• Do you love Genealogy? Why not write for us? we're looking for volunteers to write articles for Family history. Please contact us for further information.

Birth Certs. before 1837.


Valued Member
I found out today from another website that there were some births registered before the civil registration of 1837. The GRO has Army Records, some of which go back to 1761. If the baby's father was a soldier, the birth was registered. I do not know if this practice applied to all ranks but thought that someone may find this information useful. :)


Valued Member
Wakefield, West Yorkshire
The first requirement for births to be registered was in 1644-
In 1644 an ordinance was passed that
"... and it is further ordained, by the authority aforesaid, that there shall be provided, at the charge of every parish or chappelry in this realm of England and dominion of Wales a fair register-book of velim be kept by the minister and other officers of the church; and that the names of all children baptized, and of their parents, and the time of their birth and baptizing, shall be written and set down by the ministers therein ; and also the names of all persons married there and the time of their marriage ; and also the names of all persons buried in that parish, and the time of their death and burial ; and that said book shall be showed, by such as keep the same, to all persons reasonably desiring to search for the birth, baptizing, marriage, or burial of any person therein registered, and to take a copy or procure a certificate thereof."

At various time between 1644 and 1837 when civil registration commenced Acts of Parliament required births to be registered.
These included-
The Commonwealth directed “parish registers” to be appointed 22 September 1653.
“…that a true and just account might always be kept, of all marriages, and also of the births of children, and deaths of all sorts of persons within the commonwealth;”
In 1695 (7th & 8th William III., cap. 35) a similar enactment was made and also distinct registers were to be kept of children born in the parish and not christened all parents were required to give notice of a birth of a child within 5 days of the birth. A fine of 40 shillings was imposed on parents who omitted to give notice within the five days and a similar penalty was payable by the vicar. The parents were to pay the vicar sixpence to register the birth.

1695 to help finance the war with France.
1696, 1705, and 1783.

Similar threads