Gransnet forums


Buying copies of certificates

(29 Posts)
Airedale19 Sat 26-Sep-20 10:05:49

Is it still possible to buy copies of birth, marriage and death certificates these (Covid) days? I’d like to start some research this winter, but I thought I’d be wasting my time if I could not obtain any certificates.

Furret Sat 26-Sep-20 10:30:38

You can download copies online of many documents, parish registers, censuses, etc. but not recent ones. I think they have to be over 100 years old. Other than that you do have to send away for copies of the original certificates you mention.

You can find out a great deal without them though. Good hunting.

PS don’t just believe what some people put in their ancestral trees especially if you find a link. Do check. I was about to accept a suggestion that looked extremely likely, but a closer look revealed that this person would have given birth to my great-great-great grandfather when she was 64!

jusnoneed Sat 26-Sep-20 10:44:16

You can buy paper copies or they now have downloadable pdf's slightly less cost. Order from the website (the cheapest) and not the sites such as Ancestry.
They were taking some time but from what people on FH groups say things are getting back to normal.

Airedale19 Sat 26-Sep-20 12:51:30

I had thought that such services might have dried up, but am glad to hear that things are getting back to normal.

Thanks for all the advice given.

HeyHo Sat 02-Jan-21 20:59:56

I ordered a death certificate from the GRO just before Christmas and it came in just 2 days which I thought was pretty amazing. It was for an ancestor who I last had working as a footman in a fairly large house in Lancashire, but then he died in Kensington, London aged 28. The copy of his death cert gave me more information that I could follow up, including a newspaper article and as my sister said, it is beginning to sound like Mills and Boon !!!

Esspee Sat 02-Jan-21 23:19:52

I started researching my family history less than two months ago after doing a free online course and have been able to get online copies instantly from Scotlandspeople at a very reasonable cost. I now have every line traced back to the early 1800s and am currently working on addresses, employment, where they might have worked etc.

I would wholeheartedly agree with Furret about not copying anyone else's research. Some people put down any rubbish.
I also learned my lesson today on not relying on transcriptions. It was the 1871 census and the transcription listed a large number of people at the address including just the children of my gt,gt, grandparents. I paid for sight of the original document and found the transcription, which I would normally have accepted, was appallingly inaccurate. It has combined several households, misspelled names etc.

I am having so much fun. It's totally engrossing (and highly addictive).

Witzend Sat 02-Jan-21 23:22:05

Dh is very much into his family history and often sends for birth, death, and marriage certificates.

Daisydaisydaisy Tue 27-Apr-21 06:55:38

Hi there.
Pdf are £7.00 if available and paper copies are £11.00.
I'm trying to avoid them for a few weeks atm as costing me a small fortune lol grin

Septimia Tue 27-Apr-21 08:49:13

I agree that there is much that you can learn without certificates, but sometimes getting the appropriate certificate is the only way you can confirm information.

I second the advice about being wary of copying information from other people's trees. Unfortunately mistakes seems to be particularly common when the researcher is American, often because they have no idea of British geography!

sodapop Tue 27-Apr-21 08:55:22

Take care looking for certificates, I was trying to get a copy of my adoption certificate, filled in the required details then came the request for £160.
I left that site quickly and found the right one which charged £23 for the certificate.

Cabbie21 Sat 22-May-21 13:36:27

I have paid for very few certificates, as so much is available online, though often as part of a subscription admittedly.

I am waiting for the 1921 Census to be released next year to fill in a few gaps, then I might consider buying some more certificates where I think they will provide just that extra piece of information to solve a mystery.

Nonogran Sat 22-May-21 13:51:17

Join a local genealogy group. Great fun & lots of good advice about getting certificates etc. It's great fun but quite time consuming.

Fernbergien Sat 10-Jul-21 13:14:57

Do get certificates. Son getting certificates re my convoluted background and am amazed what we have found out. Go for it.

