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The heading of the birth certificate lists the registration district, sub-district if applicable, and the name of the county. If a child was born in a rural area, their birth may have been registered in a registration district some miles from the village. A large registration district has many smaller sub-districts; in the example birth certificate below, Northampton is the registration district whereas All Saints is the sub-district. The number written in the first column on a certificate is the entry number in the register. Although you only obtain one certificate, there are actually 5 entries per register page.

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If twins are born, they will normally share the same entry number, but if they are on consecutive pages, they will have different reference numbers, e. This can sometimes be problematic, however, because if you are searching for a common name like Smith, you may find that there are two entries on the same page that are not actually related to each other at all. The next column on a birth certificate lists the date of birth of the individual and their place of birth. If this was in a town, the street address was sometimes recorded, but if the birth took place in a village, only the village name was usually entered.

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Although you might not think so, one of the most important pieces of information on a certificate that is often overlooked is the address. This is crucial because it may mean you are able to find your ancestor on a census return, especially if you have not found them in a census index, which could lead to you discovering other information about them and their family. If the birth took place in the workhouse, that is normally the address that is given by the master of the workhouse when he registered the birth.

If the child was illegitimate, and the mother lived in a village, she may have journeyed to a town to give birth because of the stigma and shame attached to having an illegitimate child at the time. Please bear in mind that the address given is only the address of where she was living at the time of the birth and may not necessarily be her permanent address.

This column detailed the full name of the child, but in some cases the parents had not yet named them, so this was occasionally entered as male or female. The name a child was given at birth may not be the name they became known as. If the child was baptised as a Christian within 12 months after their birth was registered, the name in the register could be changed to reflect this. If a person has two forenames, it was not uncommon for the person to change their order.

Nora Alice could become known as Alice Nora, or they could drop a name altogether. When my great-grand uncle, James Ernest Hill, had children in and , he was known as James Ernest in and Ernest James in If a child was illegitimate , as was the case for my ancestor William Carrington Baker, you may find that the name given to the child at the time of their birth gives you a clue as to the identity of the father.

Kate was known by the surname of Richardson in later life. This column was where the gender of the child was recorded - until , the certificate stated boy or girl, but after that date, male or female was entered. If the parents decide to give their child an unusual name, it may not always be possible to tell the sex of the child. If the parents were illiterate, and could not tell what was being written in the register, a mistake may have been made at the time of registration.

The father's details were were required to be entered on the certificate when the parents were married to each other, with only one parent signing the register, but if the parents were unmarried, then the father's name and occupation were often left blank, as had been decreed by an Act of Parliament in And it be enacted that the father or mother of every child born in England Some registrars, however, entered the name of the father even when the parents were unmarried. The situation changed in , with the law then stating that 'no putative father is to be allowed to sign an entry in the character of Father'.

The Registration Act of stated that 'the putative father of an illegitimate child cannot be required as father to give information respecting the birth. There are three types of birth products available for newborns:. A Birth Certificate with Parental Information is an extract of information from the original birth registration and contains the following information:. This certificate includes parental information, in addition to the subject's information and is recommended for newborns or children under 16 years of age where parental information is required and can be used for the same identification purposes as a birth certificate with only subject information.

Online Birth / Death certificate

A certified copy of the detailed registration filed after birth, also known as the Statement of Live Birth, contains all registered information about a birth. The copy is endorsed as authentic, printed on legal sized paper, and contains a raised seal for security and verification purposes. As a historical record of the birth, a certified copy contains any changes that have been made to the birth registration including any name changes and corrections to information contained on the birth registration. Given the amount of information contained in a Certified Copy of a Birth Registration it is not recommended to share this document unless expressly required.

The online birth certificate application can be completed quickly and easily once the birth registration section is complete. By using this service, you will not have to fill out a birth certificate application at a later date. As well, you will not have to wait for a confirmation of birth registration before applying for a birth certificate. To apply for a birth certificate, select Option 1 or Option 2.


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Upon completion of the birth certificate application, the application information will be sent to the Office of the Registrar General for processing. Processing will begin after the birth has been registered. Your credit card payment will be processed at the end of your session.

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