Types of Public Records

The Different Types of UK Public Records

Public records of births, deaths, marriages and civil and criminal court cases, military service records, immigration and travel records are easily available in the UK. Public records can be obtained from a variety of sources.

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The UK maintains a variety of centralized public records pertaining to deaths, births, marriages, and adoptions. Many of these records can easily be obtained online and at a reasonable cost, from official government data bases. Other records are available through private websites that charge a fee for their services.

General Registration Office
Public records of deaths, births, marriages, adoptions and civil partnerships can be obtained online from the General Registration Office at gro.gov.uk. The GRO phone number is + 44(0)300 123 1837. The office is open between 8 a.m. and 8p.m, Monday through Friday. On Saturday, the office is open between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. The post address is:

Certificate Service Section, General Registration Office
PO Box 2, Southport
PR 8 2JD

The text relay service number for the hearing and speech impaired is 18001 0300 123 1837.

Church of England Records Search

Civil registration began in the UK in 1837. Records of births, deaths and marriages prior to 1837 may be found in the archives of a local parish of the Church of England. Locating records held by the Church of England may require a visit to the local parish registry in the area where the person of interest lived or died. Some of these older records are not yet available online. However, many of these older birth, death and marriage records can be obtained at the private website: ukbmd.co.uk. The webmaster of ukbmd.co.uk can be emailed through the “Contact” link on the web page.

The National Archives Records Search

The national archives at nationalarchives.gov.uk., provides several links helpful in researching older criminal records, such as, Old Bailey Online which is a private website containing information about criminal cases in the London central court between the years of 1674 and 1913. The website is oldbaileyonline.org. The organization can be emailed at oldbailey@shef.ac.uk. The National Archives can be contacted for further research assistance at +44 (0) 20 8876 3444. The National Archives can be reached by post at:

The National Archives, Kew, Richmond, Surrey, TW9 4DU

The primary types of records that people are looking for in the UK include criminal records, birth records, death records, marriage records, and divorce records.

The mission of PublicRecordSearch.co.uk is to provide a resource to those people looking for various types of records in the UK

Run a United States Public Records Search

In the United States, access to public records is different than it is in the UK, and this difference is due to the Freedom of Information Act in the United States being written much differently than the Freedom of Information Act in the UK. The primary difference for citizens involves access to criminal records. In the UK, criminal records are not public record, but in the United States, they are.

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