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FAQ Civil Registration and Certificates

Where can I get a certificate for a pre-1837 birth / marriage / death?

You can’t! Certificates for births, marriages and deaths did not exist before the start of civil registration in July 1837.

Can you send me a birth / marriage / death certificate?

No. We cannot supply such certificates. You need to order them either from the General Register Office, or from the local Register Office of the district in which the birth, marriage or death was registered. The FreeBMD website is a good place to start a search for such records. This site also contains details of how to order certificates on this page

His death was registered in 1867 at Chipping Norton (for example), can you look up the burial?

No. It is a common misconception that a birth, marriage or death registered at a town such as Chipping Norton, means that the event actually took place in that town. This is far from the case. Registration districts cover a large area, with each registration district including around 30 parishes, and it is not practical to look up each of these by hand. Moreover the registration districts do not follow county boundaries, so for example the Chipping Norton district includes some parishes in Gloucestershire and Warwickshire, as well as those in Oxfordshire. Had the death been in or before 1851, we could conduct a burial index search but after that date you have no option other than to purchase the certificate.

Where can I find Oxfordshire registration districts?

The GENUKI website includes a list of all the Oxfordshire registration districts, together with lists of places covered by each district.

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