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General Record Office - English Database

The General Register Office (GRO) in England has announced that a contract has been signed to digitize the birth, marriage, and death certificates that start in July 1837. For more information see

These are crucial records for finding and documenting families. Indexes are available on film or fiche in select libraries. Searching is tedious because each year has four A-Z indexes, one for each quarter of the year. A recent online project, FreeBMD, is a quicker way to search an index but is not complete.

Certificates are not available to the public and have to be purchased through the General Register Office. A "green paper" - requesting that certificates be released to the public - was submitted to Parliament more than 15 years ago. It is good news to hear that the GRO will make them available.