Catalogue description General Register Office: Foreign Registers and Returns

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Date range

Details of RG 33
Reference: RG 33
Title: General Register Office: Foreign Registers and Returns

The records include births, baptisms, marriages, deaths and burials abroad (but also including Lundy Island, Devon), and on British as well as foreign ships of British subjects, nationals of the colonies, the Commonwealth and countries under British jurisdiction and some foreign nationals.

The series contains original registers, notebooks and copies of entries in registers kept by incumbents of English churches and missions, British embassies, legations and political agents; documents deposited for safe keeping, correspondence and memoranda. The material relates mostly to the nineteenth and twentieth centuries but includes some for the seventeenth century concerning the English congregation at the Hague. It also includes a volume of marriages solemnised on board HM ships, 1842 to 1879, and a volume of events registered by British consuls prior to the Consular Marriages Act of 1849.

There are also two volumes compiled by the Colonial Office noting deaths from enemy action in the Far East, 1941 to 1945, and there is some material relating to protectorates, e.g. Malaya, Palestine, Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Wei Hai Wei.

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Date: 1627-1960

The volume numbers quoted in the RG 43 indexes are former references, which should be converted to current RG 33 piece numbers by reference to the numbers in the former reference field.

Baptismal notices are bound in volumes according to the years of such events, which are not necessarily the years of the related births. Neither is the date of birth always stated on these documents.

Related material:

There are also considerable numbers of other sources of births, marriages and deaths of Britons overseas which are held in other record repositories; in particular the Guildhall and the Society of Genealogists.

The records are indexed in RG 43

Duplicate registers retained by consulates are held in Foreign Office, Division within FO

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

General Register Office, 1836-1970

Physical description: 163 files and volumes
Access conditions: Available in digital format
Immediate source of acquisition:

From 1977 General Register Office

Publication note:

Geoffrey Yeo 'The British Overseas, A Guide to Records of Their Births, Baptisms, Marriages, Deaths and Burials Available in the United Kingdom', London, 2nd edn, 1988.

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