Baptism and Birth Records in the UK

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Birth Records: 1837 - 2004

A birth record is a certificate that states the date and place an individual was born. These records are available from 1837 onwards as published by the GRO. You can also order a copy of a birth certificate if you need to, which can show you more information about the birth.

Birth records can be found at, which you can access via TheGenealogist. 'BMD' stands for Births, Marriages & Deaths records kept by the General Register Office (GRO) of England & Wales, part of the National Office of Statistics (NOS). These records have been kept by law since 1837, detailing every birth, marriage and death recorded in England & Wales since that date.

Information you can find on a birth record is as follows:

  • Full Name of child
  • Mother's Maiden Name
  • Date of registration
  • Registration district
  • Volume number and Page number

Birth Certificates

If you want more information, then you can order a full birth certificate, which can give you the following:

  • Full Name of child
  • Sex of child
  • Date & Place of birth
  • Mother's maiden name
  • Informant's name/address/relationship to child
  • Full name and occupation of the father (if married to mother, if attended with the mother, if signed registration entry - from 1969)
  • Place of birth of both parents

Ordering a Full Birth Certificate

Certificates in England or Wales can be ordered online through the GRO (General Register Office). To order a certificate, simply follow the instructions on the GRO website, supplying the necessary data and a GRO Index reference.

The full reference is usually a volume and page reference or an 'entry number' for later records, given with the year, quarter and district. Events from the last 50 years will require you to supply more information at application stage.

To find the volume and page reference, you can go to and look up the references you need to be able to order a birth certificate.

For records before 1837, you will have to look at Baptism Records.

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