Step-By- Step

The Gen­eral Regis­ter Of­fice birth in­dex shows moth­ers’ maiden names be­tween 1837 and 1917, al­low­ing re­searchers to iden­tify all chil­dren born to a spe­cific cou­ple – very handy if your ances­tors had a com­mon sur­name

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Visit and click ‘Or­der cer­tifi­cates on­line’, fol­lowed by ‘Search the GRO his­tor­i­cal birth and death in­dexes…’. You must cre­ate a free GRO ac­count if you don’t have one.


Once you have logged in, click ‘Search the GRO In­dexes’ and se­lect the ‘Birth’ check­box. You can only search within a four-year time­frame and by one gen­der at a time.


You will see a list of births match­ing your search, in­clud­ing de­tails of the mother’s maiden name. Click through to or­der a hard copy of the full birth cer­tifi­cate (£9.25), or a PDF (£6).

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