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Civil Registration

Local and family history A-Z > Births, marriages and deaths
  • 'Civil registration' refers to the official registration of births, marriages and deaths
  • In England and Wales official registration of births, marriages and deaths was made compulsory from 1st July 1837, although penalties for non-registration were not introduced until 1875
  • Registration takes place at register offices and is recorded in official registers
  • The registers themselves are not available to the public but you can search the indexes to the registers
  • Birth, marriage and death certificates show the details recorded in the registers
  • Click the links below for details of indexes and certificates:



Births index Birth certificates
  Marriages index Marriage certificates
Deaths index
Death certificates
Pen and brass inkwell

Page last updated: 26th October 2011