Search for or list unwanted BMD certificates and other family tree documents

FREE Access to 1911 Census – Limited time only!

August 16th, 2012

If you could only search one record collection before becoming an member, which one would it be? Most of you would choose the 1911 Census which is why they’ve made it completely free for a limited time!

The 1911 Census is the largest and most recent of the available England & Wales census collections and the perfect place to start discovering your family’s past. Like all UK censuses it reveals your relatives’ addresses and occupations, but it also includes extra information like how long couples had been married and how many children they had had.

Plus, each household has its own page in the census, written in your ancestors’ original handwriting. The team has created a special interactive viewer to bring these records to life like never before.

Most of you will have grandparents or even parents that were alive in 1911, so try searching for them first. Just type in a name, have a guess at where they lived and when they were born, and see what you can discover.

Search now!

Price changes for ordering BMD certificates

March 4th, 2010

New charges for people ordering birth, marriage and death certificates have been announced by Registrar General James Hall.

From Tuesday 6  April 2010 the eight separate fees currently charged by the General Register Office (GRO) for ordering a certificate will be reduced to two – one for standard orders and one for the priority service.

The changes – the first for the GRO since 2003 – will ensure that the costs of providing the service are recovered from fees and not subsidised by the taxpayer.

Mr Hall said:

“The General Register Office receives more than two million certificate orders every year, the vast majority of which, over 90 per cent, are ordered online.

“This is our first change to fees since 2003 and we believe that the new fee structure will be simpler to use for our customers.

GRO certificate services are self-financing and costs must be recovered to ensure taxpayers do not subsidise them. This is a responsibility we take extremely seriously.

“We will continue to play our part in keeping costs as low as possible  by bringing in technological efficiencies and improvements.”

The cost of ordering certificates online with a GRO reference number, using the standard service, will rise from £7.00 to £9.25. A number of other charges, however, will fall to this new standard fee, including those for certificates where customers do not know the reference number.

Three of the four priority overnight service charges will also fall to a flat fee of £23.40.

The Registrar General has also announced new fees to be charged by the Local Registration Service throughout England and Wales for issuing copies of certificates, and officiating at weddings and civil partnerships for those who are housebound or detained.

The charge for registering marriages at registered buildings – those buildings that are registered for the solemnization of religious marriages other than Anglican churches – has also been changed.

These new fees, which also come into effect on 6 April, reflect the actual cost of providing the services and follows a review undertaken by local authorities together with the GRO.

For more information on GRO services and to order certificates online go to

Gretna Green Marriage Registers

December 2nd, 2009

Gretna Green became the destination for eloping young lovers following the introduction of Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act of 1753. The law in England was changed so that anyone under the age of 21 had to have the consent of guardians or parents. There was no lower age limit but the marriage had to be celebrated in church, entered in the parish register and signed by both parties.

In Scotland, the minimum age limit had remained 16, so many young couples from England headed north for their weddings. As Gretna Green was on the London to Edinburgh stagecoach route and was the first stopping point across the border, many couples decided to marry there – often only just getting through the ceremony before their pursuers arrived.

The Gretna Green registers are not just simply a record of marriage but provide a view of forbidden love. Young couples who wanted to be together against all the odds. You can now search these registers at Ancestry.

190,000 Welsh Wills Online – Free to View

November 3rd, 2009

Over 190,000 Welsh wills (some 800,000 pages) have been digitised and are now available on the The National Library of Wales website and can be searched on their online catalogue and are free to view.

The National Library of Wales in Aberystwyth said the wills dated from the 14th Century until 1858, when civil probate was introduced, and 1,000 of them were written in Welsh.

There is a BBC report here about the 5 year project.

New transcription of 1901 census

August 12th, 2009

A brand new transcription of the 1901 census, complete with newly scanned high-quality images, is available on They’ve just added the final 24 counties and other UK territories – which comprise over 5.6 million new records – so you can now search the census in full.

Search the complete 1901 census for England and Wales now

Although the 1901 census has been available for some time, they’re confident our new transcription is the most accurate online and will reveal many individuals whose names have been wrongly transcribed by other websites. And to make sure that they meet their commitment to providing you with the best quality images, all of the documents have been re-scanned.

If you’re unable to find your family on other versions of the 1901 census, then it’s well worth trying on

The completion of the 1901 census brings a step closer to a full set of 1841-1901 England and Wales censuses. The 1851 census – the only remaining incomplete census – will be available in full within the next few months, and a full set of high-quality 1881 census images will be added to the transcriptions already available.

Free Public Access to More Than One Billion Family History Records

August 11th, 2009

The following announcement was written by Opens Site Allowing for Free Public Access to More Than One Billion Family History Records

With the addition of the largest number of records to be released in a single day since the site launched in 2006

PROVO, UT, August 11, 2009 –, an online family history resource, today announced the addition of the largest number of records to be released in a single day since the site launched in 2006. To commemorate this milestone, for the first time WorldVitalRecords is offering free public access to its entire online collection of historical and genealogical records beginning August 11 and continuing through August 13, 2009. The public will have unlimited access to more than one billion records in over 11,000 databases from around the world including newspapers, census, birth, marriage, death, immigration and military records; family trees; stories and publications; and yearbooks.

“As a genealogy enthusiast, I’m thrilled that people can go to one place like, try family history research for free and find their parents or grandparents, and see how simple it is to start tracing back and discovering stories that bring family history to life,” said Jim Ericson, Vice-President of Marketing for Family Link. “This is a rare opportunity to delve into the records and discover information about your family and ancestors you may have never known.”

Featured records in this release include:

Historical Newspapers
Through a partnership with Newspaper Archive, WorldVitalRecords is adding access to pages from a variety of newspapers from all over the United States, dating from 1759 through 1923. This collection features images of entire newspapers from the western frontier, the Midwest at the turn of the century, and the long-time standard of our nation’s news, “The New York Times” which includes over 7 million names. Newspaper Archive produces the largest historical newspaper database online, and the collection is fully searchable by keyword and date, and individual pages can be saved or printed.
According to Gena Philibert Ortega, Genealogy Community Director for FamilyLink, “Part of the fun of family history is uncovering details about our ancestors’ daily lives — the events of the day, the goods and the services they bought. Newspapers allow us to better understand our ancestors.”

Immigration Records
Living in a country of immigrants, ship passenger lists and other records documenting immigration can be an essential part in learning more about your family history. It is a thrilling experience to see their names transcribed on paper the day they entered this country through the Port of New York. Browsing and searching these passenger lists is a perfect way for someone to start researching their family history. This record collection provides documentation of over 150,000 passengers who arrived on nearly 8,000 ships at one of the busiest ports in the United States, New York, from 1820-1832.

In partnership with the website, WorldVitalRecords is doubling its collection of digitized yearbooks. This collection features university yearbooks from the late 1800 to mid 1950s. houses the largest collection of old college yearbooks on the Internet. Universities featured this week include Duke University, University of Oklahoma, Iowa State and the College of William and Mary.

Vital Records, Military Records and Tax Lists
Other records being released on the site include birth, marriage, tax lists, military records, and death records from Maine, North Carolina, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Focused on helping users discover and share their family history, WorldVitalRecords adds new records to their online collection everyday.

About is simplifying family history research by providing many easy-to-use tools and resources to discover and connect with others interested in family history. WorldVitalRecords provides access to more than one billion international and U.S. records provides affordable access to genealogy databases and family history tools used by more than 258,000 monthly visitors. The site registers 3.6 million monthly pages views and serves tens of thousands of paying subscribers. With thousands of databases, including birth, death, military, census, and parish records, makes it easy to fill in missing information in your family tree.

WorldVitalRecords is part of the, Inc. network of family-focused interactive properties including, GenealogyWise, WebTree, WorldHistory, and the We’re Related and My Family applications on Facebook.

England & Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892 online

August 5th, 2009

Did any of your ancestors fall foul of the law? If they did, you can learn what fate they suffered with the release of this exciting new collection of Criminal Registers at Ancestry UK, which lifts the lid on the British legal system from nearly 300 years ago.

Featuring over 500,000 names, the collection is a treasure trove of information for family historians. You can see information on charges, trial results, sentences or acquittals, dates of execution – and in some cases, personal details about individual prisoners.

Rough justice

Start searching the England and Wales, Criminal Registers, 1791-1892 and you’ll gain an amazing insight into a time when justice was swift – and harsh. Men, women and children were all sentenced; people were deported to Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and condemned to lives of hard labour in appalling conditions.

The death penalty could be handed down for more than 200 separate offences – many simple ‘crimes of poverty’ or what are very minor offences by today’s standards. Examples include:

  • stealing livestock
  • cutting down trees
  • pickpocketing goods worth more than one shilling
  • being out at night with a blackened face
  • stealing from a rabbit warren

The release of this collection marks the completion of the first UK chapter of the Ancestry World Archives Project – our commitment to help preserve the world’s historical archives and make them available online (you can read more about the Project here).

The England and Wales Criminal Registers, 1791-1892 is the first UK collection to be indexed by World Archives Project contributors. All 279 bound volumes of the collection were scanned at The National Archives by a dedicated team of Ancestry technicians – a task which took 616 man-hours to complete.

Then contributors from the Ancestry Community transcribed the images, so that the collection could be searched online. Those who worked on this and other Project collections got to enjoy a sneak preview of the records they indexed before they become public.

After many thousands more man-hours indexing, the complete collection is now available.

    Free Access to 1911 Census for England & Wales

    July 31st, 2009

    Thousands of people across England and Wales will soon get the opportunity to delve into their family history online for free. The National Archives, in collaboration with UK-based family history website, is providing seven archives and libraries around England and Wales with free access to the recently completed online records of the 1911 census.

    The census, available at, provides a snapshot of life in the early 20th century, showing the name, age, place of birth, marital status and occupation of every resident in every home, as well as their relationship to the head of the household.

    Oliver Morley, Director of Customer and Business Development at The National Archives, said: “The 1911 census has been hugely popular and we are excited to be able to help family historians across the country benefit from this fantastic resource.

    “Digitising records allows a far greater audience to access them, and that is especially important with records like the census, which are extremely important for genealogists,’he added.

    The seven institutions soon to launch free access to the census records are:

    Before planning a trip, visitors are urged to contact the relevant institution to find out the when the service will be available.

    New records at

    July 7th, 2009

    Last month, added an array of unique collections transcribed by local societies, including Army Deserters (1828-1840), Dorset and Somerset Parish Apprentices and Suffolk Testator and Beneficiary Indices 1847-1857. And, in association with Manchester and Lancashire Family History Society (MLFHS), has published online the missing unfilmed records from the 1851 census for Lancashire.

    British Postal Museum & Archive partners with Ancestry

    July 6th, 2009

    The British Postal Museum & Archive has partnered with to make available the Post Office Appointment books from 1831 to 1960.

    In 1831 the Post Office created centralised employment records by copying the relevant minute numbers, brief details relating to appointment, transfer, dismissal, resignation, retirement or death. Prior to 1831 appointment records were not kept uniformly over the country.

    The records will be fully name searchable and when available will be of real value to all those interested in researching their family history.

    Genes Microsoft Office training courses