The WFHC Birth, Marriage & Death records


Section 1 - short general introduction

Section 2 - summary of contents & links

Section 3 - detailed explanations




This document is the gateway to accessing WFHC files of births, deaths and marriages.  It provides links to individual files, which (with one exception) are MS Excel spreadsheets.


The series of files beginning “GRO B 1837-1911...”, “GRO M 1837-1911...” and “GRO D 1837-1911...” contains a complete extraction of Whitehouses in the GRO indexes for England & Wales, from 1st July 1837 to the end of 1911, originally taken from the paper books that used to be housed at the Family Records Centre in London.  However, the GRO marriage index has been enhanced in two ways:

(a) it contains a high proportion of names of spouses (over 95 percent), dates of marriage and the church or Register Office where the marriage took place; and

(b) it is referenced with WFHC reference numbers and so can be linked to census returns and probates which are also referenced (see CEN EXPLANATIONS and PROB EXPLANATIONS for access to these).


Because they have been annotated with WFHC reference numbers, the marriages here are also an important means of finding whether your Whitehouse line is connected with that of a WFHC correspondent.


In the "GRO M 1837-1911" file, over 83% of the marriages are marked with “f” , “p” or “s”  in the column "Det"  (details).  These symbols indicate that the marriages have been extracted from church registers or certificates and details shown in the separate “GRO M DETAILS" file.  The symbol "f" means full details except for the names of the clergyman and/or registrar and in some instances the number of the marriage in the register; "p" means partial details including the fathers of the parties and the date and place of the marriage; "s" means a smaller amount of detail than "p".  The details taken from church registers are in many ways more authentic than a GRO certificate (which is a mere clerical copy).  The details are downloadable here entirely free of charge and therefore a great way of avoiding paying for a marriage certificate.  Further, they enable searches to be made under the name of the father of either of the parties marrying.


The "GRO D 1837-1911" database has been enhanced and, in a few places, corrected, using the new, online GRO index which gives ages at death from 1837 to 1865 (and beyond).


There are also other spreadsheets of births, deaths and marriages in the British Isles and elsewhere.


Of course, all these Excel spreadsheets are sortable databases and so can be re-arranged in any order of your choice. 






Files relating to the Whitehouse surname

GRO B 1837-1911 200320.xls (GRO England & Wales Births 1837Q3 [starting 1st July] to 1911); 2.76 MB, 19302 rows of entry.

GRO M 1837-1911 220107.xls (GRO England & Wales Marriages 1837Q3 to 1911, with known spouses, churches etc. and WFHC references added)

GRO D 1837-1911 190402.xls  (GRO England & Wales) Deaths 1837Q3 to 1911, with ages at death and full forenames; 10762 rows of entry 

GRO D del-add 190402.xls (deletions & additions to the GRO D 1837-1911 file at the date shown), 17 rows of entry containing 10 deletions and 5 additions

GRO REG DIST KEY 060402.xls (Key to abbreviations used in the names of registration districts and the names adopted in this database to avoid the inconsistencies present in the GRO indexes); 24 kB.

GRO M OTHER NAMES 210313oo.xls (List of all the other surnames in the GRO British Marriages index that have been treated in the GRO M 1837-1911 file on this website as Whitehouse).  These comprise phonetic variants, deviations of spelling, Whitehouses misindexed by the GRO and changes of name other than by marriage)

GRO B OTHER NAMES 150104.xls (List of all the other surnames in the GRO British Births indexes that have been treated in the GRO B 1837-1911 file on this website as Whitehouse.  These comprise phonetic variants, deviations of spelling and Whitehouses misindexed by the GRO); 34 kB 38 rows of entry

DIVORCES 1858-1903 210313.xls (Divorces from the Matrimonial Causes list).  This is a small file containing just 9 entries.  Where possible the relevant marriages have been identified and the WFHC reference numbers provided.


File relating to the Whitehouse forename

GRO M W-SE F-NAMES 210313.xls (GRO England & Wales Marriages 1837Q3 to 1911, with known spouses, churches etc. and WFHC references added); 74 kB, 181 rows of entry.




GRO M DETAILS 211005.xls  (Details of GRO England & Wales Marriages in the Whitehouse surname from 1st July 1837 to 1911.


