For many of us, ordering birth or death certificates in the hope that they are the ‘right’ ones, can be a costly business. Waiting a week or so for them to arrive can also be rather frustrating.

Fortunately the General Register Office now offer an ‘instant access’ service, where you can obtain a copy of a birth certificate or death certificate for only £2.50 each. Birth certificates are available from 1837 – 1922, and death certificates from 1837 – 1957. The certificates are quite pared down, but include all the relevant information. Here’s an example of the type of entry you will receive:

Unfortunately you still have to pay more for marriage certificates, and wait longer, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.