Death, Burial, Cemetery & Obituaries

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Collection Information

Civil registration was introduced in the UK in 1837. For vital record information before the nineteenth century, parish records (primarily baptisms, marriages and burials) are the best source. They can go as far back as 1538.

This category includes civil, church, cemetery, obituary, and other death-related collections. In addition to details about the death, they can contain birth information, family origins, cause of death, and more.

Death records are primary resources for details about the death, since they were typically created relatively near the time of the death. This collection includes indexes that can help you request the actual record, and in some cases, actual images of the death records. Use the information you find in one type of death record to seek out other death-related records.

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  • When a birth, marriage or death is registered, a certificate is filled out and the information is kept on file and added to the summary register, or Index, of all the events. As in books, the Indexes won't tell you everything, but will give you key information, such as names, dates (specifically quarters) and places (the district the event occurred). They also give you all the references you need to discover more - in this case, order a certificate.
  • Once you have found your ancestor's record, make sure you collect all the information about them by ordering a Birth, Marriage or Death certificate (BMD certificate). Our certificate ordering service is fast, easy and convenient to use. Once you have found the record you need on Ancestry.co.uk, simply click on the shopping trolley icon under the heading Order certificate. The order form will be automatically completed with the certificate details and it'll be delivered to you.
  • For any births, marriages or deaths before 1837, you should be searching through the Parish Registers, which you can find in our UK Parish Baptism, Marriage and Burial Records collection.
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