These will provide you with the date of birth (day, month and year) place of birth (street name, town or village) and full name and sex. Then come the names and surname of the father (if blank it indicates that the child was illigitimate), next the mother’s names and surname and – thereal bonus! – her maiden name. Next you find the father’s occupation and finally the name and residence of the informant (usually the mother) which in some early registrations will simply be a cross or mark, since not many were literate in those early years.
These record the date of marriage, full names and surname of the bride and groom and both their ages. ( an entry ‘of full age’ usually meant over 21 years) Next is their ‘condition’ i.e. bachelor / spinster / widow etc., then their profession. Their addresses at the time of marriage then the bride and groom’s fathers’ names and surnames. ( If relevant it will show ‘deceased’ ) and the fathers’ professions.
In the section below you will find information on where the marriage took place, who officiated and the names of the witnesses.
Therefore if you discover your grandparents’ marriage certificate you learn not only where and when they got married, but their year of birth plus your grandmother’s maiden name, and more importantly the names of both of your great grandfathers.
These provide the date and place of death, the names and surname of the deceased, their sex, age and occupation. You also find the cause of death, signature, description and address of the informant and when the death was registered.
All the above cerificates can be obtained by visiting the local registration offices or by post and online at the General Records Office.
Births, Marriages and Deaths
We have seen what information you will find on the various certificates but if you do not have the details of these occurences where can you begin looking?
By far the most popular source is the FreeBMD site at http://freebmd.rootsweb.com
Transcribed by volunteers this site provides free searches for the birth, marriage or death of any person from 1837 to 1983 It is not definitive but there are already more than 80 million records on their database and it is growing constantly.
You can search for an individual by name and although it is not without transcription errors it is a great starting point.