General Register Office Indexes
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The GRO Indexes are quarterly alphabetical indexes to the registers
of births, marriages and deaths held by the General Register Office.
They are described more fully in official publications and in introductory
books to family history.
They have been searched for Jeggo references and the results tabulated
on three web pages:
. GRO Births . . GRO
Marriages . . GRO Deaths .
In effect, the indexes were searched for names beginning Jeg.., of which
the commonest is in fact Jeggo, at least until recent decades when immigration
has produced some new ones. In the tabulations, names which could
be related to Jeggo or possible misreadings have usually been included,
while names which are unlikely to be relevant have usually been omitted.
The indexes have not been searched for names beginning Jag.., Jig.. etc..
In a year or two (probably) the sort of searches we have done will become
unnecessary, thanks to FreeBMD.
About the GRO Indexes
The following notes are from the Shropshire Records & Research Centre,
and are based on
P. Saul 'The Family Historian's Enquire Within' (1995), and
A. J. Camp in 'Family Tree Magazine' (March 1999) pp 9 - 10.
If you do not find the information you are looking for this may be for
a number of reasons.
It was not compulsory to register births until 1875. Many births,
particularly of illegitimate children, were not registered in the early
days of civil registration. Some children had not been named by the
time they were registered -- they may be entered in the index as male or
female at the end of the surname entries.
The index is sometimes unreliable because:-
Clergy failed to make copies of marriages regularly each quarter.
Some returns were sent long after they were due.
Some returns were duplicated and were indexed twice.
Some entries were sent in too early and were cancelled by the Registrars
and not indexed.
Some entries were only partially copied (e.g., witnesses omitted from marriage
Registrars failed to check the "due succession of numbers" in the copy
register received. (It is calculated that 50,000 marriage entries
may be missing between 1837 and 1900 for this reason.)
Copying by the clergy assumed that their handwriting would be legible and
their copying accurate. Copies by local registrars sent to the Registrar
General could introduce further errors and misreadings.
Indexing clerks included variant readings in the indexes when they were
unable to read the handwritten copies. In the case of marriages,
if the parties signed their names in a way which was different to the clerk's
entry these were indexed also.
The clerks' indexing was not checked. Fathers were indexed instead
of the parties. Names were mis-indexed (Henry instead of Hannah,
Trench instead of French). Entries on the back of a page were sometimes
In the 1970s some of the manuscript indexes were typed and many errors
were introduced. The originals were destroyed.
Some pages were omitted from the microfiche copy; you can only tell
this has happened by comparing the last name on one frame with the first
name on the next.
From 1866 onwards the indexes were printed but there are gaps in name sequences
pointing to omissions.
is a website dedicated to making the data contained in the GRO indexes
freely available online. Tremendous thanks are due to the thousands
of volunteers who are doing the transcribing, the voluntary organisers,
and the website sponsors. Please visit this wonderful site to find
out all about it. FreeBMD is kindly sponsored by RootsWeb,
and The Bunker.
One thing you can do using FreeBMD that you cannot do using the paper
(or microfiche) indexes is search by date+volume+page. Used for marriages,
this often enables you to narrow down the number of possibilities for the
name of a spouse to two (but sometimes more, eg if there are alternative
spellings). In conjunction with other data, eg census records which
give a wife's Christian name but not her maiden name, it can lead to an
The number of entries on FreeBMD has grown as follows: