Civil registration records are records of birth, marriage and death collected by the government. They are among the most useful primary records for researching a family tree. This guide provides basic information on British Isles civil registration records and how to obtain them.
Please note that for the purpose of this guide, "British Isles" refers to the islands of Britain and Ireland. The Channel Islands and the Isle of Man are not included. The independent country of Ireland is referred to as the "Republic of Ireland" to distinguish it from the entire island of Ireland. "Northern Ireland" refers to the 6 counties in the northern part of Ireland that are a political division of the United Kingdom.
The Vancouver Public Library does have birth, marriage and death records for the British Isles. The library does provide access to electronic indexes of English and Welsh records as well as useful secondary materials on English, Welsh, Irish and Scottish BMD records. Other services and resources available at the VPL, elsewhere in the Lower Mainland and online offer further help in locating these important records. As well, it may be worthwhile to consider hiring a local professional genealogist in England, Wales, Ireland or Scotland. In some cases, this will save you money. England and Wales share the same civil registration system while Scotland, the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland each have separate systems. All British Isles civil BMDrecords since the beginning of registration are open to the public although there may be a delay in the availability of very recent records. Obtaining copies of birth, marriage and death records is a two-step process:
There are multiple references to the following resources in this guide:
The following information applies to Irish BMD registration records for the whole of Ireland until 1921 and for the Republic of Ireland after 1921 as well. See the tab for information on post-1921 BMD registration records for Northern Ireland.
|1845 - Non-Catholic marriages only.|
|1864 - All BMDs, Catholic and non-Catholic.|
|1845-1863 (Protestant only); 1864-1921||1922-1926|
|1845-1863 (non-Catholic only); 1864-1921||1922-1958|
|1864-1913, 1930-1955||NOT AVAILABLE|
|1845-1863 (Protestant only); 1864-1870||NOT AVAILABLE|
For information about locating Northern Irish BMD records for the period prior to 1922, see the tab.