England & Wales births 1837-2006
You can also browse Birth, Marriage and Death indexes from 1837-1983
About the England & Wales birth records
The fully indexed births make finding your ancestors so much simpler. The old birth indexes were page-indexed rather than name-indexed, meaning that to find your ancestors you had to check through pages of records and see if your ancestor was somewhere on the image.
When you search the fully indexed births, your search results will be in the form of a list of individual names. This means you should be able to tell if your ancestor is in the list just by viewing their name - although we always advise you to double check the original image, especially the volume and page numbers, before you order any certificates.
Here are some of the benefits of the fully indexed births:
- The ability to search for a name and get straight to your ancestor, rather than searching through index pages
- Completely new, high quality images of all the index pages
- A complete 1837-2006 set of records
- Smart search features including name variants, and highlighting of unnamed children (very common in the Victorian period)
- Clever search results to get around the quirks of the records, including the GRO's procedure of initialising second names
- The ability to search by mother's and father's name at the same time to help find those elusive births
The birth, marriage and death records from 1984 onwards were recorded in a computer database only so there is no original image for records post-1984.
Can't find who you're looking for? Click the 'search tips' link above for helpful advice on searching these records.
Do you have Irish ancestors? Search for them in our Irish birth, marriage and death records
How to search the birth records
We only need the last name of an ancestor to start searching these records for you. This is the only required piece of information, everything else is optional.
It's always best to start searching with basic information, like your ancestor's first and last name. If there are too many results, you can refine your search and add more detail.
You can click the 'refine search' button on the search results page to return to this search box and add more information.
If you know the mother's maiden name
It's best to start with basic information, but if you know the maiden name of your ancestor's mother you could use this to narrow down your search results.
You can enter the maiden name in this box:
Findmypast.co.uk will show you records that list the maiden name you've entered, plus any matching records that have no maiden name recorded.
If the child's parents weren't married
Children born outside of marriage were often recorded with their mother's maiden name as a last name, even if they grew up using their father's last name.
You can search for both names at the same time by entering a mother's maiden name in the relevant box and ticking the 'search using maiden name as well as last name' option, as shown below:
Findmypast.co.uk will show you records matching either the last name or the maiden name you've entered.
What a birth record will tell you
- Child's name
- The place, year and quarter in which the birth was registered
- Mother's maiden name for births recorded after July 1911 in England and Wales
- Volume and page numbers that can be used to order a copy of the child's birth certificate
Can't find who you're looking for?
- Try leaving the 'county' field blank. Your ancestor may not have been born in the place you would expect, so you could be excluding relevant results.
- Don't select a year range, or make the year range wider. The year you think your ancestor was born may not be accurate, so you could be excluding relevant results.
- Keep the 'include variants' boxes underneath the name fields ticked. This means your search results will include spelling variations of the names you've entered.
- If your ancestor's name could be easily misspelled, try using a wildcard search. Just use a * symbol in place of a letter or multiple letters. For example, instead of searching for Jennings you could search for Je*ngs or *enning*.