We use cookies to track usage and preferences. See Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
AU
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the Australia version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions >  Latest Articles > Getting to grips with birth certificates

Getting to grips with birth certificates
Family Tree

Getting to grips with birth certificates

Posted Monday, 4 July 2016   |   1656 views   |   General Interest   |   Comments (0) Genealogist David Annal examines the history and reasoning behind birth certificates in England and Wales; and explains how understanding these can give you greater clues to your family’s past.

The basic layout of birth certificates in England and Wales and the range of questions asked remained exactly the same between 1 July 1837 and 31 March 1969.

Right from the start, quarterly indexes were created to allow easy access to the records created by the General Register Office (GRO). The legislation which established the civil registration system required, ‘that the Registrar General shall cause Indexes of all the said certified Copies of the Registers to be made and kept in the General Register Office’, but it’s important to note that the indexes contain only a small part of the information included on the certificates themselves.

From 1837, each entry in the birth indexes includes the full name of the child along with the name of the district in which the birth was registered and a volume and page number. This, along with the year and quarter of registration, is all the information you need to order a copy of the original certificate.

There were a few changes to the birth indexes over the years; from 1866, when the monumental task of producing handwritten indexes was replaced by a printed process, initials were used instead of middle names but in 1867 the first middle name was restored. In the third (September) quarter of 1910 middle names were dropped again in favour of initials and didn’t reappear until 1966. A major change was introduced from the third quarter of 1911; the maiden surname of the mother was included in the indexes for the first time, making identification of individuals much easier.

For more great articles like this get the issue of Family Tree below or subscribe and save.

Single Issue - May 2018 Replica & Mobile Edition included
$7.99
Or 799 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only $ 4.31 per issue
SAVE
46%
$55.99
Or 5599 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only $ 5.54 per issue
SAVE
25%
$35.99
Or 3599 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only $ 5.53 per issue
SAVE
25%
$5.99
Or 599 points

View Issues

About Family Tree

Family Tree magazine have been supporting family historians from beginner to expert, for more than 30 years. We are devoted to helping you trace your ancestors with practical ways to do your family tree that you’ll find interesting and fun!

More great content like this...

For more great articles like this subscribe to Family Tree today.

Most read articles this month


Christmas Gifts for Her

Christmas Gifts for Her

Stuck for gift ideas for the lovely lady in your life? The Pocketmags team have pooled all their best ideas for gifts for her this Christmas. Get ready to earn some serious brownie points! More...
Christmas Gifts for Him

Christmas Gifts for Him

Why are men so hard to buy for?! If you're looking for gift ideas for the deserving gent in your life, look no further; the Pocketmags team have found some amazing gifts for him this Christmas. Boring socks begone! More...
WHEN THE MUSE GOES MISSING!

WHEN THE MUSE GOES MISSING!

Nashville songwriter Mark Cawley shares some tactics for reviving those elusive creative juices when you’ve lost the flow More...
3 Free Reads for the New Year

3 Free Reads for the New Year

Spend all your money in December? Us too. We’ve pulled together our 3 favourite free reads available for you on Pocketmags. Everyone loves a free read! More...
How I got  published

How I got published

The author’s debut was actually her sixth novel, she tells Dolores Gordon-Smith More...
Christmas Gifts for Kids

Christmas Gifts for Kids

Treat the smallest (and loudest) members of the family to something fun this festive season! We've rounded up our favourite gifts for kids to help you (oops, we mean Santa) out - just call us the Pocketmags elves! More...
News from the world of the piano

News from the world of the piano

Argerich and Babayan in Cleveland More...
Christmas Gifts for Everyone

Christmas Gifts for Everyone

Here at Pocketmags we're all about going digital, but we know our relatives might not always feel the same. Why not treat someone special to a print subscription from our sister site magazine.co.uk? Buy 3 Christmas gift subscriptions and you'll get £15 off at checkout. That's Christmas sorted! Here are our favourites to pick up and flick through all year round... More...
Christmas Gifts for Geeks

Christmas Gifts for Geeks

Don't get pwned this Christmas - we've got a list of the greatest gifts around for the geekiest member of your household. Prepare to beat Santa at his own game - these beauties are just what they're looking for under the tree... More...
3 Fitness Trends You Haven’t Tried

3 Fitness Trends You Haven’t Tried

We’ve all heard of the crazy exercises people are trying - from animal yoga to orange theory. But if one of your New Year's resolutions is to get fit and find some sort of exercise you’ll enjoy then maybe you will love one of these… More...
Vouchers Gift Cards A magazine subscription is the perfect gift but you'll need something to show on the big day. View All
Ways to Pay Pocketmags Payment Types
At Pocketmags you get Secure Billing Great Offers HTML Reader Gifting options Loyalty Points