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applying to a register office for a certificate

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Lord Martyn

Lord Martyn Report 28 Apr 2007 14:50

Hi all, Remember one important thing when ordering from the local register office. The clerk copies details from an orriginal handwritten source, ie you get a transcription of what the clerk THOUGHT they saw and NOT a direct copy of the orriginal entry. Buying from the GRO, you will get a scanned copy of the orriginal for you to make your own transcription. I have had several certificates in the past where the clerk has misread the orriginal doccument. EG in old poor quality handwriting the name Ivy can look like Joy, believe it or not! Also inexperienced clerks guess at names, some of our ancestors had names which to us seem very odd. Hepzibar, Levi, Kezia for example Stay with the GRO and make you own mind up about what the cerificate says rather than rely on someone else to do it.


Stardust Report 29 Apr 2007 12:18

Can I just add a word of warning to newbys. I searched for the Camden R.O. to find if there was any info on ordering certs. The page came up headed up Camden etc.etc. and gave 3 paragraphs of info on ordering certs. The last one sounded great Capitals letters - 'order Camden Registrry Office birth certificate.' Going further into the site it is for a private company and is charging ridiculous prices for their certs. It would be so easy if you are a newcomer to genealogy to think this is an official government site the way it reads. I have also had this happen when trying to access the Barnet Registry office. I hope none of you get caught out by these shysters.


Ajwyorks Report 29 Apr 2007 12:32

When ordering from the GRO what you get is a scanned copy of a transcription of the original cert so is just as likely to be wrong as the transcription of a present day clerk. Some local offices send scanned copies of the original document which is great when your ancestor has actually signed it.


Christine Report 30 Apr 2007 19:29

nudge want to read this again later chris


Bee~fuddled. Report 23 Jun 2007 11:28

Great info. Nudged for further reference. Bx


Irene Report 29 Jun 2007 12:11

I have used Tower Hamlets R Office many times and always found them very helpful. They have always returned my £7 cheque when the info I have given does not match the certificate and sent a covering letter explaining why they have returned the cheque. The certificates requested usually arrive within under a week of ordering. Great service. Irene

emily is driving me dotty

emily is driving me dotty Report 29 Jun 2007 13:25

What a great idea. How would i obtain the address of a Liverpool Register office the birth would have be circa 1891? I have already used your letter to send to Wolverhampton office for my nans certificate not showing on gro index. Heres hoping they have it. many thanks Lorraine


JoyDean Report 29 Jun 2007 18:05 For you, Lorraine.

An Olde Crone

An Olde Crone Report 7 Jul 2007 14:29

nudged for Kathlyn.


Kathlyn Report 7 Jul 2007 16:38

Just checked on line with the West Lancs site to order a cert. on line and they are asking for £25.95, is that right????? Kathlyn


Rita Report 7 Jul 2007 16:52

I thought the London offices wouldn't accept inquiries. I have just sent for 2 deaths for Stepney and Poplar, I can't put ref checking in because of lack of info on a mans cert can you write to the London ones?


JoyDean Report 7 Jul 2007 18:17

I'll have a look at that site. You never should be charged more than £7. Some London ones do; some don't. I had one from Poplar. You can write to them and telephone them. Register offices do NOT - excuse the shouting, please ... :-) - want the GRO refs; they do not mean a thing to them. You need to word the letter to them to the effect that if the person is the son / daughter / husband / wife / mother / father etc of ......... , and the cheque will be returned to you if the person cannot be found in their registers.


JoyDean Report 7 Jul 2007 18:20 This site states £7. Happy hunting!

~Summer Scribe~

~Summer Scribe~ Report 8 Jul 2007 01:20

This is useful, but it appears that you need to have most of the information to be able to order from the RO rather than GRO, where as with the GRO you only need the vague info. So, if you didn't have parents name and the persons dob, you wouldnt be able to order the birth cert, when the reason you're probably ordering it is to find out who the parents were??


JoyDean Report 8 Jul 2007 09:04

With the GRO, you would receive a refund of £3 (I believe) if they could not find the person. The Register Office would return your cheque if the person could not be found. For the Register Office, the exact date of birth is not required, but the quarter and year and district would be needed. Sometimes a person would have been found on a census with parents, and one wishes to find out more about the parents as well as the child. In one case, a certificate I received was registered by the grandmother: fantastic - took me back another generation! In my experience, Register Office staff have been happy to discuss the matter on the telephone.


Ann Report 11 Nov 2007 20:25

Hi everybody,
When you say local R O. Do you mean local to yourself or local to where the BMD occurred?


Glen In Tinsel Knickers

Glen In Tinsel Knickers Report 11 Nov 2007 20:29

Local to where the event occured.

Each register office hold the records for their own area only so for example an event in Berwick would not be available in the Birmingham register office.

Most of the local offices will take telephone and postal applications, some take them online but not all, and remember if they cannot supply a certificate then you don't pay a penny and there is no additional charge for reference checks.


Ann Report 11 Nov 2007 20:35


Thanks for the information. Back to pen and paper.



marian Report 12 Nov 2007 09:00

Is it possible to order more than one certificate at a time.I have around five local that I need to get. Marian

The Meercat

The Meercat Report 12 Nov 2007 09:15

hi marian,

you can order as many as you want.
i went into mine to order they gave me some forms and i filled in five.
took them back to the desk and paid for them.
they posted them to me the next day.

or you can send by post with a chq.

i found it easier if its local to you to go in and do it.