Monday, November 21, 2016

Ordering certificates from the GRO online

What is the GRO? If you have ancestors from England, you recognize this as the General Register Office. In America, this would be the town hall or courthouse that holds records such as births, marriages, and deaths. Records date back as far as 1837 when it was required by law to register these events. Prior to this time, most records are held by the local parish. 

It is quite simple to order copies from England online. For many of my ancestors, I actually ordered the records in London and then had them mailed home. You can't just walk in and ask for a certificate, you have to order it.  

In order to order it, you will need to find the record that you want to order. You need to know what district the event was registered in and the page number. You can find this information by going to the BMD register online.

You search for the event you are looking for by name. Be creative. I ended up having to search by surname name (last name) only to find what I wanted. It takes a little determination but be persistent and think outside the box. 

The cost is £9.25 per certificate which includes the cost of mail. This is inexpensive when you consider the alternative, a trip to England.

This sounds easy and ordering from the GRO is easy. Getting the correct certificates, however, is not so easy and I tell you honestly that I have ordered quite a dew that turned out not to be for the person I was looking for. How can this happen? When it comes to marriages you are assuming that it is your ancestor but you are only seeing the name of one person getting married. When the certificate arrives, you will see the parents names and this may end up being the wrong person. 

So far, however, all the certificates have been for people who ended up being related in one way or another. I have two certificates that I just ordered and received and even though I didn't get the answer I was hoping for, I have no regrets.  


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