GRO M DETAILS W-SE F-NAMES 210313.xls (Details of GRO England & Wales Marriages in the Whitehouse forename from 1st July 1837 to 1911


Normalised Occs 140708.xls (List of the principal occupations that not been transcribed exactly as they stand in the certificate, but which have been brought into a standard form for better searching); 30  kB, 59 rows of entry




GRO M ARMY ABRD 1796-1911 070629.xls (GRO England & Wales Marriages of soldiers serving abroad 1796 to 1911: contains one 1830 entry, 5 others 1870-1909); 16 kB, 6 rows of entry.

GRO SCT BDM 130101.xls (GRO Scotland Births, Deaths & Marriages 1855 to 1911, with known spouses and WFHC references added); 81 kB, 357 rows of entry.

M OTHER BRITISH to 1911 210313.xls (GRO Ireland Marriages 1845-1911, GRO Jersey Marriages 1842-1911, Guernsey Marriages 1837-1911 [none found] and two Isle of Man Marriages, one in 1867 and the other in 1909); also, one Consular Marriage, at Calais 43kB, 43 rows of entry.

GRO ISLE OF MAN BIRTHS & DEATHS 1855 -1911 -  there are just 6 indexed entries, all births, so no separate file: see details below in Section 3.5.

AU BIRTHS 171101.xls (Births 1813-1911 extracted from the Australian Vital Records Index, from Official Indexes and other sources); 100 kB, 350 rows of entry

AU DEATHS 171101.xls (Deaths 1832-1911 plus one in 1790 extracted from Official Indexes and other sources); 61 kB, 183 rows of entry

AU MARRIAGES 210313.xls (Marriages 1799-1911 extracted from the Australian Vital Records Index and from Official Indexes, with WFHC references added); 58 kB, 158 rows of entry.

NZ MARRIAGES 210313.xls (Marriages 1852-1911 extracted from the New Zealand Government’s Births, Deaths & Marriages On-line database, with WFHC references added); 38 kB, 48 rows of entry.

M ONTARIO 210313.xls (Marriages 1862-1928, from the Archives of Ontario, Canada, relating to those born in the British Isles, with WFHC references added); 76 kB, 156 rows of entry.

D ONTARIO 210313.xls (Death certificates 1869-1938, from the Archives of Ontario, Canada, relating to those born in the British Isles, with WFHC references added); 32 kB, 44 rows of entry.

US & CANADA M REFS 210313.xls (Referencing file only for US & Canadian marriages from the trees of WFHC correspondents - all dates up to 1911);  140 kB, 420 rows of entry.




PRE-GRO M REFS 210313.xls (Referencing file for marriages from the trees of WFHC correspondents.  It shows WFHC reference numbers against church marriages in England & Wales before 1st July 1837, when civil registration began);  144kB, 751 rows of entry.




While most of these files contain details of baptisms (C), births, burials (I) and marriages (M) before 1st July 1837 when civil registration began in England & Wales, some of the baptism and all the burial files include post-1837 events, as indicated by the dates.  Many begin in 1813 when the registers were required to give more information than previously



The WFHC transcripts are from the parish registers, i.e. the original record, except where otherwise stated.  The date range 1754-1837 shown means 25th March 1754 to 30th June 1837. “Full entry” means all the details except the number (if any) of the marriage in the register and the clergyman.


M W MIDS-SAL 1754-1837 180402.xls (Full entry, with a few exceptions, Shropshire, Staffs, Warwicks & Worcs marriages); 864 kB, 2660 rows of entry.


M FS Deviants 1754-1837 130101.xls (“Family Search” marriages in which the name is not WHITEHOUSE, but another name which is likely to be a deviant version thereof, such as WHITCHOUSE, WHITHOUSE etc.  Covers all counties of England & Wales except Shropshire, Staffs, Warwicks, Worcs, for which see the W MIDS-SAL file above); 18 kB, 16 rows of entry


M Fleet 211231.xls (Clandestine marriages in the Fleet Prison Chapel and elsewhere in London, 1696 to Feb 1854) 35 kB, 30 rows of entry



C B St Mtn 1813-52 120401.xls (Full entry baptisms at Birmingham St Martin); 78 kB, 316 rows of entry containing 169 baptisms.

