Australian Civil Registration IndexesChris Paton at has just let us all know about latest release of the Birth, Marriage & Death Indexes. They covers Births 1788 – 1922, Marriages 1788 – 1949 & Deaths 1787 – 1985. Each Australian state has a different commencement date for civil registration so it would pay to check out the information available on the site. It is always wise to understand what you are looking at rather than rush in and search…. tempting though that is!!

Birth, Deaths & Marriage records online???

From Guy Etchells

A review, chaired by Paul Darce of the 30 year rule, recommended that it be reduced to 15 years in its report January 2009.

In his submission to the review Anthony Camp, M.B.E. suggested that all historic records of Birth, Marriage and Death be made open to the Public.

It is high time these records were openly accessible there is absolutely no good reason for them to remain regulated and only accessible by purchasing certified copies.

The records used to be open to public inspection. From the start of civil registration the public could carry out searches in the registers of Birth, Marriage and Death. In 1898 the then Registrar General took it upon himself to close the records held at the GRO even though there was no change in the law to allow for such unilateral action.

Similarly in 1974 many local Registrars closed the registers they held to public searches even though a public search of the registers was written in to the various applicable Acts of Parliament.

I therefore suggest that the coalition government release all historic registers of Birth, Marriage and Death to allow private enterprise to digitise and make those records available online.

Such a move would create employment in the private sector, reduce costs and pressure on the General Register Office. This would allow staff to concentrate on their core activities and increase productivity.

In addition the sale of digitised copies of historic Birth, Marriage and Death certificates would create useful revenue in these times of need.

If you agree with Guy’s suggestions, please visit his submission to the Your Freedom website at and register your support.


GRO Digitisation Project

The GRO has issued the following press release……

The digitisation of GRO’s births, marriages and deaths records is moving forward and a new project, called the Digitisation and Indexing (D&I) Project, has been initiated.  

The new project covers the digitisation of the records themselves together with indexing and upgrading the online certificate ordering process.

Until such time as it is able to provide an online index, GRO will continue to make a full set of the GRO indexes freely available in microfiche format at several libraries and record offices across England and Wales. Further information on the current location of the microfiche indexes can be found on the Directgov website.

What this all means for the genealogical world is yet to be clarified. It would be nice to think that they would take the opportunity to add more information on the indexes to make identifying the correct person easier plus an undertaking to allow free online access to historic certificates i.e those more than 100 years old. However I fear that the GRO is making too much money from family historians to allow the latter to happen.

The web page has Q & A which might answer some people’s queries.

Overseas Births Marriages & Deaths



imageIf you think that one or more of your ancestors might have registered a birth, marriage of death overseas then you might want to consider searching on the website This company offers access to registers that are housed in The National Archives, Kew and are under the accession numbers RG33, RG34 & RG36. I have copied the description of the contents of these registers below from the website.

RG33 – Registers of Overseas Birth, Marriage, death and Burial of British Subjects including those onboard ships. Also Lundy Island Devon. Original registers, notebooks and copies of entries in registers kept by incumbents of English churches and missions, British embassies and legations etc. These cover the period 1627 to 1960 and are very detailed.

RG34 – This series contains marriage certificates issued by foreign registration authorities and churches, copies of entries in the registers kept by British embassies, incumbents of English churches and chaplains, notification of marriages of servicemen during service abroad, and documents deposited for safekeeping. 1861-1921

RG36 – This series contains Registers and Returns of Births, Marriages and Deaths in the Protectorates etc of Africa and Asia Covering dates 1895-1965. Notifications of birth, marriage and death forwarded by officials responsible for civil registration under administrative ordinances in Nyasaland, Kenya, Somaliland, Uganda, Sudan, Palestine, Sarawak, Malaya, including Johore and Selangor, and British North Borneo. These newly added records were previously only viewable on microfilm at The National Archives.

Standard searches are free, but to view scans of the actual documents you need to either buy credits or purchase a subscription. Credits cost 50 pence each and each scanned image will cost 5 credits, an advanced search will cost one credit and may help when you have multiple choices of names to choose from. A one year subscription costs £68.95 and this includes access to many more records on the sister site

Certificate Exchange


imageWhat a great idea this website is, I am sure we all have bought certificates and other genealogy documents only to find that they aren’t about people on our family tree. My friends and I call such people “Ancestors I once had!!”.

With this website you can put your unwanted items online and hopefully find a good home for them and of course you can check the site for anything relating to your genealogy. You never know there might be just the very clue you have been looking for waiting to be found.


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