 6p. There is a minimum fee of £5 that has to be used up in 6 months. - this is the Mormon's site (The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints) and it is a veritable gold mine of information especially when you are stuck. It's free to use and has three main databases for UK research, the 1881 census, parish records (where updated) and church members own family records. Naturally the latter may need verification and there can be quite a few discrepancies here but they provide a good way of pointing you in a right direction for further investigation.

FreeBMD - this is a great site run purely by volunteers. It's downside is that it can be a little slow. What the volunteers for this site are doing is transcribing the BMD indexes so they can be searched easily on-line. This provides searchers with the reference details they need to order the certificates general register office. Using this site is free but be aware not all the indexes have been transcribed as yet so if you don't find what you are looking for don't give up. You can view a statistics page that will show you how complete the transcriptions are for any given year. Do be careful the first time you use the site not to use the search boxes at the top of the home page. These boxes have nothing to do with FreeBMD but are a link back to Instead click on the red stamp icon that reads 'search' lower down on the page.

FreeCEN - this site is run by and along the same lines as FreeBMD. It offers users free access to thousands of census transcripts from 1841 to 1891. It's not yet complete but new records are being uploaded on a monthly basis by teams of volunteers. Like FreeBMD you can view a table that shows the percentage of census data that has been transcribed to date. You cannot see the original documents but all the details are being transcribed and the service is totally free.

FreeReg - this is another site from the FreeBMD range but devoted to parish records. As yet is in its embryonic stage so although the database is searchable you are unlikely to get any hits as there are only a few records uploaded at present. But this is web site worth checking back on.
All three of these sites rely on volunteers so if you have a few hours to spare in the week why not volunteer to help get the records on-line. Don't worry if you can't commit long term, even if you are only able to transcribe one page it will help them and everyone using the system. Volunteering is a great way to say thank you for the service which, remember, is totally free to use.

GenesReunited - This is a great web site especially if you are stuck. It's part of the FriendsReunited group and works similarly. For an annual £10 fee you can build your family tree on-line. This is kept private and you can elect who can see it. By doing this you can search for other members who have the same people listed in their trees. You can then send them a message and they can choose whether or not to share their information with you. It works really well and is a goo way of finding living relatives you never knew you had.

The Genealogist
- This web site promises the earth but is very disappointing. You have to subscribe for a year although there is a 3 month option but this is much more expensive. You also have to agree to automatic renewals if you pay by credit card. The only way to stop this is to pay by cheque (how quaint). Don't bother though, it really isn't worth it. Yes you get access to the 1841 - 1891 census records but you get 1841 - 1901 on Ancestry for only a few more pounds. The Genealogist claims to have a huge database of parish registers, wills and other records but the list is far from complete. If you use the BMD index you have to pay and search them manually. There are other sites on the web that offer this service free and even have the indexes transcribed. With this site you buy use of it for a year or a quarter year but are given credits to use during this time to pay for the searches. If your credits run out during your membership you have to pay more. This soon adds up to more expense. I do not feel this site gives value for money.

The General Register Office
- this web site provides a lot of useful information about genealogy but also, and probably more importantly, it has a page where you can order BMD certificates on-line. they cost £7 each and take roughly a week to 10 days to arrive. A priority service is available if you really can't wait.

The National Archives
has a web site where you can search the 1901 census on-line. To view a record there is a nominal charge of about 75p. No continual subscription is required and you just pay for what you use although there is a minimum fee of £5.

The Origins Network - This site is better than the Genealogist although it's census records are limited to just 1841, 1861 and 1871. The latter not yet complete. It's Parish marriage records appear to be more complete and certainly far easier to search than on the Genealogist site. Searches are not limited during your membership time so you can do as many as you like without having to incur extra fees. Once again making it a better site than the Genealogist. The big down side, once again, is that you can only pay by credit card and have to agree to automatic renewals unless you opt for the 72 hour option that works out extremely expensive in comparison.

Sunday, 19 November 2006

Births - Surnames starting A

I have no certificates for A but if you have any for your tree that you would like to share with others please add the details in a comment or a link.

Births - Surnames starting B

Bradley Emma 16.1.1862 Alyesford, Kent, UK parents - John Bradley & Sarah Ann Nayler.
Brinkley Ernest George 7.8.1910 Orsett, Essex, UK parents - Albert Brinkley & Agnes Dorcas Randall.
Budd Florence Patricia Joan 5.8.1925 Mithcham, Surrey, UK parents Leonard Drayton Budd & Phillis Evelyn Medlock.
Budd Phyllis Iris 26.10.1920 Hastings, Sussex, UK parents Leonard Drayton Budd & Phillis Evelyn Medlock.
Budd William Drayton Basil 26.6.1922 Islington, London, UK parents - Leonard Draytong Budd & Phyllis Evelyn Medlock.

If you have any for your tree that you would like to share with others please add the details in a comment or a link.

Births - Surnames starting C

Chasmer Emily Alice 4.9.1865 Bermondsey, Surrey, UK parents - Thomas Chasmer & Eliza Smith
Chasmer Thomas 6.3.1848 Bermondsey, Surrey, UK parents - Thomas Chasmer & Mary Shaddock
Cogdell Kenneth William 14.4.1926 Woolwich, Kent, UK parents - Thomas Joseph Cogdell & Charlotte Augusta Gawley

If you have any for your tree that you would like to share with others please add the details in a comment or a link.

Births - Surnames starting D

I have no certificates for D but if you have any for your tree that you would like to share with others please add the details in a comment or a link.

Births - Surnames starting E

I have no certificates for E but if you have any for your tree that you would like to share with others please add the details in a comment or a link.