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Thread: Help needed in ordering a birth certificate

  1. #1

    Help needed in ordering a birth certificate

    Someone has asked me how to order a birth certificate.

    I directed then to the GRO site but they are not computer literate and got in a terrible muddle trying to order.

    Can you order a certificate, we have all the information, any other way? I have only ever used GRO



  2. #2
    Ring the registration office for the area the birth was registered in - it will cost slightly more (£10, and sometimes postage on top) , but will usually arrive much more quickly than from GRO. Some registration districts also have on-line ordering systems these days.

    Note that the volume and page references you use for GRO are not relevant for local records - they will just need the name and year/quarter.
    I am a professional researcher, and ex- deputy registrar, based in Buckinghamshire - please contact me for any help/advice or research via PM or my website
    Follow me on Twittter @ChalfontR

  3. #3
    Thanks very much


  4. #4
    You can also order by post from GRO, or ring them ( they don't like doing orders by phone, but they will do it).
    I am a professional researcher, and ex- deputy registrar, based in Buckinghamshire - please contact me for any help/advice or research via PM or my website
    Follow me on Twittter @ChalfontR

  5. #5
    Member Sylvia C's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    Just a note of caution ...............

    Living overseas, I tend to discourage people from ordering from local registry offices in the UK ..............

    My experience is that they want stamped addressed envelope(s) of a certain size, charged for postage over and above the £10 cost of the certificate but would not accept credit cards or cheques so I had to buy International Money Coupons to cover the cost of mailing, 1 for each certificate

    We don't have the same sizes of stationery and envelopes that you do in the UK. The next closest (larger) size of envelope could only be bought in singles, at around 75p per envelope.

    Ordering from the local office cost more than double the cost from GRO, and took about twice as long to get here
    My parents at my brother's wedding, March 1952

    Researching Cadd, Schofield, Cottrell in Lancashire, Buckinghamshire; Taylor, Park in Westmorland; Hayhurst in Yorkshire, Westmorland, Lancashire; Hughes, Roberts in Wales.

  6. #6
    Member clematised's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Southport Merseyside
    It depends on where you are ordering from, I went in person to three local Offices in the North West to order certs recently and Liverpool took three weeks to arrive, the other two one week each, all three charged £10 for the cert and different prices for postage, GRO over the phone ordering cost more than on line and I live withing a mile or two of the GRO you can not do personal visits there.


  7. #7
    I live in the UK and would always order from the local RO in preference to the GRO The local RO is a primary source, the GRO is a secondary source (or even a third source where marriage certs are concerned).

    Unfortunately, many local ROs are now not willing or able to issue certs for research purposes, which is a great shame. I have had wonderful, exceptional, beyond-the-call-of-duty service from local ROs in the past, the sort of personal attention you just will not ever get from the GRO.

    Of course, if you live overseas then the GRO is your best and simplest bet for certificates.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Personally, I have always phoned the GRO to order all my BMD's and have had excellent service from them and found the people on the other end of the phone pleasant, helpful and chatty. So I couldn't complain.
    i don't know if the information received via them is any different to that from a local RO? At £9.25 it is cheaper than an RO. Don't know the cost doing it online?
    As all mine are scattered about and not local at all I have found it the best option. I always check the BMD reg first so I have all the info they need.

  9. #9
    Member Vicky the Viking's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Over the hill
    Quote Originally Posted by Pookie View Post
    i don't know if the information received via them is any different to that from a local RO? <snip>
    one of the very first certs I ever ordered, from the GRO, was for my 3x gt grandparents who married in 1840. There are no details filled in at all for anything outside of the box where the bride & groom's names, fathers etc are filled in. No signatures or names for the officiating minister, bride & groom, or witnesses.

    The copy held in the local RO does of course have these details filled in.

    I assume someone just "forgot" to copy these details over to the copy that was sent to the GRO. They were of course all hand transcribed.

    I have also seen an entry for a marriage (in Grinton, North Yorks), in the parish registers that has the bride & groom's names filled in, and again unsigned & no witnesses or officiating minister. In this case the marriage did not take place, and there is no entry in the GRO indices for it. The Banns were read. I did find a valid marriage for the woman in another parish, to a different man, about a month later. Now THAT would make an interesting story!
    Last edited by Vicky the Viking; 10-09-15 at 18:59. Reason: added a bit

  10. #10
    I've told this tale before, sorry everyone!

    I have three copies of the marriage cert of my 2 x GGPs. One is a photocopy of the church register, one is a photocopy of the local RO register and one is a modern handwritten copy from the GRO

    They are all different! The addresses differ, the fathers' names have been transposed, the ages and marital status differ. In fact, such serious differences that I would have doubted they were the same couple if it were not for the fact that they all occurred on the same day in the same place.

    I too have seen entries in the marriage register for marriages which did not take place, although they had mostly been crossed through. One, which nearly broke my heart, was for a 19 year old. The marriage did not take place and she was later found dead in a field with her stillborn baby. Her intended spouse married a few days after her funeral.



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