Posted in Genealogy
Just about everyone has at least a vague interest in their families past. For many more it is a great hobby that has become a lot more well known recently. The reason for its popularity is in part due to the widely watched television programme that traces the family tree of famous people. It makes fascinating viewing as unexpected facts about their predecessors are uncovered. Another reason is the rise in popularity of the internet. It has made searching for facts a lot easier that having to arrange frequent trips to the records office. Birth certificates UK can help you to start your family tree.
Older relatives whose memories are still good may have lots of information for you, so make sure you ask them first for all the facts that they can remember about relatives who have died. They may have all sorts of anecdotes to tell you about these people as well as knowing where and when they were born. Old people are often keen to talk about the past as for them it may be a reminder of happier times. Ask if you can take notes or even record your conversations. If they have some photos then try to get copies of them, and write who is in them on the back.
The place to go for all the information about births is the General Register Office. The records there go back a long way, and in some cases are as far back as the early nineteenth century. If you need any additional information on marriages and deaths then they have all the records of these events as well. As your research progresses you may well want the marriage and death certificates for you family tree.
Birth certificates will show the newborns given names, the place and time of birth as well as the parents names. It will also show the occupation of the father, and where they lived. This information may help you to start tracing back the previous generation, especially if you can then trace back the marriage certificates of the parents.
It may often prove quite difficult to get a certificate. This could be caused by several things. In the early nineteenth century the registration of a birth was not always completed. It could also be possible that the child was born outside the United Kingdom.
It may have been at a time when not everyone could read and write very well. This fact could have resulted in some unusual spellings, or interpretations by the registrar. In addition the baby’s birth could have been registered before the parents had chosen a name. Many people were unaware of their true age, so the age which was registered on official documents should be taken with a pinch of salt.
The General Register Office also holds records of births of British citizens which took place outside the UK. This includes those born into military families who were serving abroad, as well as those registered at British High Commissions.
Marriage certificates can sometimes confuse the issue if you are trying to trace a child born from that marriage. Its possible that the child may have been born before the couple married. It is equally possible that the couple just lived together as man and wife. In this case it is worth looking for the child under the maiden name of the mother and the surname of the father.
Some people have managed to go back many generations in their family tree, as it is an absorbing hobby. There are lots of websites that carry information online which you may be able to access for a small fee. It is very interesting to find out how birth certificates UK can help you find out about your past.