Thursday, 30 July 2009

Searchable English and Welsh marriage indexes at Ancestry

I made a quick announcement about this a couple of weeks ago, but here's the formal press release from our friends at Ancestry:

64M UK MARRIAGE RECORDS NOW FULLY SEARCHABLE ONLINE and FreeBMD partner to launch fully indexed General Registers Office marriage indexes

30th July 2009

Just months after launching the fully indexed General Registers Office (GRO) England and Wales birth records,, in partnership with FreeBMD, has made the complete marriage records for England and Wales, 1837 to 2005 available and fully searchable online for the first time.

The 64 million GRO marriage indexes now available on are composed of two separate collections. The first is the 1837 to 1915 marriage index, which was transcribed by FreeBMD, a group of independent volunteers dedicated to transcribing civil registration birth marriage and death records for England and Wales.

The second is the 1916 to 2005 marriage index, which has been transcribed by

Previously, the GRO marriage index was indexed by surname range only. A search would return a list of all pages on which the searched name might appear, referenced by the first and last name on those pages only. Now, every name, marriage date and district in the GRO marriage index is individually searchable and includes:

Year quarter
Name of spouse (from 1916, when the GRO began recording this information)
District (each county in England and Wales was divided up into registration districts)
Page number and FreeBMD are currently working to fully index the GRO death indexes. When complete, more than 250 million individual birth, marriage and death (BMD) records will be fully searchable – only on

As ‘core’ record sets for all family historians, this major enhancement to’s BMD collection will be of significance to all UK family history researchers. Managing Director, Olivier Van Calster comments: “Birth, marriage and death records are among the most important of all historical documents and by making them fully searchable, family historians around the world will now be able to discover even more of their ancestors, and much faster.

“By the end of this year all of our England and Wales birth, marriage and death indexes will be fully searchable, which will be a breakthrough for anyone researching their family history online.”

Keep 'em coming!

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