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Family history

We hold records of births, marriages and deaths that have occurred within our registration area since 1 July 1837. 

These records can help you in your research by providing invaluable information that can help you piece together your family history.

Ordering certificates

Online

If your relatives records are held with us, the quickest and cheapest way to get a copy of a certificate is to order online via the Cheshire Births, Marriages and Deaths (Cheshire BMD) website.

The site includes most birth, marriage and death indexes from 1837 to 1950. 

By post

You can write a letter including your name, address and the following details for each certificate you are applying for:

Along with your letter, please include a postal order or cheque payable to Cheshire West and Chester Council and send to:

Chester Register Office
Goldsmith House
Goss Street
Chester, CH1 2BG

In person

You can visit the Register Office in person to complete an application form and make your payment. We cannot guarantee that your certificate will be ready on the same day of your order. You can either collect your certificate from the Register Office or we can post it out to you. Please check our Register Office opening times before visiting us.

Prices

Certificates cost £10 each.

How long will it take?

Generally applications are dealt with in one working day.

What information can be found on a certificate?

As well as the full names of the individuals, you will also find the following information:

Birth certificate: Includes date and place of birth, the name and residence of the mother (and sometimes the mother’s maiden name). The name and occupation of the father may also be shown on the certificate.

Marriage certificate: Includes the full names of the bride and groom and the date and place of marriage. It will normally include their occupations, residences and also the names and occupations of the fathers of both bride and groom. Names of witnesses can also be seen.

Death certificate: Includes the date and place of death, age, occupation, cause of death, as well as the name and relationship of the person who registered.

Resources to help you build your family tree

Family
Try to gather all the information you can from members of your own family. Ask your oldest relatives for details of people’s names, where they were born or died or married, how many children they had, etc.

Collect family memories and documents and ask relatives to identify family members in photographs.

Even if some of this information proves not to be accurate, it can often provide useful clues or pointers in the right direction.

Local Resources

You can access many materials to help with family history research by visiting:

More information