St Catherines House. Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates, Death certificates. Research your family history records worldwide. Adoption and divorce documents. Copies of wills. Click here to see more of what we do.About Us
Our Help files are available to browse through and may be able to assist you with your search. We carry out extensive searches of most Family History Data World WideSee Details
From here you can place an order for a Birth Marriage or Death Certificate. Apostile, Adoption, Certificates also. We can also supply wills and searches of Family History data World Wide.Order Page
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There is a huge body of records available for searching to find an ancestor who was in the Navy. Records exist by rank and by ship, but there is no single index by name to help you locate your ancestor easily..Details
Never was so much owed by so many to so few was a WWII speech made by Winston Churchill on 20 August 1940.
Before there was a standing army, the monarch would authorise members of the nobility to raise groups of men whenever soldiers were needed.Details
Find a will (England and Wales Scotland) Find a will or ‘grant of representation’ for people who died in or after 1858. You can order copies of documents online. Details
Article - What's In a Name? Your Link to the Past
Before surnames 'What is in a name? Very much if the wit of man could find it out.' Whoever penned this well known saying undoubtedly had it right - in England alone there are around 45,000 different surnames - each with a history behind it.
The sources from which names are derived are almost endless: nicknames, physical attributes, counties, trades, heraldic charges, and almost every object known to mankind. Tracing a family tree in practice involves looking at lists of these names - this is how we recognise our ancestors when we find them.
Before the Norman Conquest of Britain, people did not have hereditary surnames: they were known just by a personal name or nickname.
'Many individuals and families have changed their names or adopted an alias at some time in the past'
When communities were small each person was identifiable by a single name, but as the population increased, it gradually became necessary to identify people further - leading to names such as John the butcher, William the short, Henry from Sutton, Mary of the wood, Roger son of Richard. Over time many names became corrupted and their original meaning is now not easily seen.
After 1066, the Norman barons introduced surnames into England, and the practice gradually spread. Initially, the identifying names were changed or dropped at will, but eventually they began to stick and to get passed on. So trades, nicknames, places of origin, and fathers' names became fixed surnames - names such as Fletcher and Smith, Redhead and Swift, Green and Pickering, Wilkins and Johnson. By 1400 most English families, and those from Lowland Scotland, had adopted the use of hereditary surnames.
Most Saxon and early Celtic personal names - names such Oslaf, Oslac, Oswald, Oswin and Osway ('Os' meaning God) - disappeared quite quickly after the Norman invasion. It was not fashionable, and possibly not sensible either, to bear them during those times, so they fell out of use and were not often passed on as surnames. However, some names from before the Norman Conquest survived long enough to be inherited directly as surnames, including the Anglo-Saxon Cobbald (famous-bold).Continue...
Please use these Questions & Answers to assist you in your use of the web site. Before contacting us with a query the answer may be here. The question and answers below are connected with general questions. More detailed information can be obtained by contacting us.
Q. Do you have all the
available birth, marriage, and death records for England & Wales
from 1837 to 2006?.
A. Yes we do, we have a full archive, our experience has shown us that though certain web sites have scanned the data their records in many cases are incomplete. A lot of pages are missing and a lot of data is unreadable that is why we search for you, to ensure you get the correct references. We carry all the records.
Q. What is the St Catherine's
House Index/GRO Index and how do I search it?
A. The St Catherine's House Index or General Register Office Index is the index to 98% of births, marriages, and deaths in England & Wales since July 1837until 2005. The Index contains references which you must use to acquire a birth, marriage or death certificate. It does not contain exact dates, only a reference to the quarter in which the birth, marriage, or death took place. You must have this reference in order to acquire a certificate, there is no other way unless of course you know the date yourself.
Q. How do I obtain my
St Catherine's House Index/GRO Index search results?
A. Details of your search results are sent out by email to the email address you provided when you requested a search.
Q. Can I view the contents
of a birth marriage or death certificate with out purchasing same?
A. You must first obtain a GRO Index reference for the person concerned then you will be able to order a certificate. Please note the GRO Index reference does not contain dates of event only the year and quarter in which the event took place. The register office states that you must purchase a certificate in order to view this data. We do not make these rule
Q. Do you charge to
search the St Catherine's House/GRO Index or other data?
A.Yes we do, a charge of £6.70 GBP is charged for each search we conduct. We give a personal service, where we search all our records for you. Where necessary we also cross reference the results to ensure accuracy.
Q. Can I visit St Catherine's
House and search the records myself?
A. We are a private data archive not open to the public. You can however request us to search the data we hold.
Q. Is the St Catherine's
House/GRO Index the same as the Parish Records?
A. The Parish Records are between 1530 and July 1837, are a very useful record, however they are not of help when trying to acquire a birth, death or marriage certificate, as they were compiled before civil registration became compulsory in July 1837.
Where they are not all the available records from the time period they can assist you in acquiring birth and marriage information prior to the start of civil registration in 1837.
Q. How long does it
take to recover my data for me?
A. From January 2015 your GRO Index, Census & Vital Records searches should be recovered within 24 hours after the day on which they are received. Extensive searches can take up to 48 hours Certificate requests can take up to 28 working days to process
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