Friday, October 13, 2017

Ordering a PDF of English/Welsh Historical Birth and Death Records From the GRO

I read Chris Paton's post "English and Welsh GRO PDF certificate service trial returns" on his The GENES Blog yesterday, and thought I would go through the process.  The cost for a PDF of the record saved online and downloaded (not emailed to the requester) is only £6, using a credit card.

The records available during this three month trial period are:

*  Civil Registration Births, 1837-1916
*  Civil Registration Deaths, 1837-1957

To order records, visit

The site says:

"A PDF is not a certificate and has no “evidential” value, and therefore a certificate is required for official purposes, e.g. applying for a passport, driving licence or giving notice of marriage." 

I don't have a birth record for my great-grandfather, Thomas Richman (later Richmond) who was born in 1848 in Hilperton, Wiltshire to James and Hannah (Rich) Richman.   So I want to order one.

1)  I went to the link above and was shown the screen below:

2)  I clicked on the link to "Search the GRO historical birth and death indexes and order Certificates/PDFs Online."

That took me to the Login page, where I entered my email address and a password:

3)  After registering as an individual on the screen above, I clicked on the "Submit" button and was taken to the "What would you like to do?" page:

4)  I want to order a certificate/PDF, but I know that I need to find the Volume and Page for the birth record I'm seeking, so I clicked on the "Search the GRO Indexes" link.  The "Search the GRO Online Index" page appeared (two screens below):

I entered the information for Thomas Richman, including his name, birth year, and mother's maiden name, and clicked "Submit."  The screen above indicates that there is one record (shaded in Yellow).

5)  I clicked on the red "1" on the "Go to Page" line on the screen above, and the application form appeared with the information from the Index filled in (two screens below):

At the bottom of the page, I clicked on the button for "uploaded to your order page."

6)  I clicked on the "Submit" button and saw the information page about the PDF:

I clicked the box at the bottom of the screen above to confirm that I want the PDF on my order page.

7)  After clicking "Submit" again, I was taken to the "Basket Summary" page, which identified exactly what I was ordering and that it would cost £6.00:

8)  I was done, so I clicked on the "Checkout" button, and was taken to the "Proceed with payment" page:

9)  I clicked on the "Proceed with payment" button and used a credit card to pay for the order.  

10)  After paying for the order, I was taken to the "Order complete" page which summarized what I had ordered

11) I received an email with the order information, and a link to view my order.

The screen above indicates a "Despatch Date" of 19 October 2017.

I will report again when I receive the PDF.

12)  This was fairly easy to navigate, and the process is logical, but there was a lot of clicking involved!  The font size on the screens is small, I bumped it up a bit to 125% at times so I could read it easily.  

13)  Do you need to order a GRO record for an English or Welsh birth or death?  This is a good opportunity to do so at a reasonable price.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Sue Barry said...

So it isn’t an immediate download, or access. I wondered about it and will look forward to see how timely the delivery is, and the quality of the pdf. The price is great.... I need to order several certificates, but wanted to wait to see how well it works before ordering, thanks Randy!

FamilyFilmFabricFood said...

Thanks for your detailed order process. I ordered a death record the following day, Saturday, Oct. 14. I just received my copy this morning, Thursday, Oct 19. It was easy to download and save to my genealogy folder. I will blog about this soon. Good job, Randy, for inspiring me and others on how to get British records easily online.