Births and Baptisms

For the next few weeks, I will be using this blog to give information that may help those of you who want to trace a family tree or conduct other research into historical individuals who lived in the UK. We’ll start with births and baptisms.

The General Registry office contains a searchable index of registered births. This will give the person’s full name, the district where the birth was registered, the chronological quarter and the mother’s maiden name. For a fee you can order a paper or PDF copy of the original certificate, which contains the full name of both parents, the date and place of birth and the date and place of registration. Paper copies can also be obtained from the local country records office. Please note that a limited service is available during the COVID19 crisis and the General Registry Office has requested that only urgent applications are made.

Baptisms were recorded in parish registers. Some are searchable online through paid sites such as Ancestry or Find My Past. Alternatively, you can visit local record centres. As well as giving an indication of religious belief, baptism records contain the full name of the child, parents and godparents and, sometimes, an address.

You may find potential siblings of the person by searching baptisms and the GRO index by surname and mother’s maiden name for the surrounding decade.

Next week we’ll look at census returns.

Paul Williams is a writer best known for his study of 333 Jack the Ripper suspects.




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