Thursday, 10 November 2011

Modernising Civil Registration

Thanks to Stuart for emailing the following update. The GRO for England and Wales has just posted the following update at, entitling the post Modernising Civil Registration:

The way we register births and deaths, and give notice to marry is being modernised.

Registration online

In March 2006, the General Register Office (GRO) introduced a web-based system that enabled civil partnership to be registered online. This system - Registration Online (RON) - has since been extended to cover birth, death, stillbirth and marriage registration together with the legal preliminaries to marriage and civil partnership.

In a further modernisation initiative, the registrars general for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland launched the disclosure of death registration information scheme in January 2008 ( Following feedback from customers, this scheme was further extended in July 2011 to provide the opportunity for existing customers to obtain death data for England and Wales dating back to January 2007.

GRO is also currently reviewing its options for digitising all birth, death and marriage records dating back to 1837 - details are below.

Digitisation project

The digitisation and indexing project is the project to scan and digitise civil registration records for England and Wales from 1837 to present and create a new online index of events. This project has been in a pause status since September 2010.

Project update November 2011

Around 50% of the birth, death, adoption and marriage records have already been digitised. During the financial year 2011/12 IPS will decide the future plans for the digitisation of its remaining records.

If you have any comments on this page please contact:

Comment: when the new English and Welsh GRO index is eventually completed, will the current indexes on FreeBMD, FindmyPast, Ancestry, The Genealogist and FamilyRelatives become obsolete? One would hope they will allow the two indexes to run in parallel!

UPDATE - I've emailed the GRO to ask them this directly. If and when I get an answer, I will let you know!

FURTHER UPDATE: The GRO has employed the Borg to deal with enquiries:

Dear Mr Paton,

Thank you for your enquiry

Your email has come to the Identity and Passport Adviceline. Please try If you wish to find out information on the General Register Office's service standards, modernisation and other project work this can be found on the IPS Website

Resistance is futile!!!

(Reminds me of that ancient Gaelic idiom which translates to "as useful as a f*rt in a spacesuit"!)


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