Civil registration

The commencement date and location of offices for civil registration varies from country to country. For England, it began in the 3rd quarter of 1837. Birth and Marriage certificates for England and Wales are available from St. Catherine's House in London, England. Death certificates are available from Alexandra House which is close to St. Catherine's House. Obtaining certificates from these sources is recommended only if you plan to apply in person to those locations. Otherwise the certificates are much less expensive if you apply to the actual registration office which has the certificate. A list of British registration offices and the individuals in charge is often available from the nearest branch Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The LDS Family History Libraries also usually have microfilm copies of the St. Catherine's House indexes. Whenever you order birth certificates from England, make sure you specify that you wish to obtain the "Long Certificate" which has the names of the parents.

For North America birth, marriage and death certificates are normally available from the Department of Vital Statistics or some other similar office.

Birth certificates normally give the address where the birth occured and from there, it is usually possible to consult cenus records for the area. Census records often list other children and reveal the addresses where the other children were born. The census record for my 2nd great grandfather revealed that his children were born in four different villages in two different counties.


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