By locating GRO references from FREEBMD.ROOTSWEB.COM, you can use the cross references to determine
which "church" the marriage took place at.
Once you have located the church, you can then locate and view the original marriage certificate at the
To make the data more managable, there is one cross reference per registration district.
The data is held in comma delimited format, so you will need Microsoft Excel (or Similar)
Each cross reference is constructed as follows:-
Year The year the marriages took place
Qtr This will be:
1 for Jan-Feb-Mar
2 for Apr-May-Jun
3 for Jul-Aug-Sep
4 for Oct-Nov-Dec
Start page The page at which marriages for the church start in the qtr
If there are no marriages in the given qtr it will be set to “na”
A blank entry means the data has not yet been gathered
Start page suff The suffix that was appended to the start page (if applicable)
End page The page at which marriages for the church end in the qt
End page suff The suffix that was appended to the end page (if applicable)
Church The name of the church to which the page ranges apply.
Why are suffixes on some of the pages ?
Some of the pages have suffixes, most likely as there were problems when recording the marriages at the GRO.
If for some reason a churches returns were late, the pages ranges that should have been allocated to that church may have been allocated to another church. Rather than simply add them on the end of the range it appears the people responsible for maintaining the index simply inserted them in the “right place” but added suffixes such as “a”, “b” etc.
If a page range starts at 101 and ends at 105, 103a would belong to the associated church.
Important FREEBMD stuff
It should be noted this index was derived by gathering the first and last marriage for each church for each year and quarter, and then the associated GRO index entries found on FREEBMD. In some cases there are obvious errors and omissions on FREEBMD, where these have been detected, corrections have been submitted to FREEBMD, thereby hopefully making it easier to find the right church for the marriages.
FREEBMD is a manual transcription of GRO indexes that are held on paper.
Some of the pages are difficult to read by the volunteers, and in some cases they may have misread the page numbers for the index entries. It is therefore imperative that you double check the scans where possible and verify the page number that is held on FREEBMD. If you fail to do this you may end up thinking you have located the church, only to find the marriage is not there when you check the micro fiche at the BRO.
My page is not in any of the ranges for the year/qtr !
If your page number falls after the end page of the last church in the year/qtr, this implies that either the page number is wrong, or the marriage occurred at a register office, catholic or non conformist place of worship (Baptist church etc)
Whilst the BRO do hold the records for all but the Register office, there are no set ranges for these “churches”, so there is no mileage in indexing them.
In short you can elect to look through all the non conformist or catholic records at the BRO in an attempt to locate the marriage, but you have no guarantee of success (as the marriage may have been at the Register office) but at least you won’t have to trawl through all the Anglican churches!
Coming Soon …
A “sub” part of this indexing project is being undertaken that will list all the “non con” places of marriage (held at the BRO) and identify which registration district the marriages are held in.
This will reduce the number of “non cons” that you will need to search in an attempt to locate a marriage.
Longer term, it is hoped that a spreadsheet of all the non con marriages can be compiled and make available on the web page.