C Cheslyn Hay Meth 1789-1837 120401 (Precise, new full entry transcript of baptisms of Whitehouses and Broughs at the Cheslyn Hay Methodist church, which in about 1819 affiliated to the Methodist New Connexion); 105 kB.

C DY Churches 1813-61 130804.xls (Full entry baptisms at all Dudley Anglican churches [except 1856-61 St Thomas: incomplete] plus some non-conformist); 187kB, 931 rows of entry.

C DY Non-con 1746-1837 100702.xls (37 baptisms at Dudley’s non-conformist chapels 1747-1837 compiled from the Rollason transcript); 23 kB, 39 rows of entry.

C TP Churches 1813-61 130627.xls (Full entry baptisms at all Tipton Anglican churches [except that a few entries are incomplete or need checking], plus some non-conformist not yet full entry); 128 kB, 652 rows of entry.

C WB Churches 1813-61 180221.xls (Full entry baptisms at all West Bromwich Anglican churches; also includes a few births extracted from post-1837 certificates); 143 kB, 705 rows of entry.

C WY Meth 1805-36 130327.xls (9 baptisms in the Wednesbury Methodist Circuit book); 17.5 kB, 17 rows of entry



I Black Country 1813-61 190402.xls (Full entry burials 1813-61 at many churches, chapels and one cemetery, in South Staffs, North Worcs and the greater Birmingham area); 571kB, 3178 rows of entry).  For more information, see Section 3.13 below.


I CK AREA 1761 onwds 120401.xls (Full entry burials at Cannock St Luke 1761-1876, Great Wyrley St Mark 1845-1887, Norton Canes St James 1813-1907 plus various transcripts made from the cemeteries at Cheslyn Hay and Great Wyrley up to 1996.  Cannock St Luke entries before 1813 are from Bishop’s Transcripts); 126 kB, 559 rows of entry.


DY CEMS 1887-1960 120101.xls (Burials in the Dudley, Brierley Hill, Gornal Wood, Halesowen, Lye/Wollescote

& Stourbridge cemeteries); 48kB, 183 rows of entry. 


BOYD’S LONDON BURIALS - only 7 entries, so no separate file:  see details below in Section 3.13.




CIVIL SERVICE EVIDENCE OF AGE - only 3 entries, so no separate file:  see details below in Section 3.14








Parishes were ordered by Thomas Cromwell to record baptisms, marriages and burials.


Entries in parish registers to be made in a parchment book and previous entries on sheets of paper to be copied into the book (often not done).


Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act came into force on 25th March and applied to England & Wales only.  Marriages had to take place in a Church of England church, except for Jewish & Quaker marriages.  Those under 21 needed parental consent.


Stamp Duty Act of 1783 levied a tax of 3d on baptisms, marriages and burials.  Only paupers were exempt.  Widely hated, the Act was repealed in 1794, but is believed the cause of many apparently missing or late baptisms.


Church registers were required to be kept in standard format.  Address and father’s occupation were required in baptismal registers.


The Marriage Act 1835 made void in law marriages between various closely related parties, which had previously been voidable (that is to say, capable of being declared void by legal action being brought), but not void, under church law.


Civil registration began on 1st July.  Marriages were permitted in non-conformist churches in the presence of a Registrar.  They were recorded officially in the Registrar’s Book.  Only a few such churches kept their own register as well.  Jewish synagogues and Quaker meeting houses were exempt from the requirement and kept their own registers.


GRO volume numbers for Registration Districts changed.


Age at death was recorded in GRO death indexes.  In this year also, the second and subsequent forenames were replaced by an initial, a practice that lasted only for this one year, until it was revived in 1910 (see below).


The 1898 Marriage Act came into force on 1st April, allowing marriages to be performed in non-conformist churches, without a registrar being present, if conducted by an “authorised person”.  Such authorised person marriages were recorded in the church’s own register.


The Deceased Wife’s Sister’s Marriage Act permitted a man to marry his deceased wife’s sister.


From 1st July, the second and subsequent forenames were replaced by initials in the GRO birth, marriage and death indexes.


From 1st July, the mother’s maiden name was recorded in the GRO birth indexes.


The GRO marriage index was cross-referenced with surname of spouse.


The Deceased Brother’s Widow’s Marriage Act permitted a woman to marry her deceased husband’s brother.


Adoption was made a legal process and registers of adopted children began on 1st January.


Registration of still births became compulsory on 1st July.


The Marriages (Prohibited Degrees) Relationship Act 1931 permitted marriages between uncle and niece or aunt and nephew.


New GRO Births & Deaths index, with full forenames, births with maiden surname of mother 1st July 1837-1916 and ages at death 1st July 1837-1957






 “OO” (Original Order) means the original order as it appears in the GRO indexes, subject to additions and deletions from time to time when missing entries are found and those that do not relate to Whitehouses are removed.  A numbering sequence has been used, running right through from 1837 Q3 (the third quarter of 1837, beginning 1st July 1837) when civil registration began, to the end of the WFHC index. This means that if you get into a mess sorting the file, you can always revert to the original order.


"E" means the event (birth or death).  This is useful when you want to create a combined file of births and deaths, for example to find all the WHITEHOUSE, Cecilia names and compare the dates. 


“R Yr” and “Q” show the year and quarter familiar to all genealogists, the quarters beginning on 1st January, March, July and October.  The usual warning applies - events might be registered in the quarter after they occur.   Also, they might not be registered at all, or, if registered, not transmitted to the General Register Office.


“W F’name 1” shows the first forename of the Whitehouse.


“W F’name 2” shows the second and subsequent forenames.  In 1866, second names were reduced to initials, but this retrograde move was abolished the following year, when full second names were again given, until September 1910.  An exception occurred in the printed index books where the first forename was a long one and it was the first entry alphabetically.  Here, the second name was reduced to an initial to save spilling over onto a second line of type.  From 1866, third forenames were reduced to initials.


A feature of the WFHC files is the facility to search by second forename.  This should always be done when an exhaustive search is required.   In some instances, the old GRO indexes contain only the first letter of a forename, particularly a third forename.   This is shown in the WFHC file with no full stop (period) after it.  A search can be made for a third forename by selecting the "W F’name 2" column and putting a space, followed by the first letter of the desired forename, into "Find".  This works because the second forename is not preceded by a space, but the third and fourth are.  To review all third forenames, put a space followed by the wild card "?" into “Find”.  However, the WFHC deaths file has been improved by replacing the initial by the full forename, using the new, online GRO deaths index.


When searching exhaustively, it is advisable to look a little around each forename, as there are occasional weird spellings in the GRO index, for example Jessee, Lynder, Rueben. Try also putting part of the name into "Find".


In the WFHC births and marriages files, the column headed “Nt” is for notes.  In this column, “o” means that the entry will not be found in the GRO index under the name Whitehouse, but under another name; “u” means that the name has been indexed twice, once under Whitehouse and once under another name.  In the WFHC deaths file, this column has been abolished and appropriate notes made in the "Remarks" column.  To find the other name in the WFHC births and marriages files, consult the GRO B OTHER NAMES file & GRO M OTHER NAMES files (links above).  Most are the result of dialect pronunciation, mis-spelling and mis-indexing.  Some reflect changes of name after birth, other than by marriage.   Also included in the GRO OTHER NAMES files are entries in the main WFHC file apparently omitted from the GRO indexes.


In the WFHC deaths file, the “Age” column records the age at death, from 1st July 1837 to 1865 in the new, online GRO index and from 1866 to 1911 in the old official paper GRO index.  In the next column, the calculated year of birth is arrived at by subtracting age at death from year of registration of the death.  Of course, it is only approximate.  The WFHC file is sorted by Whitehouse forename, calculated date of birth and Original Order (OO).  Some will choose to re-sort this, omitting the calculated date of birth.


