If you are researching your family history in the UK, and any of your ancestors were born, married or died from 1837 onwards, you're in luck.
Prior to 1837, births, marriages and deaths were recorded by the church. After 1 July 1837, these vital statistics were recorded by the government under Civil Registration. This divides the country up into Registration Districts (so individual towns are not necessarily listed) and quarters of the year (Jan-Feb-March, April-May-June, July-August-Sept, Oct-Nov-Dec).
FreeBMD is a volunteer project to index the Civil Registration and put it on the Web. The FreeBMD Database was last updated on Tue May 2010 and currently contains distinct records ( total records). You will find the references that will enable you to order birth, marriage and death certificates. They will look something like this:
Fred BLOGGS, born June quarter 1853, St Germans, 5c 29
For some, just knowing the year is enough. If you want further details, like the parents' names, exact date etc, then you will need to order the certificate itself. But the fact that this reference information is searchable on the web is fantastic!
Check out FreeBMD
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