> From Ancestry.com I have a number of people where I have the Record
> Type, District, Year, Quarter, Volume and Page#
> Can I get certificates through the LDS or do I hve to get them through
> the PRO. Or would a researcher be better to get me these certificates.
Sorry that I did not join in this discussion sooner but I have had problems
with my e-mail service.
You cannot get English civil registration certificates from the LDS.
My advice on obtaining civil registration certificates is undernoted.
First, however, I have a couple of comments to make:
1. It is true that if a marriage appears in the IGI or the British Vital
Records Index you can get a copy of the entry in the church register from
SLC providing you correctly identify the source.
Some disadvantages to this approach are:
(a) Many post-1837 church registers have not been filmed by the LDS.
(b) The time lapse for obtaining a photocopy from SLC is two months.
This was my personal experience when applying for a copy of a Scottish
marriage certificate earlier this year.
(c) The new charge (effective January 1, 2003) of $4 US minimum/order
has to be taken into account.
2. From several contributors to this discussion it is apparent that they
are concerned about the cost of a sterling money order from the bank. If
this is a concern and you prefer to use a credit card then you have two
(a) You can purchase a certificate from the Office of National
Statistics (General Register Office), Southport (using a credit card) in
one of two ways:
Order by telephone on +44 (0)870 243 77 88
Fax +44(0)1704 550013
See their website:
for full details. The cost is 8 pounds sterling with full GRO Reference
number. Note that if you give an incorrect GRO reference number you will
not receive a certificate and an administration fee of four pounds, fifty
pence will be charged. Note also that no refund under five pounds will be
issued to an overseas applicant. In effect, therefore, you will have paid 8
pounds for nothing.
(b) You can use a Record Agent to obtain the certificate for you. Many
professional researchers advertise their services in the Family Tree
Magazine (copies at the FHC and in the AFHS library). For faster service
choose one who has an e-mail address. Some dist-gen members (Peter van
Schaik among them) can recommend reliable agents.
* * *
Now for my suggested course of action.
Write to the Register Office where the event was registered. DO NOT quote
the volume and page number (GRO reference number). Be sure to quote the
quarter and year in which you found the entry on the indexes.
Theoretically, they will search for an event for five years but it is much
better to check the indexes first before placing your order.
Check the current address for the Register Office in question at:
Enclose a sterling cheque or money order for seven pounds. This includes
return airmail postage.
There should be no difficulty in obtaining a copy of a birth or death
certificate from the local Register Office. It has been my experience that
local offices give return mail service so you can expect to receive the
certificate in about 3 weeks.
If the event is a marriage the local Register Office needs to have some
idea of the church where the marriage took place. If you do not know the
particular church but know the area where the bride lived before marriage
that would be helpful. This is because in a large city there could be 30 or
more marriage registers and it is too time-consuming for the staff at the
Register Office to look through them all to find your marriage. What they
will do is to look in the register for the mother church of the area, plus
the Register Office's own register. Their register will contain all
non-conformist marriages where a Registrar was required to be present up to
at least 1898, plus all marriages that took place in the Register Office
If for any reason the local Register Office cannot provide a copy of the
event requested they will return your money in full and refer you to the
General Register Office at Southport (this office deals with all postal
If it is necessary to write to Southport you need to quote the full GRO
The cost is eight pounds sterling if you supply the full GRO reference
number. Without the reference number the cost is 11 pounds. The mailing
General Register Office
PO Box 2
Southport, Merseyside, PR8 2JD
Service from Southport is generally slower than from a local Register
I hope this helps.