What Is A GRO Index Reference?
When ordering a copy of a birth, marriage or death certificate from the General Register Office, you will be asked to provide a GRO index reference, if known. This information is provided when you search civil registration records on subscription sites or freebmd.org.uk, and consists of the year and quarter of that year when an event was registered, and a reference number that is actually made up of two sets of numbers and letters. The first is a district or volume number – such as 8d for Prestwich – and the second is the page number (such as 283). However, do note that the format of the GRO index reference number has changed over time; more information on this is available from www.gro.gov.uk.
The reference can help when searching GRO records