FFHS - supporting family historians for over 40 years

Births & Deaths Indexes

Henry Evans

Until recently, the ways to consult substantial indexes of birth, marriage and death registrations online and free of charge were by visiting the following sites:

  • FreeBMD site: Complete coverage from July 1837 until the 1960s with some later entries. Based on the General Register Office (GRO) printed indexes. The section of this index down to 1915 can also be seen free of charge if you sign onto the Ancestry website but be wary of Ancestry's charges for arranging to supply you with a certificate - the cheapest and quickest way to obtain a certificate is to order it yourself direct from the GRO.
  • The Local BMD Project have placed millions of BMD indexes online for free, based on the more accurate and more complete data held by the original register offices rather than that held by the GRO. Some local Register Offices have placed their BMD indexes online too. All of these websites with indexes based on the original registers can be found via links on the Local BMD page within the UK BMD website.

FreeBMD and the Local BMD Project will continue to be useful to many researchers. However, for some searches, newly released indexes on the GRO site will also be helpful. They cover these periods:

  • Births (July 1837-December 1915)
  • Deaths (July 1837-December 1957)

Unlike the printed GRO indexes and those based on them, the new GRO indexes include these details for all years back to 1837:

  • Births = the mother's maiden name (previously only indexed from 1911 onwards)
  • Deaths = the age at death (previously only indexed from 1866 onwards)

The new GRO indexes are very cumbersome to use as you have to specify the year (plus or minus up to only 2 years) and also the gender of the person concerned.

Any Questions?

See this page of the GRO website.


Francis Howcutt
FFHS Archives Liaison

10 January 2017

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