Family Research – English, Scottish and Irish Genealogy

20/12/2003

UK Birth Marriages and Death (UK BMD) website

The excellent UK Birth Marriages and Death (UK BMD) website has had a relaunch with a new look and a mention on BBC Radios 2 Steve Wrights “Website of the day” (29th of August) the UK BMD is going from strength to strength.

In 2000 a joint project between Cheshire’s county’s registration services and family history societies became the first in the country to post their Birth, Marriage and Death records on the Internet to aid family historians in their research.

In the past, most enquiries for copy certificates have involved Registrars manually searching through hand-written indexes . However thank to the wide spreed adoption of computing and internet access and the fantastic work of the registrars and historians involved the indexes to the estimated four million births, marriages and deaths from 1837 to 1950 are being made freely available to family historians throughout the world on the CheshireBMD web-site.

Many counties (although sadly not all) have since taken Cheshires led and the UK BMD website has grown and grown ever since with the simple aim of acting a hub from which all the local BMD websites and resources can be found rapidly.

The FreeBMD site works from the General Register Office (GRO) records, whereas the local BMD sites (the ones linked to from UK BMD) work from the original register office records. Since the start of civil registration in 1837, when a birth, marriage or death occurred, the event has had to be recorded at the local register office. It is from these original records that the local BMD sites work. Every three months, these local records have then been re-transcribed, sent to the GRO where they were copied and re-indexed once again. At each point where data are copied and re-indexed, there is scope for errors and omissions.

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