Coronavirus: Important information
Please read the following information before progressing:
- Death registrations: All death registrations are now over the telephone. You will not be required to attend the register office in person. See our death registration guidance page.
- Marriage and Civil Partnerships: Further to the Prime Minister's announcement on 28 May 2020, there has been no change to the Government's decision to suspend all marriages and civil partnerships until further notice. In England and Wales, legislation does not provide for marriages or civil partnerships to be contracted / formed by telephone, online or by video conference and there are no current plans for this to change. More information will be made available following further government announcements on the Gov.uk marriage and civil partnership website. See our marriage and civil partnerships guidance page.
- Birth registrations: Unfortunately we are not able to carry out any birth registration appointments until further notice. You can make a claim for child benefit or universal credit prior to the birth being registered. The 42 day requirement to register a birth has been relaxed and no action will be taken if you have not registered within that time frame.
- Certificates: We are currently running a limited service and are only able to process copy certificate applications that are essential, such as for legal proceedings, job recruitment etc. You should also note that we can only issue a maximum of five certificates per person. Please do not apply for copy certificates for the purposes of family history research at this time. If you require certificates for other purposes, please contact the General Register Office who should be able to supply certificates for you.
Thank you for your understanding at this difficult time.
If you are researching your family tree and using ancestry or genealogy websites, entries on the online indexes will indicate which district a birth, death or marriage registration has been recorded in. You will be able to purchase a copy certificate from the register office holding the record for that district in order to obtain more information to further your research.
Older indexes will indicate the quarter in which a birth, death or marriage was registered; more recent indexes contain actual dates of the events.
Registration districts in England and Wales have undergone many changes as boundaries and boroughs have changed over the years - depending on the date of the record you are interested in, the same town may have moved from one district to another.
Records we do not hold
It is also important to note that there are some areas that have a postal address of Surrey, but are located outside the boundaries of the county of Surrey and are actually in neighbouring boroughs and you will need to contact them directly. These include addresses in the London boroughs of:
Records we hold
The Surrey Registration Service holds records for the entire county of Surrey, dating back to 1837. Please see details of the registration districts held by the Surrey Registration Service as referenced in online indexes.
Our archives are located at Guildford Register Office. If we do not hold all of the records mentioned, we have indicated which neighbouring offices that you need to contact.
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 family research.
Please see our webpage: Information contained on birth, marriage and death certificates, for more information about our records and tips for finding the correct record.
You can purchase a copy certificate of one of our records online, by telephone or by post.
What information do we need?
It is important that you give us as much information as you can when ordering a certificate. Our older records still involve a manual search in order to locate a particular registration, as records were only entered on computers in 1996.
Please note the references quoted in online indexes do not have any relevance to our records, so you do not need to quote it when you order a certificate.
Our indexes are filed firstly in area, then date and finally by name. So without basic information, we may not be able to find the registration that you require. The most useful information for us is:
- the town or village where the birth, death or marriage took place (or at least the registration district),
- the date or approximate date of the event (even the quarter is helpful), and
- the name(s) of the parties involved.
Please see our webpage: Information contained on birth, marriage and death certificates for more information about our records and tips for finding the correct record.
Other sources of information
To help further your research, information is also available from the following sources:
- The National Archives - is the UK government's official archive.
- General Register Office - is now part of the Identity and Passport Service and is responsible for ensuring the registration of all births, marriages and deaths that have occurred in England and Wales since 1837.
- Surrey History Centre - can help you to discover your family history. The pages contain links to many useful family history societies and resources.
- Surrey Heritage - caring for and promoting our county's rich past.
- Society of Genealogists - a charity offering research material, guidance and support for those interested in family history and the lives of earlier generations.
- Family Search - many branches of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints provide information for personal perusal. These include church records prior to 1837 and access to information from other countries.
If your research takes you outside the county of Surrey or even overseas, the following sources will help you:.
- National Records of Scotland in Edinburgh
- General Register Office for Northern Ireland in Belfast
- General Register office for the Republic of Ireland in Dublin
- Civil Registry of the Isle of Man in Douglas
- Superintendent Registrar of Jersey in St Helier
- Register Office for Guernsey in St Peter Port
- The General Register Office also holds records of some births, deaths and marriages of British Citizens that have occurred overseas and registered with the British consuls, High Commissions, HM Forces, the Civil Aviation Authority and the Registrar General of Shipping and Seaman. Please note, it is not compulsory to notify the General Register Office of every overseas event, so you may have to go to the records of the country concerned to find further information on the entry you are interested in.
Files available to download
- Surrey Registration Service districts (34.0 KB)
Details of the birth, death and marriage registration records held at Guildford Register Office