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Source Information

Ancestry.com. England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.
Original data: General Register Office. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England: General Register Office. © Crown copyright. Published by permission of the Controller of HMSO and the Office for National Statistics. You must not copy on, transfer or reproduce records without the prior permission of ONS. Indexes created by the General Register Office, in London, England.

About England & Wales, Death Index, 1916-2007

Country wide civil registration of births, marriages and deaths commenced on 1 July 1837 in England and Wales. Registration took place at local civil registrars who in turn reported to the Registrar General at the General Register Office (GRO) in London. This national index to vital records is an essential source of genealogical information for family historians.

Since the original birth, marriage and death registers are not open to the public, getting access to the information on one of these certificates is done by first searching the national birth, marriage and death indexes, that have been created by the GRO for this purpose. The indexes for the three events are divided into volumes by year following which entries are listed alphabetically. Once an entry in one of the indexes is found, you are then able to use that information to order a copy of a death, marriage or birth certificate from the GRO. Information that can be obtained from the death index includes:

  • Full name of individual
  • Month and year of registration
  • Age at time of death
  • Birth date
  • Registration district (each county in England and Wales was divided up into registration districts. Jurisdictions are organized and appear as they existed at the time the record was created)
  • Inferred county (the county is inferred based on what counties the registration district covered)
  • Volume number
  • Page number

Records provide an Age at Death through 1968, from which a Birth Year is estimated. Records provide a Birth Date from 1969 onward, from which an Age at Death is estimated.

Note: The district listed is the district where the event was registered, not necessarily the location where the event actually occurred.

This database contains the death registers of the civil registration indexes for all years indicated. Images are only available through 1983.

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