You can get so much from a single line of text. First, there's the excitement of finally tracking down your ancestor. You can discover basic details about them, as well as attach the official record to their entry in your family tree.
You can also use certain information to discover even more about your family history. For example, if an ancestor was born after 1911, you will find their mother's maiden name - which is essential for tracing her birth and marriage. You will also discover where they were born.
Sample records: [+] Click to magnify
A brief history of the BMD Indexes
The formal registration of births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales began on 1st July 1837 with the introduction of Civil Registration. Before this, each individual parish was responsible for maintaining their own Parish register - so for events before 1837, check our Parish Records.
While Civil Registration was meant to bring all birth, marriage and death information together in one place, it's important to know that registration was only made compulsory by law in 1875. So if you can't find your pre-1875 ancestors here, this could be why.