Information about Birth Certificates

What can I find on a Full Birth Certificate?

A 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.

Why would a Birth Certificate be useful to me?

A birth certificate will give more information about the child and their parents - for example, if you order your grandmother's birth certificate, you will find out her parent's names and be able to trace your family back another generation.

How do I order a 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. This can be found by viewing the full record detail when searching BMD records online (see the case study page for an example). Events from the last 50 years will require you to supply more information at application stage.