About Death Records

A death record is a certificate that states the date and place an individual died. These records are available from 1837 onwards as published by the GRO. You can also order a copy of a death certificate if you need to, which can show you more information about the death.

Death records can be found at BMDindex.co.uk, which you can access via TheGenealogist. 'BMD' stands for Births, Marriages & Deaths records kept by the General Register Office (GRO) of England & Wales, part of the National Office of Statistics (NOS). These records have been kept by law since 1837, detailing every birth, marriage and death recorded in England & Wales since that date.

Information you can find in a Death Record

Information you can find on a death record is as follows:

  • Full Name of deceased
  • Date of Birth (before 1969 the age was recorded, not the DOB)
  • Date of registration
  • Registration district
  • Volume number and Page number

For records before 1837, you will have to look at Burial Records.

Death Certificates

A full death certificate will give you more information about the family, including the date and place of birth or age, which can allow you to trace your ancestors back another generation, as well as finding a birth record for the deceased.

A full death record will give you:

  • Name
  • Date and place of death
  • Date and place of birth (before 1969 a certificate only showed the age of the deceased)
  • Occupation
  • Abode
  • Cause of death
  • The person who gave the information for the death registration

Ordering a Death Certificate

Certificates in England or Wales can be ordered online through the GRO (General Register Office). To order a certificate, simply follow the instructions on the GRO website, supplying the necessary data and a GRO Index reference.

The full reference is usually a volume and page reference or an 'entry number' for later records, given with the year, quarter and district. Events from the last 50 years will require you to supply more information at application stage.

To find the volume and page reference, you can go to BMDindex.co.uk and look up the references you need to be able to order a death certificate.