Birth Records

UK Birth Records Search Procedure

In the UK, birth records are compiled by the General Register office (GRO). The General Register office houses all birth, marriage, and death records in England and Wales dated in or after 1837. It also houses birth certificates that were recorded overseas. If you are searching for births before 1837 then they are located in parish registers in local archives.

Advertising Disclosure

When beginning the search for birth records, there is important information that you must first obtain. You don’t necessarily need all of the information, but the more you have, the better your chance of finding what you are looking for. You want to make sure that you have the person’s name and name of their parents, their spouse, or their next of kin. You then would need to know the approximate date of birth and the district where the birth most likely took place.

UK Birth Records

The records that you are looking for may be located online in a private database. For sake of convenience, we have found that most people will first check for the records in online private databases before dealing with the hassle of ordering the records from the GRO. Our sponsors, with the search box on the right hand side of the page, are an example of a private database that may have the birth records that you are looking for.

If you place an order with the General Register Office, there are several ways to do so; the first option being to do so online. You will need all necessary information in order to register on the department’s website and then place your order and make your payment.

Ordering birth records over the phone is also a possible solution. The department at the GRO has staff on duty Monday through Friday from 8am to 8pm and on Saturday from 9am to 4pm to assist you with your order. They are even able to process a payment with a debit or credit card over the phone.

One more option is to order the birth records via mail. You can send the General Register Office a message to to request an application form. In order to receive a personal response you must place “GQ” in the subject of your email. Once you have completed the form you will need to mail it to PO Box 2, Southport, Merseyside PR8 2JD. With the form you must include payment in the form of a check, postal order, or your credit card details.

In addition to ordering records from the General Register office you may also obtain birth records from the Local Register Office where the birth took place by post or in person.

England Birth Records

There is a lot of useful information that can be gathered from an English birth record. This can help you with a genealogical search and to find out more about your family tree. In particular, you can find out the date and place of birth of a person. The gender and full name will also be mentioned on the birth certificate. You can find out the name of the mother and father, as well as the place of birth for the parents. It is also possible to discover the maiden name of the mother of the individual from English birth records. Interestingly, some records will show the occupation of the father. The registration district on the birth certificate can even allow you to locate other members of your family.

All of the birth records in England after 1837 are held by the General Register Office or GRO. For births before 1837, you will have to check local parish registers. But the good thing about using an online search directory is that you can access England birth records from the comfort of your own home. This saves a lot of the hassle involved in requested birth records from GRO or local parish registers.

Scotland Birth Records

When you want to find out more about your family’s history in Scotland, birth records are a good place to start. There is a wealth of information available, including the name and surname of the person and where they were born. Indeed, the record will also list the date and time of the birth and the general of the person. Information is also provided on the parents. This includes the name and maiden surname of the mother and the full name of the father and his occupation. The date and place of the marriage of the parents will be listed if this is applicable.

Birth records in Scotland from 1855 are held by the Registrar General for Scotland. If you are searching for a birth record before 1855, it will be beneficial to request information from the Church of Scotland and old parish registers. It can be easier to use an online search directory, which can deliver your results to you from home.

Wales Birth Records

In Wales, civil registration records began in July 1837. In other words, there would be birth records kept by the government in order to hold information about citizens. There is a lot of vital information you can gain about your family from Wales birth records. This includes the full name, gender, date, and place of birth of the person. There is also information about the parents. For example, the full name of the mother and father, plus the maiden name of the mother. Their birthplace is mentioned, along with the occupation of the father. The registration district should be mentioned in Wales birth records.

The General Register Office or GRO holds all birth records for Wales for persons born after 1837. If you are trying to find out more about someone before 1837, you will have to contact local Welsh churches. A better way to quickly access birth records and information for family history searches is to use an online search directory. This is going to allow you to access a lot of useful information in one place and from home.

Northern Ireland Birth Records

If you have an interest in genealogy and finding out more about your family history, we recommending accessing birth records in Northern Ireland. This is going to provide you with more details on a person, as well as their parents. For example, you can find out their name and surname, with the date and place of birth. The sex of the person is listed, plus the name and surname of the father, as well as his dwelling place. The name, surname, and maiden surname of the mother is recorded, as well as the father’s rank or profession. You will be able to find out when and where the birth was registered too.

All births in Northern Ireland after 1864 are held by the General Register Office Northern Ireland, which you may see abbreviated to GRONI. Parish records may have to be consulted for births before 1864. For genealogical purposes, using an online search directory can be beneficial. It can allow you to find out the information you need without having to request Northern Ireland birth records.

Advertising Disclosure: This post may contain promotional links. may be compensated if you use these links.

UK Birth Record FAQs

Can I search UK birth records for free?

Yes but there is limited birth record information available for free. Typically you will need to pay for premium birth record information from online public record websites and you can only research publicly available birth records and those that are not sealed.

How can I get a copy of my UK birth record?

You can order an official copy of your UK birth certificate by contacting the UK General Register Office (GRO) in England and Wales, the National Records of Scotland, or in Northern Ireland the General Register Office.

Can I search anyone's UK birth record?

You can access UK birth records that are not restricted. Typically, UK birth records are only available to the general public after 100 years when they become public domain. You can then research them through genealogy websites, the UK National Archives, and various public record websites.

How far back do UK birth records go?

Birth records first started becoming recorded in civil registries in 1837 however Parish records go back further than that.