Birth, marriage and death records
This page contains information about birth, marriage and death records for County Durham and links to online indexes.
- Records at Durham County Record Office
- About civil registration
- Online indexes to birth, marriage and death records
Records at Durham Record Office
What we don’t keep
Durham County Record Office does not keep birth, marriage and death certificates.
These records, produced by the civil registration system established in 1837, are held separately by Durham County Council’s registration service and they are stored in a different location.
Search registrars certificates online.
What we do keep
The Record Office does keep church registers of baptism, marriage and burial, from the sixteenth century to the present day.
Church registers are essential for family research before 1837, and they complement birth, marriage and death certificates after 1837.
Use our church registers database to check what registers we hold.
About civil registration
Civil registration, that is the registration of births, marriages and deaths, was introduced in England and Wales on 1 July 1837.
For the purposes of civil registration England and Wales were divided into registration districts.
There is useful information about registration districts between 1837 and 1974 on the GENUKI website. It includes a list of registration districts and the civil parishes/townships included within their boundaries. The list also includes the names of the districts which currently hold the records.
The Registrar General compiles alphabetical indexes, popularly known as the St. Catherine’s House Indexes, from the information sent to him by superintendent registrars and these indexes cover the whole of England and Wales.
In addition to the national indexes, many local registration services are currently indexing their birth, marriage and death registers and making the indexes available online. Here are the links to indexes covering County Durham:
County of Durham Registration Service
To order copy certificates for the County Durham area see:
- Registrars Certificates online
- Guidance on ordering birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates
- How much does a certificate cost?
All certificate requests and enquiries are processed by the Bishop Auckland Register Office. Details of the office opening hours and location are included on the register offices list.
Registration services covering areas no longer in County Durham
To order copy certificates for areas that were once in County Durham see:
- Darlington Registration Service
- Gateshead Registration Service
- Hartlepool Registration Service
- South Tyneside Registration Service
- Stockton-on-Tees Registration Service
- Sunderland Registration Service
You can apply for copy certificates from the local registration services listed above.
Order copies of birth, marriage and death certificates for England and Wales from the General Register Office (GRO).