Search British nationals born overseas 1818-2005
About the British nationals born overseas records
These records provide details of births of British citizens that have taken place abroad between 1818 and 2005.
If you have a relative or ancestor who was born overseas, but was still classed as a British citizen at the time of the birth, then it is quite possible that the British Consul or the UK High Commission in the relevant jurisdiction would have been notified of the birth, allowing you to find their record within the GRO's Consular indices.
There are, however, some caveats to this - find out more here.
When you search these records, 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.
Please bear in mind the following information when searching these records:
- The maiden last name is not in all the original records. When you search using the maiden last name, your search will return all the results where either the maiden last name matches or there is no maiden last name.
- Where a place has not been assigned to 'region', it will be returned in all results where a region is selected. For example, selecting Channel Islands as a region will produce genuine Channel Islands results plus any entries where the place is unassigned.
Find out more
Find out more about these records in our knowledge base.
Can't find who you're looking for? Click the 'search tips' link above for helpful advice on searching these 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 and year (or year range) in which the birth was registered
- Mother's maiden name for births recorded between 1966 and 2005
- General Register Office reference number 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 'region' 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*.