Births, Marriages and Deaths

Last updated on February 20th, 2024 at 11:42 am

Data about Births, Marriages and Deaths after 1st July 1837 are available nationally. From this date, local registrars recorded all the births, and deaths they were aware of.  For marriages in Church of England, they received transcriptions of marriage certificates issued by clergy and for other churches, they attended the marriage in person. At the end of each quarter, the registrars copied the data they had gathered and sent it to the Registrar General who published national indexes of the records. From this description, you will be able to identify many opportunities for errors so don’t despair if you don’t find the records you are looking for!

West Yorkshire C of E registers can be accessed  on the Ancestry website. Access to the website is free of charge at the Calderdale Libraries and at any other library in the country that subscribes to Ancestry.

Indexes compiled by the Registrar General may be available on microfiche at Halifax Library as well as locations in other towns and cities.

There are other ways of searching the General Register Office index. Online there are data sets produced by volunteers, the best known is FreeBMD and its local counterpart YorksBMD.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has an extensive database of births, marriages and deaths here

For Burials, there is a national project called National Burial Index (NBI.)  This is an index of burials (not deaths!) recorded by churches and cemeteries which has been produced by the Federation of Family History Societies. Volunteers have transcribed the data in registers and considerable effort has gone into checking the accuracy of transcription. However not all area of the UK are covered. The data can be purchased on CD from GENfair