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Family records

Family history research is continually growing in popularity as people wish to learn more about their historical relatives and their own family tree.

Civil registration began on the 1 July 1837.  On this date, the process of registering births, deaths and marriages taking place in England and Wales began, however, registration was not enforced until 1875, a law that continues today.  In 2005, civil partnerships were also introduced.

In 1837, England and Wales was split into districts, each with one or more register offices where the registrations took place (called sub-districts).  Whilst there have been many changes as offices and boundaries have moved over the years, essentially this is still the case.  Register offices are responsible for the archiving of their own district's original records and the protection of the registers for the years to come.

The Surrey registration service therefore holds records of every registration of birth, death, marriage and civil partnership that has taken place in the County of Surrey since 1 July 1837.

Whilst it is not possible for you to have access to the original registers held in our archives, you are able to purchase copy certificates of any entry and use the information contained in that entry to further your research.  Once identified and obtained, a registration can give vital information to widen your knowledge of your ancestors and with time, you are able to trace your family history back nearly two hundred years.

The following pages aim to assist you with your research.  Whilst we are experienced in civil registration and can help you with information from our archived records, we also include links to other organisations that may be able to help you with a wider search.

We wish you luck as you discover the history of your family tree!

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  • Updated: 04 Mar 2013
  • Jenny Holland
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