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What is the deaths index?

Local and family history A-Z > Births, marriages and deaths > Civil registration > Deaths index
  • Dark green open bookThe deaths index is an index to the deaths registers that have been produced since compulsory civil registration of deaths began in England and Wales on 1st July 1837 (although penalties for non-registration were not introduced until 1875)
  • The index is maintained by the General Register Office (GRO)
  • The deaths registers themselves are not available to the public but anyone can inspect the index to the registers
  • The details given in the deaths index may be helpful in themselves but they are usually used to find the details necessary for ordering a copy of a death certificate
  • In particular, the deaths index gives you the 'GRO index reference' for each death. The 'GRO index reference' consists of the details given in the volume and page columns for each death entry
  • There is a full explanation of the indexes at the 'Using the general register office to research family history' pages on the Gov.UK web site

Page last updated: 26th June 2020