M*CH*MORE One Name Study
CIVIL REGISTRATION IN THE UNITED KINGDOM
Civil registration of births, marriages and deaths commenced in July 1837 in England and Wales and in 1855 in Scotland. Although registration did not become compulsory in England and Wales until 1875, it soon became general practice and there was a corresponding decline in church registrations. Click here for further information on civil registration in England and Wales.
Civil registers are not available for public inspection, and we have to rely on quarterly or (from 1984) monthly indexes for England and Wales and annual indexes for Scotland. The four quarters are referred to as the March quarter (q1: 1 Jan - 31 Mar), the June quarter (q2: 1 Apr - 30 Jun), the September quarter (q3: 1 Jul - 30 Sep), and the December quarter (q4: 1 Oct - 31 Dec). Each index shows the registration district and a code number which indicates the volume and page on which each person's registration is recorded.
Once a person is located in an index, it is possible to purchase a copy of the birth, marriage or death certificate in order to obtain the full registration details. You are strongly advised to check the original indexes before ordering any certificates. Certificates for England and Wales can be ordered here and Scottish certificates here.
The information included in the indexes has changed over time. In England and Wales, age at death was not included in the deaths index until 1866q1, and then replaced by date of birth in 1969q2. Also, the mother's maiden name was added to the births index in 1911q3 and the spouse's name to the marriages index in 1912q1. M*CH*MORE data in these indexes were obtained from FindMyPast and FreeBMD and recently updated from an online index covering births up to 1916 and deaths up to 1957 which includes the mother's maiden name and age of birth for all years as well as middle names previously only represented by initials.
The Scottish data was obtained from Scotland's People. The Scottish births index does not include the mother's maiden name, but the deaths index includes other surnames for females (e.g., maiden name or previous married name).
Choose an index to search: