Family records

Coronavirus: Important information

Please read the following information before progressing.

Death and stillbirth registrations: All death and stillbirth registrations are now carried out by a telephone appointment. You do not need to attend the register office in person. For more information see our death registration guidance.

Marriage and Civil Partnerships: We are currently dealing with a high volume of ceremony amendments and we aim to respond within six working days. A request for a new ceremony booking can be made from Monday 20 July 2020. We currently have availability for new marriage or civil partnership bookings to take place from September 2020 onwards. Please note that it may take up to ten working days to respond to your new booking enquiry. Please see our marriage and civil partnerships guidance for further details.

Notice of Marriage or Civil Partnership: If you have a marriage or civil partnership booked to take place in the next three months and you are a Surrey resident, you can book your notice appointment at Guildford, Leatherhead or Weybridge Register Offices from Monday 6 July 2020.

Birth registrations: Appointments are now available to book at Guildford, Leatherhead and Weybridge Register Offices. We are looking forward to seeing you but we have a large backlog of births to register, so please bear with us as we try to offer as many appointments as is safely possible. Guildford is now fully booked until 5 October. Leatherhead and Weybridge offices are now fully booked until 18 September. If you are registering a multiple birth, please complete the birth enquiry form and we will assist you in making an appointment.

New parents can register their baby with a GP practice without a birth certificate.

Claims for Child Benefit and Universal Credit can be made before you register the birth. Visit the Child Benefit and Universal Credit pages for details on how to make a claim.

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. We can issue a maximum of five certificates per person. Please do not apply for 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 continued patience and understanding.

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:.

Files available to download