Ages in the new, online GRO deaths index including ages from 1837 to 1865 were entered with unbelievable stupidity, since the age shown was not necessarily in years.  Thus, no age between 1 and 23 could be relied on: it could be stated in years, months, weeks, days or even, in rare cases, hours.  However, the new index has since been revised to state all the ages in years, reducing ages below 1 year to 0 and ages from 12 to 23 months to 1.  Whether the revision extends to higher ages is not known to me, but it is suspected that all ages incorporating months have been revised to the whole year below.  In this WFHC file the revised ages from 1837 to 1865 have been adopted.  The revision has resulted in the loss of information, chiefly in terms of ages of infants in months, but before then work was done on the WFHC file using the previously entered ages, i.e. those that might be years, months, weeks etc.  A separate column has been established for those previous ages from 1 to 23 which have since been revised to 0 or 1 and has proved useful in correlating some of the West Midlands deaths with the WFHC Black Country burials index, as shown in the Remarks column.  References in the Remarks column to such burials are incomplete, being given by way of example only and do not necessarily contain all the information that appears in the Black Country burials index.


On the other hand, the new, online GRO deaths index does contain full forenames, so advantage has been taken of this feature to include them in the WFHC file, which is particularly valuable when a third forename, previously denoted by an initial, is a family name.


“Reg Dist” shows the Registration District. The clerks made mistakes, misspelling the name of the Registration District.  These have been corrected.  The separate file GRO REG DIST KEY (see link above) shows how misspelt and abbreviated Registration Districts have been treated in the WFHC index.  It also provides guidance as to the whereabouts of some of the more obscure places.


“Vol” refers to the volume number of the Registration District in the original registers.  England & Wales were divided for registration purposes firstly by areas, then by registration districts.  Since the original registers are arranged by the area of the Registration District, this is also the volume number of the register.  In the GRO indexes, the volume/area number is given and the same practice is followed here in the WFHC version.  Strictly, it is unnecessary, so long as the Registration District is given correctly.  Sometimes, regrettably, it is not.  For example, "Richmond" could mean Richmond, Yorkshire in area 9d or Richmond, Surrey in area 2a.  The area numbers help to resolve such ambiguities, although in the WFHC index the registration district is shown correctly.


Sometimes, the area number given in the GRO index is incorrect for the stated Registration District.  Here, it is assumed that it is the number that is at fault and it has been corrected.




There are two marriage details files, the main one relating to the Whitehouse surname and a small one for marriages of those who have Whitehouse as a forename.  The following description refers to the surname file.  The forename file has a similar layout, but does not include any variations of the Whitehouse forename, so there is no column to indicate variants.


The WFHC GRO marriage file for the Whitehouse surname is similar to the births and deaths files, except as mentioned below.


Firstly, the Original Order column is headed “UN” which stands for Universal Number, but the function of the column is the same.  The same Universal Number is used in the Marriage Details file, of which more below.


Secondly, the WFHC GRO marriage file contains additional columns, as follows.


The details column, headed “Det”, shows the marriages for which full (f) or partial (p) details are provided in the M Details file.  “Full” is defined as everything on the marriage certificate except whether the parties and witnesses signed or made their mark and the name of the officiating minister and registrar and sometimes except the church register volume and entry number.  “Partial” means at least the names of the parties marrying, the names of their fathers and the date and place of the marriage.  There are a few other entries in the M Details file that do not qualify as “partial”, but contain some extra information beyond that given in the GRO marriage index.  They are designated “s”, standing for “Some”.


The column headed “Nt is for notes.  As for births, the symbol “o” means that the entry will not be found in the GRO index under the name Whitehouse, but under another name.  In the marriage index, there is an additional symbol, “v”, which means that the marriage ended in divorce, as shown by an identifiable entry in the DIVORCES 1858-1903 file (link above).


A few marriage entries found in the GRO indexes under Whitehouse, but actually relating to another name, have been removed from the WFHC index.   These are as follows.  The asterisked (*) items have yet to be confirmed by inspection of the register entry.



R Yr


W Forename(s)

Reg Dist



Other name












Mary Ann

Portsea I







William James




























Whitten (replacing Whittus variant)




John David
































































Ruth Ann








Emily Eliza M

W Derby















Sarah Ann






In some marriage entries, the bride or groom has been indexed twice, apparently to correct a minor error in the forename.  However, the respective spouse is registered only once, presumably because that forename was correct.


