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Consular and Overseas Records of Births/Baptisms, Marriages and Deaths/Burials

Nature of Source

Birth, marriage and death registers of British subjects registered with British Consuls from the year 1849 and High Commissions in foreign and commonwealth countries. Registering an event with the British authorities was entirely voluntary following registration with the local authorities.

Births, marriages and deaths were also recorded by Anglican chaplaincies overseas which were then sent to the Bishop of London who was responsible for all Anglican churches in Europe. These Bishop of London's registry records are available at the Guildhall Library. An event registered in an Anglican church overseas will appear in the General Register Office indexes if the event was attended by the British consul.

Nonconformists may have registered an event at local Protestant or Roman Catholic churches or at the British embassy. The International Memoranda records held at the Guildhall Library contains foreign miscellaneous baptisms, marriages and burial covering the years from 1816 to 1924.

Also see
Civil Registration - Birth, Marriages & Deaths At Sea

Where Found

General Register Office [GRO] (Overseas births, marriages and deaths certificates including Consular and High Commission Returns)
The National Archives (RG 32 to RG 36, General Register Office: Miscellaneous Foreign Returns, 1831-1969)
Guildhall Library (Registers of some Anglican churches overseas including the International Memoranda. From 1816 to 1924 the Bishop of London’s registry maintained a series of volumes, now known as the “International Memoranda”, for the registration of miscellaneous foreign baptisms, marriages and burials)
LDS FamilySearch Centers (Copies of overseas parish registers and consular records)
India Office Collections (The India Office Records houses records from the East India Company, the Board of Control, the India Office and the Burma Office. The Collections holds most of the baptisms, marriages and burials for the British in India (1698-1968) and the career details of the administrators and military personnel employed by the company. Begin by searching the biographical card index of over 250,000 persons compiled by staff members from the mid-1970s onwards but note that the index contains less than 10 per cent of all the available sources. Free training sessions in using India Office Records are organised by the APAC Reference Services team every month)

Period Covered

1716 - Onwards

Further References

Annal, David & Collins, Audrey. Birth, Marriage and Death Records: A Guide for Family Historians: Pen & Sword Books, 2012  
Bevan, Amanda. Tracing your Ancestors in The National Archives: The National Archives, 2006  Buy Now on Amazon
Grundy, Joan. A Dictionary of Medical and Related Terms for the Family Historian: Swansong Publications, 2006  Buy Now on Amazon
Hewson, Eileen. Protestant Marriages Nuwara Eliya Ceylon: Kabristan Archives, 2009  Buy Now on Amazon
Yeo, Geoffrey. The British Overseas: A Guide to Records of their Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths and Burials Available in the United Kingdom: Guildhall Library, 1994  Buy Now on Amazon

Websites

www.gov.uk/government/publications/discover-your-family-history (General Register Office: Discover your family history. This booklet tells you how to use the GRO when you research your family tree and family history
www.gov.uk/government/collections/general-register-office-guides-to-researching-your-family-tree (General Register Office guides to researching your family tree: guide to birth certificates; guide to marriage certificates; guide to death certificates)
www.gov.uk/research-family-history (Research your family history using the General Register Office)
www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/most_customers_want_to_know.asp#FamilyHistory (GRO Guide: Most customers want to know)
http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/overseas-births-marriages-and-deaths-records-in-the-national-archives (The National Archives Media: Overseas births, marriages and deaths: records in The National Archives)
http://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/tracing-births-and-deaths-at-sea (The National Archives Media: Tracing births and deaths at sea)
http://yourarchives.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php?title=Overseas_Births,_Marriages_and_Deaths (TNA Your Archives Guide: Overseas Births, Marriages and Deaths)
www.sog.org.uk/events/pdf/WDYTYAL_2010_The_British_Overseas_Handout.pdf (Sources for the British Overseas in the SoG Library, TNA, Guildhall & elsewhere, by Else Churchill)
www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/British_Births,_Marriages_and_Deaths_Overseas (FamilySearch Research Wiki: British Births, Marriages and Deaths Overseas)
www.direct.gov.uk/prod_consum_dg/groups/dg_digitalassets/@dg/@en/documents/digitalasset/dg_186584.pdf (Getting the most from the General Register Office: Discover your family history)
www.gov.uk/research-family-history-general-register-office (Research your family history using the General Register Office)
www.collectionsgateway.org.uk/collections/97/grooverseas.pdf (General Register Office Overseas & Military Indexes)
www.history.ac.uk/gh/overseas.htm (Guildhall Library Leaflet Guides to Records: Births, Marriages and Deaths Overseas)
www.findmypast.co.uk/helpadvice/knowledge-base/overseas-military/records.jsp (Consular records)
www.bbc.co.uk/history/familyhistory/next_steps/int_06_british_overseas_01.shtml (The British Overseas, by Else Churchill)

Online Databases

Familysearch.org (Historical Record Collections: Transcripts of baptisms, marriages and deaths extracted from Anglican parish registers and non-parochial/nonconformist registers. The site incorporates the data formerly known as the International Genealogical Index and also data formerly sold on CD as the British Isles Vital Records Index.The former Ancestral File and Pedigree Resource File can be found under the heading of 'Family Trees')
www.familysearch.org (United Kingdom, Maritime Births, Marriages, and Deaths, 1787-1933. Transcribed index with images available at findmypast UK)
www.familyrelatives.com (Consular births, marriages and deaths registered by British Consuls)
www.findmypast.co.uk (Consular of births, marriages and deaths of British citizens; Overseas marriages, supplied by Cliff Web)
BMD Registers (Miscellaneous Foreign Marriage Returns extracted from TNA series RG 34, 1826-1921 including registers kept by British embassies, British churches abroad and marriages of British soldiers during and after WWI; Registers of overseas birth, marriage, death and burial of British subjects including those onboard ships extracted from RG 33, 1627 to 1960; Data from TNA series RG 32 which has overseas births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials issued by foreign registration authorities and copied into English, 1831-1969; Foreign Marriage Returns RG 3 and RG 4, 1826-1921; Registers and Returns of Births, Marriages and Deaths in the Protectorates of Africa and Asia RG 36, 1895-1965; Miscellaneous Foreign Death Returns RG 35, 1791-1921)
www.thegenealogist.co.uk (Consular Births, Marriages and Deaths; Foreign Registers & Returns 1627-1960 extracted from TNA series RG 33 containing overseas birth, marriage, death and burial of British subjects including those onboard ships; Original registers, notebooks and copies of entries in registers kept by incumbents of English churches and missions and, British embassies and legations)
www.ancestry.co.uk
(UK, Foreign and Overseas Registers of British Subjects, 1627-1965. Collection of birth, baptism, marriage, death and burial records from a variety of sources including British consulates and embassies and British and Scottish churches abroad. The collection also includes a number of registers from India and also a significant number of records of deaths of British and allied servicemen in France and Belgium during the First World War)
www.deceasedonline.com
(Deceased Online: Military Burial Records: Digital scans of burial registers from cemeteries and burial grounds taken from TNA series ADM 6, ADM 73, ADM 305 and WO 156 and covering UK sites as well as overseas sites in Cyprus, Egypt, Malta and Singapore)

CD Roms

S & N Genealogy Supplies (Overseas Births, Marriages and Deaths)