How do I properly cite a UK birth record or birth certificate?

+4 votes
For a number of my ancestors and their families, I have a paper copy of the birth certificate, or an electronic (PDF) copy of the birth record.  These can be obtained from the UK General Register office.   

How do I correctly cite these?   I have been using a form like this:

<ref name="birthrec">Source: UK General register office, birth record, Jun Q 1865 St Saviour Vol 1d page 24</ref>

Is this correct style?   This example is taken from
WikiTree profile: Frederick Lefever
in Policy and Style by James Youngman G2G Crew (550 points)

3 Answers

+2 votes

Hi James,

On WikiTree I use the citation that FamilySearch creates, such as:

England and Wales, Birth Registration Index, 1837-2008," index, FamilySearch ( : accessed 22 February 2015), Joseph Dobson Welch Ackroyd, 1865; from "England & Wales Births, 1837-2006," index, findmypast ( : 2012); citing Birth Registration, Bradford, Yorkshire, England, citing General Register Office, Southport, England.

which is ok as you can follow the link. In my offline tree  I use:

E&W Birth BMD Q4 1938, Vol 7b Page 678, Repton District, Jane DOE mother nee SMITH

which is enough if you then want to order the full certificate later.

Where I have the certificate (original one or a recent GRO ordered copy), on WikiTree I use: Death Certificate QBDAA 446496 (William Ernest Cook) (and if i remember, the date of the certifiacte, not the event).

Offline, I use:

E&W General Register Office, Birth Certificate BXCH123456 (date of certificate), Jane DOE. I never share an image of ther certificate, but will transcribe the whole thing.

Hope that helps,

by Alison Wilkins G2G6 Mach 2 (29.8k points)

I also add "certificate held by [[Haywood=41|Ros Haywood]]" in case someone really needs to see the pdf/certificate but doesn't have the money to order a copy.  Then they can just ask me! smiley

I wouldn't put the abbreviation E&W. England and Wales needs to be written in full to be meaningful to everybody. As long as you give a name, a date, a place, the event type, cite the repository clearly and give any reference numbers, pages, volume names or numbers that are applicable, you should be good.
I wouldn't put the abbreviation E&W. England and Wales needs to be written in full to be meaningful to everybody. . .


It is written out in full in the example as given.  It is Alison's personal OFFLINE records where the abbreviation E&W is being used. 

Thanks Melanie, the offline stuff goes onto my Roots Magic program and no further. The GRO only deals with England and Wales anyway.
+2 votes

For an actual certificate.I would cite the number of the cert and would transcribe the info ( and put copy in my possession)

Now there is a free official  and revised index on the GRO website, I would use that as the repository for the index  because it has the advantage of including the mother's maiden name. Something like this  (NB they use Le Fever not Lefever; it took me a while to find it)

Le Fever, Frederick

GRO reference 1865, June  quarter, SAINT SAVIOUR SURREY, volume 01d page 24... mothers maiden surname Horne [ GRO index online: free registration required ] accessed 20 Jan 2019

by Helen Ford G2G6 Pilot (314k points)
0 votes
You should always record the repository of the information quoted.
by George Churchill G2G6 Mach 8 (86.5k points)

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