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Finding records of an ancestor's birth, marriage or death

Since 1837, births, marriages and deaths have been registered centrally. We offer access to a number of websites, including Ancestry and Find My Past, which enable searches of the national indexes for England and Wales. They give enough information to enable you to apply for a certificate of birth, marriage or death for an ancestor.

Certificates give a wealth of information which can include addresses, parents' names, occupations, ages and cause of death.

You can get certificates from the local Register Office or the General Register Office.

For information on burials and cremations visit the burial and cremation searches page.

How to trace ancestors before 1837 or if they do not appear in the indexes

If you are tracing ancestors before 1837 or they do not appear to have been registered, there are alternative sources.

We hold registers of baptism, marriage and burial for most of the Anglican parishes of Herefordshire, as well as a few Welsh border parishes. Parish registers are not normally indexed, but in some cases modern transcripts are available.  A full index, compiled by the Herefordshire Family History Society, to all marriages in Herefordshire before 1837 is available in our searchroom. We also hold Bishop's Transcripts for the Diocese of Hereford, which covers Herefordshire, south Shropshire and a few Welsh parishes. These are contemporary copies of registers that were sent annually to the diocesan registrar.

If your ancestor was not an Anglican, you could also try the nonconformist records held at the here. Remember that these are never as complete as the Anglican records.

If you are unsure of the date or location of an event such as a baptism, you could try the Family Search website, which is compiled by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints and is free to use.