“Sp Surname” and “Sp Forename(s)” give details of the spouse, that is to say the bride or groom who married the Whitehouse groom or bride, respectively.  Up to and including 1911, the GRO marriage indexes are not cross-referenced to show the name of the spouse.   These columns are an attempt to help with this problem.  The spouse names were taken from the International Genealogical Index (IGI), church registers, local BMD indexes, the Guild of One-Name Studies’ marriage index and the personal family histories of correspondents.  ALL THE ENTRIES IN THEM HAVE BEEN CHECKED UNDER THE WHITEHOUSE NAME AND THE SPOUSE NAME FOR A MATCH BY VOLUME AND PAGE NUMBER.  NO UN-MATCHED ENTRIES HAVE BEEN INCLUDED IN THE WFHC INDEX, no matter how strong the other evidence might be.  EQUALLY, NO MATCHES IN THE GRO INDEX HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED FOR THE WFHC INDEX UNLESS THERE IS SOME EVIDENCE THAT THE MARRIAGE TOOK PLACE BETWEEN THE TWO PARTIES.


There are just 6 minor exceptions to the “must match” rule, where the page numbers in the GRO indexes differ by one digit between Whitehouse and spouse, owing to indexing error.  Here, I have worked out which one is correct. 


The WFHC index is firmly based on the GRO indexes, rather than on church registers etc.  Thus, the names given here are as they appear in the GRO indexes, whether they are believed in error or not.  However, where a possibly correct alternative name of a spouse is evident from another source, this is given in square brackets after the name given in the GRO indexes.  This order is always followed.  For example, in 1837 4th quarter, Letitia Whitehouse is recorded in the GRO index as having married Richard Piters.  The church register says Richard Peters, which is far more likely.  The WFHC index records the name as PITERS [PETERS].   It is sensible, therefore, to try “Find” if you do not come upon the surname that you are looking for by other means.  When it comes to the marriage details in the “M Det” file, however, the spouse’s name is given in the correct version only, namely in this example PETERS.


“Date” gives the marriage date in yyyy-mm-dd form:  please be careful when reading them !!   Also, some of them have not been verified.  If the month or day is not known, "mm" or "dd" will appear in the entry.


“Place”  includes churches and Register Offices.  Certificates frequently refer to a marriage as having taken place in the parish church and here the policy has been to name the church dedication.  Church names have been abbreviated and a separate file CHURCH ABBREVIATIONS ...., accessible from the index (home) page shows the full names, but most readers will find them obvious.


Civil marriages (CM) are those which take place before a Registrar, in a Registered Building (RB) or Register Office (RO).  For practical purposes, there is no difference between the designations CM, RB and RO - they all signify a marriage before a Registrar, rather than in an Anglican church.  Until 1899 2nd quarter, when a new Marriage Act came into force, non-Anglican marriages (apart from those of the Jews and Quakers) could only take place with a Registrar present.  These non-Anglican churches and chapels seldom kept registers of marriages before the 1898 Act, the official record being that kept by the Registrar and taken back to the Register Office.  Consequently, many of these civil marriages did not take place in the Register Office, but in a church or chapel.


After the 1898 Act came into force on 1st April 1899, marriages in non-Anglican chapels and churches could take place without the Registrar being present, so long as they took place before an authorised person, in practice the minister, he being authorised by the Registrar for the purpose.  These chapels and churches kept their own registers, but many have not been deposited with an archive.  Also, not all of them took advantage of the 1898 Act immediately.  Thus, it is not always known where a non-Anglican marriage took place, either before or after the 1898 Act.


Marriages designated “RO/NA” mean either Register Office or a non-Anglican church and that it is not known which.  This is also true of some “RO” marriages, since some local indexes do not distinguish between the two.  Generally stated, with the possible exception of Hereford Registration District, if a marriage is shown as “RO”, rather than “RO/NA”, and an exact date is given, it will usually indicate a marriage in a Register Office.  Where an “RO” marriage has an “f” entered in the Det column, that is to say the full details are given in the M Details file, it will certainly have taken place in a Register Office.


“Ref” indicates the WFHC reference of the correspondent(s) in whose family tree this marriage occurs.  This is rather loosely put, as it is subject to in-house indexing rules.  Basically, these require the marriage to be either in the line of descent researched by the correspondent or in a collateral line of descent having a common ancestor with the correspondent’s line.  However, in extensive trees in which there is more than one correspondent and the marriage is not in the line of descent of a collateral of any one particular correspondent, all the correspondents are assigned to that marriage.




