Guidance: Discover your family history

Hm Passport Office

November 15
09:00 2023


The General Register Office (GRO) for England and Wales holds records for all births, marriages and deaths registered in England and Wales from 1 July 1837. These records can help you find more information about your ancestors, your family tree and your family history.

This booklet tells you how to use the GRO when you research your family tree, as well as:

  • the role of the GRO for England and Wales
  • which certificates it can offer you
  • the information you will find on the certificates
  • the information you will need to order the certificates
  • how you can order and pay
  • information about PDF records
Published 28 February 2013
Last updated 15 November 2023 +show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect the extension of years available for death records via online view.

  2. Updated with details of the online view service.

  3. Accessible version of the guide published.

  4. New booklet added.

  5. First published.

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