Major changes are about to affect our access to records of births and deaths in England & Wales.
Until recently, the only way to consult indexes of birth and death registrations online and free of charge was by visiting the FreeBMD website. FreeBMD will continue to be useful to many researchers. However, for some searches, newly released indexes on the General Register Office (GRO) site will also be helpful. They cover these periods:
- Births (July 1837-December 1915)
- Deaths (July 1837-December 1957)
Unlike all other indexes, the new GRO ones include these details for all years back to 1837:
- Births = the mother’s maiden name
- Deaths = the age at death.
The new GRO indexes are very cumbersome to use as you have to specify the year (plus or minus up to only 2 years) and also the gender of the person concerned.
Vice Chairman, FFHS