Instant access to English and Welsh birth and death records — and for less money

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine had exciting news yesterday for family historians whose relatives lived in England and Wales.

The General Register Office (GRO) has launched a new scheme allowing instant access to 1837-1922 birth records and 1837-1887 death records by downloading them as digital images.

The digital images cost £2.50 (about CDN$4.25) each, and they are available to view immediately after purchase.

Family historians previously had the option of ordering records as either a print record for £11 with a GRO index reference supplied or a PDF for £7. It took up to four working days for these orders to be sent.

Before searching these records, you first need to register or log in. (Scroll down the GRO web page to find the section, Register or Login.)

After logging in, select Order a Digital Image.

According to some people who have already taken advantage of this instant service, there is a wee downside.

Unlike the pricier PDF images, some say the faster JPG images only provide the record line from the register. Apparently, the image doesn’t contain the four top rows of a certificate, such as Superintendent Registrar’s District, Registrar’s District, Death Year, County, and the column headings.

Features editor Rosemary Collins writes in her Who Do You Think You Are? article, “This puts the English and Welsh civil record ordering system more in line with the cheaper and more convenient system in Scotland, where family historians can view records instantly on the ScotlandsPeople website.”

Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths was introduced in England and Wales in 1837.

This entry was posted in England and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.