Thursday, 17 January 2013

Ancestry adds divorce indexes

Ancestry has added a new collection entitled UK, Civil Divorce Records, 1858-1911. Despite the title I suspect this is actually just records for England and Wales, as the source is given as the National Archives at Kew, but nevertheless useful for those two countries.

I'll have a play tomorrow when I get back home to Scotland (and activate my next Ancestry sub!), but in the meantime you can access the collection at

UPDATE: As suspected, Ancestry has been a bit geographically confused again, and these are indeed records from England and Wales. Audrey Collins gives a good exploration of the collection in her Family Recorder blog - see 

NB: Scottish divorce records are held at the National Records of Scotland - there's a register from 1984 onwards that can be consulted at the ScotlandsPeople Centre, earlier records via the Historic Search Room in the archive search room upstairs. A detailed guide is available at


Pre-order my new book, Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet, through Pen and Sword (30 April 2013), or purchase early at Who Do You Think You Are Live 2013 in London. For my other genealogy books, please visit; whilst for my online Scottish based genealogy courses please visit the Pharos Teaching and Tutoring Ltd site.


  1. What information is contained in these records apart from names?

  2. These are indexes, so name, when registered (either year or year and quarter, dependant on when happened), registration district, volume number and page number. With death indexes you also get age at death. Ordering the certificate will then provide further details. My new book, available at Who Do You Think You Are Live next month, or from April by general release, goes into a lot of detail on how to use the indexes and what to expect from the certs when ordered, as well as details of three separate repositories where you can order the records from - including how to save money if your ancestors come from the north prior to 1922. The FMP indexes are not mentioned (just gone online after book submitted), but the same indexes are also available on FamilySearch (for free) and Ancestry, as outlined in my post. The book can be pre-ordered from - I also have previous posts on the indexes at and


    1. Sorry, Chris - I should have added I am asking about the info in the Divorce records only.



  3. Oh sorry - answered thinking it was Irish indexes you were asking about (sorry, been a long week and brain's not in gear!). John Reid gives a good overview of the English divorce indexes on his blog at which may help

    Off now to drink some coffee! :)