Discover your ancestors who died in England and Wales between 1837 and 2007. The records may reveal when and where your relative died and when they were born. Details such as volume and page number will help you if you decide to take the search further and order your relative’s death certificate.
Each record comprises a transcript of the original register. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestor:
• First name(s)
• Last name
• Birth year
• Birth date
• Death year
• Death quarter
Some records may contain additional black and white images of the register. The earlier registers are handwritten, while the later ones are typewritten.
The record set comprises more than 87 million records.
Civil registration in England and Wales
Up until 1837, only churches recorded life events such as births, marriages, and deaths. Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths began on 1 July 1837. At that time, England & Wales was subdivided into administrative areas known as registration districts. Within each district, a registrar recorded births, marriages and deaths. Four times a year, in March, June, September, and December, all the registers for England & Wales were collated into a single countrywide index, arranged alphabetically by surname. Each quarter covers the month itself and the two preceding months.
Aside from giving you the obvious date of death for your ancestor, from 1866 the age at death is also included in the death index records – allowing you to approximate the year of their birth. From 1969 an exact date of birth is included.
Having these extra details can be invaluable when you’re searching speculatively, or if you are searching for a common name.
If you’re uncertain as to when your ancestor died, or indeed whether they have died, a search from 60-80 (assuming you know their year of birth) in the death records is the best place to start.
Once you have established a death within your family tree, you may wish to request a copy of the certificate from the General Register Office. If you do so, then the information you will find includes:
• Full name of the person
• When and where a person died
• Cause of death, the duration of the last illness, the medical attendant and when he last saw the deceased
• Details of the informant (often a family member)
• Names of the parents of the deceased and occupation of the father
• When and where buried or cremated
• Names of witnesses
• Birth place of the deceased and how long they lived in the country
• If married, spouse name and marriage place
• Living children in order of birth with their names and ages
Once you've discovered when and where your ancestor was born, married or died by using our birth, marriage and death records, you can order a certified copy of their birth, marriage or death certificate from the General Register Office (GRO). This service is available both to UK and non-UK residents and covers births, marriages and deaths registered in England and Wales, as well as certain registrations overseas.
English and Welsh birth, marriage and death certificates are considered public records, so anyone can order a copy of them. If you are enquiring about a more recent birth or death certificate (recorded within the last 50 years), the GRO will require more detailed information from you than for older certificates. The easiest way to order a certificate is online through the GOV.UK website: www.gov.uk
The certificate ordering service is not connected to Findmypast. If you have any queries regarding certificates, please contact the GRO directly by email, telephone or post using the details below. You can also order certificates from the GRO by contacting them in this way.
Telephone: +44 (0)300 123 1837
Address: Certificate Services Section
General Register Office
PO Box 2