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Births Marriages & Deaths

information and Resources.



So the quarters contain the births registered within them, which is not the same as births which actually occurred within them. The reason for this is there where  legally 42 days within which to register the birth with the district registrar. That meant that a number of  births would have taken place during a month in one quarter  but will be registered in a month in the next quarter. Obviously this is very common for those births which took place within the last month of any quarter. Here is an example, a birth in December might be registered in January or even in February the following year, which means that it will be registered not in the December quarter but in the March quarter of the following year. Usually when you have an exact date of birth, you will find the entry f you are looking for in the same or the next quarter, Like so:

January, February, March births in the March or June quarter

April, May, June births in the June or September quarter

July, August, September births in the September or December quarter

October, November, December births in the December or the following March quarter

Be Aware of late registrations!

Many family trees will have one or more births which were registered late. Therefore If you cannot find the entry you are searching for in the same or next quarter it is advisable to check the two following quarters, in case the birth was registered late, ie outside of the 42 day rule.

Age Modifications

If, you have  an exact date of birth and you cannot find the entry for a birth you are searching for at or straight after that date then the year should be viewed with caution. So the date is from a modern -post 1969- death certificate, it could be that the day and month are correct but the year is not. It is possible that a person has changed their age ie when declaring their age at their marriage. It is advisable to try checking a year or two either side of the known or recorded date, beginning with the same quarters.

Spelling Variations

You may wish to consider spelling variations, either those genuinely in use by the family, or those mistakenly spelt  by registrars or by those copying them or preparing the indexes.


Searching for  birth records.

Churches in England & Wales have been keeping records of  baptisms, marriages and deaths at parish level for hundreds of years, but civil registration and record keeping  of all births, marriages and deaths did not start until July 1837. At the time, the legal jurisdiction of England & Wales was divided, for registration, into administrative areas known as registration districts. Within each registration district a district registrar would be appointed taking responsibility for  recording births, marriages and deaths within that district.

Four times every year, a copy of those district registers was produced for the Registrar General, who collected all registers for England & Wales and collated them into a single countrywide format, arranged in alphabetical order by surname (and then alphabetically by first name within each surname). Therefore indexes to the registers are quarterly as oppose annual in scope – the four quarters are March, June, September and December. Each of these incorporates that month itself and the two preceding months.