Discover your family history

Describes how the General Register Office can help you research your family tree and family history.

Applies to England and Wales


Discover your family history

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The General Register Office (GRO) for England and Wales holds records for all births, marriages and deaths registered in England and Wales from 1 July 1837. These records can help you find more information about your ancestors, your family tree and your family history.

This booklet tells you how to use the GRO when you research your family tree, as well as:

  • the role of the GRO for England and Wales
  • which certificates it can offer you
  • the information you will find on the certificates
  • the information you will need to order the certificates
  • how you can order and pay
  • information about PDF records
Published 28 February 2013
Last updated 3 August 2021 + show all updates
  1. Accessible version of the guide published.

  2. New booklet added.

  3. First published.