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Baptisms and Birth Records in the UK

Birth Certificates

A birth certificate will give you more information about the family, including the maiden name of the mother and the birth place of both parents, which can allow you to trace your ancestors back another generation.

Information in a Full Birth Certificate

Sample of a Birth CertificateA full birth certificate will give you:

  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Full name
  • Maiden surname of the mother
  • Sex of the child
  • Informant's name, address and relationship to the child
  • Full name and occupation of the father if married to the mother (or if he attended with the mother and signed the registration entry) from 1969
  • Place of birth of both parents.

Ordering a Birth Certificate

Certificates in England or Wales can be ordered online through the GRO (General Register Office). To order a certificate, simply follow the instructions on the GRO website, supplying the necessary data and a GRO Index reference.

The full reference is usually a volume and page reference or an 'entry number' for later records, given with the year, quarter and district. Events from the last 50 years will require you to supply more information at application stage.

To find the volume and page reference, you can go to and look up the references you need to be able to order a birth certificate.

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