General Register Office

Indexes of births, marriages and deaths at sea and abroad, 1761-2005

The armed forces records begin in 1761 and include records registered with the General Register Office. The non-military records begin in 1837, when civil registration was established. The indexes do not cover all overseas births, marriages and deaths – some records are lost, other never make it to the General Register Office for other reasons. For any index entry located you can order a certificate (Pounds) from the General Register Office itself.

From 1854 records of births, marriages and deaths at sea had, first, to be recorded in ships’ logs. When the ships next docked at a British port the information from the logs was then recorded by the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen (RGSS). Copies of the RGSS registers were periodically sent to the General Register Office.

Statutory registration of marriages in other countries began in 1849. Marriages were registered in the country where they took place before notification was sent to the General Register Office, so local records of marriages may exist in some countries.

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