Monday 13 August 2012

GRO - no plans to recommence digitisation

From the Home Office website at

Project update August 2012

Digitisation and indexing of civil registration records in England and Wales was partially completed by 2010. Completing the process would require significant investment and there are no current plans to resume this work. IPS will continue to monitor the scope for future opportunities to digitise all birth, death and marriage records.

In the current issue of Family Tree magazine ( I have written an article where I suggested that a new genealogical north/south divide is now opening up in terms of access to the most basic records necessary for family history research within the United Kingdom. With ScotlandsPeople already long established north of the border, and a Northern Irish equivalent due next year, it is now clear that the English and Welsh GRO will not be following suit, at least for the immediate future. In my piece I stated the following:

"As an Ulsterman living in Scotland, I never thought I would see the day when the English and the Welsh would be treated as second class citizens in their own countries, but in genealogical terms, unless the GRO at Southport gets its act together in the very near future, this is exactly what will happen."

I also pointed out that this does not just affect those with English and Welsh ancestry, for the GRO in Southport also hosts many British overseas records that concern the whole of the UK. Sadly it now seems as if this north/south divide is exactly the way things are moving.

(With thanks to Peter Calver via the latest LostCousins newsletter at


Check out my Scotland's Greatest Story research service
New book: It's Perthshire 1866 - there's been a murder... (from June 12th 2012)

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