Question about Findmypast results

+8 votes

I've been searching through on findmypast for ancestors born in Leeds. The results I always get though are registration pages with dates based on the quarter in the year. i.e. - born 1 quarter 1916.

Is this the final page of information they have? Or, is there a way to obtain the actual marriage cert, or birth cert? I would hate to order and pay the 9 £ just to find they send me the picture of the register list that I already used credits to see on their website..

in Genealogy Help by Rob Lenihan G2G4 (5.0k points)

4 Answers

+3 votes

This is the same stuff as you will get on FreeBMD.

To obtain certificates go to

and use the info from Findmypast or FreeBMD. It is usually cheaper than ordering via other sites

by anonymous G2G6 Pilot (258k points)
Thanks, I was not aware of FreeBMD.  Saves me money as on findmypast I had to pay credits to view each register page

Though.. I guess it still isn't the actual certificate..
+2 votes
Also you should look in the quarters on both sides of the actual month that your ancestor was listed in BD or M to make sure you have the right ancestor; a summary of the individual will show with connectors to getting the certificate.
by George Churchill G2G6 Mach 8 (87.6k points)
+3 votes

Digression to explain the process.

Births and deaths were registered by local registrars, who each had their own register.  When they were full they were sent to the district Superintendent for safe custody.  Mostly that's where they still are, subject to reorganisation of districts.

Every quarter the registrars had to copy out all their entries onto loose sheets and send them off to the GRO, where they were bound into books and indexed.

The indexes only work for the GRO books. They didn't think to do it in a way that also worked for the local books.  The Superintendents were supposed to index their registers but mostly did it badly.  A lot of them are now reindexing online.

Anglican churches kept two identical registers, both signed at every wedding.  One went to the Superintendent and the other to the Bishop.

Vicars also had to copy out all their entries quarterly for the GRO.

Civil and non-conformist marriages are like births and deaths.  Earlier non-conformist marriages are in the civil books, as a registrar had to attend.

£9 to the GRO gets you the legal certified copy of their copy.  Usually it's produced by some pre-Xerox copying technology, but if the result won't stand up in court, they resort to a typed transcription.  Of course you don't get original signatures either way.

For Leeds you have two alternatives.  The Superintendents are part of the YorksBMD project and have online indexes, eg

They can send copies from their original registers - not sure if you get a photocopy or written out.

Also, Ancestry has scanned images of Anglican baptisms, marriages and burials.  The marriages are the originals belonging to the Bishop.  You need a UK or worldwide sub or pay-per-view, or just ask on here for a lookup.  Ancestry's indexing is terrible, but the YorksBMD marriage indexes work with these registers.  Ancestry don't have civil or non-conformist marriages. 

Baptisms often don't give the mother's maiden name, so you need the birth cert.  But death certs are pretty useless compared to every other country.

For Anglican marriages, Ancestry looks like the best route to get the images and printouts once you've found the entries.



by Living Horace G2G6 Pilot (572k points)
Thank you for that great information!
Also look on FamilySearch for images of Parish Registers, Archdeacon's Transcripts, and Bishop's Transcripts. Some counties are available, some are restricted to a Family History Centre and others just aren't there. Within each county's collection there are always some parishes that are missing.

There are some good image collections on Ancestry as well but you will need a UK or World subscription to see them. Similarly with FindMyPast, some images are there but you need to spend credits or have a subscription to see them.
0 votes
Over the last four/five years I have purchased BMD certificates - have over 100 - regardless of FindMyPast or Ancestry they are the same details.

The information of a certificate provides so much, e.g. birth - where they were born, home/hospital, father's name and occupation, mother's maiden name, any alterations on it eg amended after the registration.

I found the marriage certificates invaluable, in my case I was at a loss for my grandmother - when I saw the names as Witnesses - it pulled all the pieces together (her mother had remarried and her stepfather was the witness).

I have worldwide subscriptions to both FMP and Ancestry.  Though the type of information you are looking for can also be found for free on

Back to your question if you ordered a BMD (birth, marriage, death) certificate you get the actual copy of the original.
by Living Bowling G2G6 Mach 5 (60.0k points)

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