There are two marriage details files, the main one relating to the Whitehouse surname and a small one for marriages of those who have Whitehouse as a forename.  The following description refers to the surname file, but the forename file has a similar layout.


The file relating to the Whitehouse surname contains all the essential detail from a marriage certificate except the name of the officiating minister and whether the parties signed their names or made a mark.  They were compiled almost entirely from Anglican church registers, which are the primary source.  Coverage of West Midlands (Warwickshire, Worcestershire & Staffordshire) marriages is 100 percent for all Anglican churches.  All other West Midlands marriages took place in a Register Office (RO) or in a non-Anglican (NA) church.  The church registers for non-Anglican marriages up to 1911 are rarely accessible in local record offices, even when the church’s minister was authorised under the 1898 Marriage Act to conduct marriages.  Many of the non-Anglican registers recording marriages by an authorised person, after the 1898 Act, have not been deposited at a record office.  In practice, therefore, the details of nearly all “RO/NA” marriages can only be obtained from an official certificate.


The  “M Details ....”  file has been put on the website sorted by the same “Universal Number”  as appears in the GRO Marriages file and then by descending G (gender).  Using the “descending” button puts males above females.  They can be re-sorted by, for example, Father’s surname and forename and then by UN.  If desired, they could be further sorted by the father’s occupation, but this is not recommended for most purposes.  Although occupations have been mildly “normalised”, basic descriptions of occupations have not been changed, so, for example, a miner would still have to be searched under “Miner”, “Coal Miner” and “Collier”.  If he worked on the surface, he might be a “Labourer”, “Banksman” or “Boat Loader”.  If he was recorded as deceased, “(d)” appears after the occupation, so “Miner (d)” etc. would also have to be searched.


Referring to the columns of the spreadsheet:

A.  UN is the same Universal Number as used in the WFHC GRO Marriages File.  This is approximately date order, but since the UN follows the alphabetical order of forenames of the GRO Index within each quarter of the year, dates will often be out of chronological order within the quarter.  Where a Whitehouse marries another Whitehouse, each has its separate UN in the GRO Index.  Consequently, to avoid confusion in searching, such marriages give rise to a double entry in the Marriage Details Index, one for each UN.  However, where the GRO Index contains duplicate or near-duplicate entries for the same Whitehouse, the Marriage Details Index shows the entry only once.


B.  Gender has been applied only to the marriage partners, not to the 3rd, 4th etc. witnesses.  Thus, these “extra” witnesses can be removed to the bottom of the spreadsheet when it is sorted first by descending gender.


C & I.  The surname is as given in the marriage register.  Where the name written by the clergyman or Registrar  differs from the name appearing from the signature, the rules applied are as follows.  If it cannot be determined which is likely to be correct, the name written by the clergyman prevails. However, generally, efforts have been made to arrive at the correct name. Thus, in later years of the period, a clear signature is likely to prevail, on the grounds that the party must be presumed to be able to sign his or her own name correctly.  In difficult cases, where the surname is less common, the GRO births index has been used to determine which is correct.


D & J.  Forenames have been minimally “normalised” to correct obvious mistakes and avoid the use of abbreviations such as “Wm” for William.


E.  “Ful” means of full age, that is to say 21 or over.  However, many ages were “stretched” or “shrunk” and the age should not be assumed to be always correct.  “Min” denotes a minor, that is to say under 21.


F.  “Ba” = bachelor, “Sp” spinster, “W” either widow or widower.


G & K.  The “rank or profession” has been minimally “normalised” to make searching easier.  Principally, consistent rules have been applied as to whether an occupation is written as one word or two.  Generally, the most natural way of writing the occupation has been used and in cases of doubt, two words have been preferred to one.  “Man” is normally separate (chief exceptions:  Banksman, Boatman, Coachman, Draughtsman, Tradesman, Watchman, Waterman).  “Maker” is always separate;  “..smith” , “..wright” and “..layer” are always kept as part of the same word, as in Blacksmith, Millwright, Bricklayer etc.  The “d” in parenthesis means that “deceased” or similar has been entered in the register. Absence of “d” does not necessarily mean that the father was alive, since practices varied widely between clergymen.


