Records of the General Register Office, Government Social Survey Department, and Office of Population Censuses and Surveys. The National Archives, Kew, England.
- General Register Office: Miscellaneous Foreign Returns. Registrar General (RG) 32.
- General Register Office: Foreign Registers and Returns. Registrar General (RG) 33.
- General Register Office: Miscellaneous Foreign Marriage Returns. Registrar General (RG) 34.
- General Register Office: Miscellaneous Foreign Death Returns. Registrar General (RG) 35.
- General Register Office: Registers and Returns of Births, Marriages and Deaths in the Protectorates etc of Africa and Asia. Registrar General (RG) 36.
This is a diverse collection of birth, baptism, marriage, death, and burial records. Most document events in the lives of British subjects, but the records were created, recorded, or held for safekeeping outside of the UK. You’ll find records from more than 30 countries and territories around the world, including Belgium, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Iraq, Japan, Kenya, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, among others.
The records come from a variety of sources. Some are registers were kept by British consulates and embassies or by British and Scottish churches abroad. Others are local records (called 'Lex Loci') kept according to the registration system of the country concerned and are in the local language. Events involving non-British nationals are often included, such as in the registers of the British and American Congregational Church at St Petersburg.
The collection also includes a number of registers from India. They are mostly from the ‘Princely States’, which were independent but in practice were just as much under British rule as the presidencies of Bengal, Madras and Bombay.
There is also a significant number of records of deaths of British and allied servicemen in France and Belgium during the First World War. Not all of these deaths are recorded on the Commonwealth War Graves site, but even where they are, the certificates in this collection usually provide more information.
Information in the records varies by both record type and source, but you may find details such as these:
- date and place of event
- names of parents