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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The General Register Office (GRO) is that part of the government of England and Wales that deals with the civil registration of births (including stillbirths), adoptions, marriages and civil partnerships, and deaths in both England and Wales. (There are equivalent but separate offices for the other parts of the United Kingdom, respectively Scotland and Northern Ireland.)

The GRO was founded in 1836 under an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (6 & 7 Will. IV cap. 86), and civil registration commenced in 1837. Its head is the Registrar General. Probably the most distinguished person associated with the GRO in the nineteenth century, although he was never its head, was William Farr.

In 1972 the GRO became part of the newly created Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS), with the Registrar General in overall charge. Until then it had had several statistical functions, including the conduct of population censuses and the production of annual population estimates. All these were moved elsewhere within the new organisation. The GRO then became just one division within OPCS, headed by a Deputy Registrar General. Then in 1996 the OPCS, and therefore the GRO, became part of the newly created Office for National Statistics, and the office of Registrar General was merged with that of Head of the Government Statistical Service.

The GRO supplies copies of birth, marriage, civil partnership certificates and death certificates, either online, via www.direct.gov.uk/gro or from one of the local register offices that act on behalf of the GRO.

Contents

Becoming part of IPS

On 1 April 2008, the General Register Office for England and Wales (GRO) became a subsidiary of the Identity and Passport Service (IPS). The decision to make the transfer of GRO to IPS was finalised following the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review. As such IPS and the Home Office is the natural home for GRO. The move follows changes to make Office of National Statistics more independent of Government, which means ONS will no longer be responsible for the registration role it currently holds.

Digitisation and Indexing (D&I) Project

A project, called DoVE (Digitisation of Vital Events), to digitise the GRO's records of birth, marriage and death was initiated in 2005. Implementation of the project was outsourced to Siemens IT Solutions and Services in a three-year contract which expired at the end of July 2008. The process of scanning, digitising and indexing suffered severe delays, with only (roughly) half the records delivered by the end of the contract period. By mutual agreement between the IPS and Siemens, the contract was not extended. Digitisation of birth records up to 1934 and death records up to 1957 had been completed when the contract ended.

The records that have been digitised – over 130 million of them – form part of a system (called EAGLE, for "Electronic Access to GRO Legacy Events") which is used within the GRO to fulfil requests for certificates from the general public. A different system, known as MAGPIE ("MultiAccess to GRO Public Index of Events"), was intended to make the indexes available to the public via a website, but this will not now be implemented. Instead, following a lengthy review of options, a new project, called the Digitisation and Indexing (D&I) Project, has been initiated.

The D&I Project will: complete the digitisation of birth, marriage and death records; create an online index to those records; and improve the certificate ordering process. Project costs and timescales cannot be announced by the IPS until they have been agreed with a supplier. Contracts are expected to be awarded in the fourth quarter of 2010. Under the IPS Strategic Supplier Framework, the contract will be awarded to one or more of the suppliers who constitute the ready-made shortlist under the terms of the Framework, viz. IBM, CSC, Thales UK, EDS and Fujitsu. [1]

Smedley Hydro

The GRO is located at Smedley Hydro in Southport, a former Hydropathic Hotel that has since been converted into offices for the GRO and NHS The Information Centre, formally the NHS Central Register.

Registrars General

Source: National Statistics

See also

Notes and references

  1. ^ IPS - Digitisation project updated November 2009

External links

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Genealogy

Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Familypedia

The General Register Office (GRO) is that part of the government of the United Kingdom that deals with the civil registration of births, marriages, Civil Partnerships and deaths in England and Wales. It was founded in 1836, created by an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom (6 & 7 Will. 4 C A P. LXXXVI), and civil registration commenced in 1837. Its head is the Registrar General. The most distinguished person associated with the Office in the nineteenth century, although never its head, was William Farr.

In 1972, the GRO became part of the newly created Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS), with the Registrar General in overall charge. Until then, it had several statistical functions, including the conduct of population censuses and the production of annual population estimates. All these were moved elsewhere in the new organisation. The GRO then became just one division within OPCS, headed by the Deputy Registrar General.

Then in 1996, the OPCS and therefore the GRO became part of the newly created Office for National Statistics, and the office of Registrar General was merged with that of Head of the Government Statistical Service.

There are equivalent offices for Scotland and Northern Ireland. The responsibility of all three general register offices covers the registration of births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, and also that of stillbirths and adoptions.

The General Register Office also supply copies of birth, marriage, civil partnership certificates and death certificates. These copies may be obtained either online, via the Family Records Centre or from a local register office.

See also

External links


This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at General Register Office. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.

This article uses material from the "General Register Office" article on the Genealogy wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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