Friday, February 23, 2007

England & Wales: Internet Access to Birth, Marriage & Deaths

Special thanks to Geoff Riggs, Chairman, Federation of Family History Societies for bringing the topic to my attention through a FHNet mailing list at Yahoo:

Internet access to GRO indexes
"The Office for National Statistics (ONS) today announced that facilities to search indexes of births, marriages and deaths will start to be available on the Internet from early 2008.
The electronic index for the majority of birth registrations and deaths registrations from 1837 to 1958 is expected to be available by early 2008, providing an option for the public to trace an index reference online and request the certificate at the same time without the need to visit a central facility.

ONS intends to close its public search facility, currently located at the Family Records Centre (FRC) in Islington in early 2008 and make index information available at The National Archives (TNA) in Kew. This will enable researchers to access GRO records as well as making use of the wider opportunities offered by Kew for researching historic records.

Searches for all other GRO records which have not yet been datacaptured will still need the manual index books or microfiche, and for a short time these will be available at Kew. They will be withdrawn when the equivalent electronic index is made available.

The relocation is expected to be complete by April 2008. The services currently provided by ONS in Islington will then cease. For more information download the ONS press release (pdf , 61k)"


So, DearREADERS, such action will greatly facilitate family history research. Would that all governments would view digital resources as a method of making available such public documents.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
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