Free BMD

Find Your Ancestor

Free BMD is a site run by volunteers, who are transcribing the indexes to birth, marriage and death certificates for England and Wales. It is the best site to begin your search for BMD certificates for your English and Welsh ancestors from 1837 to around 1912. The site enables you to find a reference number to order a certificate from the General Register Office (GRO).

FreeBMD screenshot

This site is easy to use, and, of course, free. Just click on the picture, and search for your ancestor. Then return here for more information.

Free BMD is an ongoing project. Not all the indexes have been transcribed yet. To see how it is progressing, click here for the Free BMD progress page and select births, marriages or deaths. It’s regularly updated, so do check back. When you find your ancestor, you can check on the actual image from the GRO to ensure there hasn’t been a transcription mistake. Then you can order your certificate.

Not Found Your Ancestor?

  • Have they been mis-transcribed? Try searching more creatively, such as by using wildcards.
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  • Have they not been transcribed yet? In this case, you need to try the actual GRO indexes. The original index was produced in large books. These pages have been photographed and are now available online through several companies. You can view the original images for free by going to this page at freeBMD. Just go to the dropdown menu and choose your options. It can be quite time consuming to search, unless you know the date of the birth, marriage or death.
  • Tip: Ancestry also has a copy of the FreeBMD database, although it is not as up-to-date as on the FreeBMD site. However, searching here is more flexible, particularly for searching for just first names rather than last names. If you think your ancestor may have been mis-transcribed, it’s worth searching on Ancestry’s database, using wild cards etc.