General Register Office...

Belfast and District Registrars’ offices

The General Register Office (GRO) in Belfast holds the original birth and death registers recorded by the local district registrars for Northern Ireland from 1864.

Marriage registers for Northern Ireland are available from 1922. The following computerised indexes to the civil registers are available:

  • birth indexes – 1864 onwards
  • death indexes – 1864 onwards
  • marriage indexes – 1845 onwards.

Only the indexes are available for public inspection, not the registers themselves. Visits to the GRO to view the indexes have to be arranged in advance. An index search costs £9 for a period not exceeding four hours. This includes four verifications of items found in the indexes, with the option of further verifications at £2 each.

An assisted search service is also provided. This can be a much quicker method of extracting information from the civil registers, especially if a specific location is known, but costs £21 per hour. A full certified copy of a birth, death or marriage certificate costs £10.

The General Register Office is located at:

Oxford House,
49–55 Chichester Street,
Belfast,
BT1 4HL.

Applications for certificates can be made in person, by post, by telephone (028 9025 2000) or online (www.groni.gov.uk).

Searches will be made in the year quoted plus the two years either side unless a wider search is requested. A further fee will be required for each extra five years searched.

Personal applications are processed within three working days; postal or telephone applications are processed within eight working days.

The GRO also holds adopted children registers from 1931 and marine registers of births and deaths on ships at sea from 1922.

Although indexes to civil marriage registers are available at the GRO from 1845, the original registers are located at the District Registrars’ offices of local councils. Applications for marriage certificates can be made directly to them or through the GRO in Belfast (www.groni.gov.uk).

For information on the registration of births, marriages and deaths in Newry and Mourne visit www.newryandmourne.gov.uk/general_council/births_etc.asp.