Users' Guide to the Birth Indexes
1. What areas are covered by the indexes?
These records are now held at many separate register offices:
The Registration Districts in Bath have changed considerably since 1837, and very few records are now held at the offices where they were initially registered.
For the purposes of registering births, Bath was divided into dozens of Registrar's Sub-Districts. A full list of the Sub-Districts included in the database so far can be found on the Coverage of the Birth Indexes page, which also shows the years for which the records have been indexed, and the places included within each Sub-District.
Because there are separate sets of records for each Sub-District, the dates covered will vary. But more information will be added to the database as soon as it becomes available, and the latest additions will be noted on the Updates page.
2. What information is contained in the indexes?
From the indexes, you can find out:
(a) The Name of the child, as shown in the registers. If the child's parents were unmarried, and both are named on the certificate, then the child should be indexed under both surnames. Some children had not been given forenames by the time of registration, and are simply recorded as 'Male' or 'Female'. (b) The Year in which the birth was registered. Remember that the year relates to when the child was registered, and that a child born in December 1849 may not have been registered until January or February 1850, for example. (c) The Sub-District where the birth was registered,
which should be the same as where the child was born. There is a list showing the places within each Sub-District. (d) The Register Office in Bath which now holds the records. There have been a large number of boundary changes between districts since the start of registration in 1837, and as a result many records have been moved around. (e) The Registrar's Reference Number for the birth entry, which can be used to order the birth certificate. It is important to note that this is only applicable at the register office which holds the records, and is of no use anywhere else.
Please bear in mind that until recently the main purpose of these indexes was to supply certified copies of entries in registers. They were therefore written to help the registrar find an entry on information supplied by the applicant for the certificate. Consequently, they do not always provide information in an ideal form for family historians.
3. How do I order a birth certificate?
If you find an entry you are interested in, it is possible to order a birth certificate, which is a copy of the full entry from the original register. This normally contains the following information:
- Date and place of birth
- Forename(s) of the child
- Sex of the child
- Name and surname of the father
- Name, surname and maiden name of the mother
- Father's occupation
- The name and address of the person registering the birth
- Date of registration
Applications for certified copies of the birth entries should be made to: