Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Continue Shopping
This website use cookies and similar technologies to improve the site and to provide customised content and advertising. By using this site, you agree to this use. To learn more, including how to change your cookie settings, please view our Cookie Policy
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
EU
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the European Union version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Digital Subscriptions >  Blog > Getting to grips with birth certificates

Getting to grips with birth certificates
Family Tree

Getting to grips with birth certificates

Posted Monday, July 4, 2016   |   2511 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 - Family Tree November 2019 Replica & Mobile Edition included
€5.49
Or 549 points
Annual Digital Subscription
Only € 3.08 per issue
SAVE
44%
€39.99
Or 3999 points
6 Month Digital Subscription
Only € 3.84 per issue
SAVE
24%
€24.99
Or 2499 points
Monthly Digital Subscription
Only € 4.14 per issue
SAVE
18%
€4.49
Or 449 points

View Issues

About Family Tree

For over 30 years, Family Tree has been helping amateurs and experts trace, research and discover the secrets behind their family history. In every issue, you’ll find practical step-by-step guides and helpful tips for researching your ancestry, with the aim of making the whole experience simple, interesting and fun!

More great content like this...

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

SALE Family Tree
Annual Digital Subscription for €39.99 saving 44%

Most read articles this month


The 5 Best Military Magazines

The 5 Best Military Magazines

Fascinated by past wars, Britain’s military or what’s currently happening in modern-day conflicts around the world? Then feast your eyes upon our carefully curated list of the 5 best military magazines here at Pocketmags. More...
The 5 Best DIY Magazines

The 5 Best DIY Magazines

Do you love to get your hands stuck into a new hobby? Or maybe you’re a long-term DIY fanatic, no matter what experience you have with your passion project you’ll enjoy one of our 5 best DIY magazines. More...
The 7 Best Fitness Magazines

The 7 Best Fitness Magazines

Discover helpful fitness guidance for all types of exercise as well as health and wellbeing advice with one of our 7 best fitness magazines, and get on track to a healthier you. More...
The 3 Best Technology Magazines

The 3 Best Technology Magazines

From adventure sports cameras, home cinemas to wearable tech, whatever your technology interest is, you’ll enjoy one of our technology magazines. More...
The 5 Best Gaming Magazines

The 5 Best Gaming Magazines

Whether you enjoy playing retro games or you’re more of a modern console lover, you’ll find a magazine that suits your style of gaming within our guide to the 5 best gaming magazines on Pocketmags. More...
The 5 Best Women's Fitness Magazines

The 5 Best Women's Fitness Magazines

Whether you’re looking for a new exercise that you’ll love or expert advice on improving your personal best, we have put together a guide to the best women’s fitness magazines here at Pocketmags. More...
The 5 Best Celebrity Magazines

The 5 Best Celebrity Magazines

Discover the inside scoop into the lives of the rich and famous with the 5 best celebrity magazines from Pocketmags, you’ll never miss out on the latest gossip again. More...
The 5 Best Animal Magazines

The 5 Best Animal Magazines

If you’re a proud pet owner or keep a flock of chickens, you’ll find a magazine that suits your animal interest within our guide to the 5 best animal magazines on Pocketmags. More...
The 5 Best News Magazines

The 5 Best News Magazines

Keep up with the latest affairs across the world with a news digital subscription here at Pocketmags. More...
National Geographic Traveller Magazine Review

National Geographic Traveller Magazine Review

Inspiring you to get up and go, National Geographic Traveller is the go-to travel magazine for keen explorers ready to satisfy their itch to travel. 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