Fernbergien Sat 10-Jul-21 13:20:26

Re looking for adopted people there are agencies that do it. Expensive. Decided to phone my county council. Followed a trail of six phone calls and bingo got right department. Spoke over net. Now they are on trail. Hampshire/Bishops Waltham is our department

Esspee Sat 10-Jul-21 13:22:07

I think some of you are missing the point that you can download the PDF of the certificate for a fraction of the cost of a paper certificate. It is a photographic copy of the entry so perfect for the needs of most people.
I am Scottish and Scotland’s People, the official government records provide a copy instantly for about £1.75 if I remember correctly.

Germanshepherdsmum Sat 10-Jul-21 14:13:00

Espee I agree you can download from Scotland’s People, have used them a lot for my husband’s ancestry. However in England and Wales it’s the General Register Office which provides certificates. A while ago they were offering a quick and cheaper pdf service for some certificates as a pilot, but when I looked again a few months back you only had the opportunity of ordering a paper copy online and waiting for it to come through the post though it didn’t take too long. I hope it’s just a temporary thing due to the pandemic. Certainly don’t order certificates through Ancestry and the like, they charge a great deal more,

Chestnut Wed 04-Aug-21 10:31:42

Ancestry website is brilliant as they have so much online, including in some cases the original marriage entries in the church register, which means you don't need to pay out for a marriage certificate. There are gaps however. They are very poor on Welsh records which are all on Find My Past.
You can build your own tree on Ancestry, but whatever you do, don't take information straight from other people's trees as 50% of them are complete rubbish. Write down the details then check everything yourself to verify the correct family.
In some cases you will have to buy the certificates which are available here:
Marriage certificates are paper copies in the post for £11.00 but birth and death can be ordered as PDF files for £7.00.

Witzend Wed 04-Aug-21 10:34:04

Dh spends ages on family history, and must have bought literally dozens of birth, death, and marriage certificates. Sometimes they come through the door 2 or 3 at a time!

Floradora9 Wed 04-Aug-21 16:26:37

Are you in England ? Scotland you just pay and print off the certificates .

Neen Tue 21-Sep-21 23:14:20

Yes, I recently rang Orkney islands registry office for my nanny's birthday certificate , I paid the fee over the phone and received it a few days later. It didn't quite have all the details but very helpful and we figured it out between us .

Maria59 Tue 21-Sep-21 23:32:40

Can I ask which is the best site for Scottish heritage? Now I am retired I want to make this my winter project.

Oopsadaisy1 Wed 22-Sep-21 09:54:04

DD1 uses Scottish People, it’s expensive though but you can get the certificates to download as you find them, just pay as you go.
Ancestry has info for Scottish people too though and I get a lot of details from there.

Neen Fri 24-Sep-21 00:06:22

Maria59 it depends what your wanting to achieve here. If certificates you ring the registry office if where you think they were born or died and have a rouh year and their name and they find it fir you. Recently found my name's andbdadsbfrom Orkney regisrt office and we're super kind. If it's ancestry then Im a total beginner but have the free subscription on ancestry then paid for my DNA test and the results shew I'm Scottish altho raised English in England and through and through I'm south Ronaldsay in Orkney...interesting stuff to be honest.
Good luck

nanna8 Fri 24-Sep-21 04:27:13

I have been researching our family history for years and years and recently re joined To my absolute delight I found a few extra christenings, marriage certificates and other copies of originals. They seem to have put a lot more online recently. My DNA result had changed a bit, too with more people doing their tests. I seem to become less English and more Scottish and Scandinavian every time they upgrade! So does my husband, he is now around 20 % Scandi. With the Covid lockdowns where we live I’m getting to look more and more like a Viking because no hairdressers are open! ??

Esspee Fri 24-Sep-21 10:02:47

I have found Ancestry absolutely hopeless for Scottish records. Does anyone know why?
Scotland’s people is excellent and very inexpensive compared to other sources.