H.  In the residence column, modern spelling has been used.


L.  Witness surname.  The order in which the witnesses appear in this database is not necessarily the same as the order in the marriage register.  As far as possible, witnesses have been aligned with the groom or bride, so a Whitehouse witness, for example, will appear on the same line of the database as the Whitehouse marrying.  Otherwise, alignment is by gender, with a male witness on the line of the groom and a female one on the line of the bride.


M.  Witness forenames have been normalised to put them into a likely spelling.  The designation “fw” means a frequent witness, presumably a church official.  Since this is often difficult to pick up, absence of “fw” does not necessarily indicate that he or she was not a church official.


N.  Where there are more than two witnesses, each is numbered 1w, 2w, 3w etc.  The Universal Number and the date and Registry Entry Number are applied to each witness, so that the witness can be kept with the correct marriage during sorting operations.  “Lic” denotes a marriage by licence.  “Crt” means a marriage by registrar’s certificate.  The remaining entries are either definitely by banns or without any indication as to whether or not by banns.


O.  As in other WFHC indexes, dates are in yyyy-mm-dd form, to enable them to be sorted as a one-column operation. A few dates with an illegible day of the month have been rendered with “dd” instead of the number of the day.


P.  As in the WFHC GRO Marriage Index, church names have been abbreviated.  As in other indexes, Birmingham has been abbreviated to “B’ham”,  West Bromwich to “W Brom” and Wolverhampton to “W’hampton”.


Q.  The Register Entry Number consists of the volume of the church or Register Office register followed by the entry number.  Thus, 01-025 means the first book of the new form that began on 1st July 1837, entry No. 25.  The volume number as counted from 1st July 1837 does not always correspond with what is written at the beginning of the register, since some churches began to number their books from an earlier date: Birmingham All Saints is an example.  Church registers normally have 500 entries (less any spoilage) and the Registrar’s registers 200.  There are two marriages to every page.  Church register volumes and pages have no simple numerical connection with the volume and page numbering used by the GRO, except that there were 4 marriages to a GRO page up to 1851 and 2 marriages to a GRO page thereafter. Where the volume number has not been noted in the transcript, “xx” has been substituted and where no registry entry number is available “yyy”.




In general, the indexing system used is as far as possible the same as for England & Wales.  The following additional comments apply.  Scottish civil registration began in 1855.  The index provided here is taken mainly from the GRO Scotland computer, but births and deaths for 1902-1911 come from microfilm of the official index books. The database relates to WHITEHOUSE only.  Variants are not covered.  Column A refers to the order on the computer arranged in the order births, deaths and marriages, each of these being sub-divided into two separate sections - males, then females.  Years are not divided into quarters in the Scottish indexes.  Since the GRO Scotland computer used to prepare the index cut the forenames off after 15 characters (including spaces), all entries of 15 characters, except the single entry under "Service returns", have been checked for completeness against a microfilm of the indexes. The abbreviation "MS" in notes appearing in the Forenames 2+ column means "maiden surname" and "MMS" means "mother's maiden surname".  The Registration District and number are as found on the GRO Scotland computer, but with "G" and "EH" added to help to identify districts in Glasgow and Edinburgh.




The 15 Irish marriages are taken from the Irish GRO.  For all but 2, full details are provided, either from church registers or the Irish GRO's own website,


For Jersey, a search was made in the Channel Islands Family History Society indexes to individual parishes and those of the GRO Jersey (Supt. Registrar), which begin in 1842. These include non-Anglican marriages, except for Trinity parish. The search threw up just 2 Whitehouse marriages (Ann, 1845 and Samuel, 1854).  In Guernsey, a similar search to that for Jersey was carried out over 1837-1911, but there were no Whitehouse entries. The smaller Channel Islands have not been searched.


The Isle of Man had no central registry.  There were 4 district registries, which have been searched up to 1911, yielding 2 results.


The index is provided in Surname, Forename and date order, but when a possibly relevant church entry has been found, it should be re-sorted into Database ref. (1st column) and descending Gender (2nd column) order.   This is because the church entries occupy two rows, designated M (male) and F (female), for each individual database ref. number.   Where the church entry is unavailable, just the one line appears, containing the GRO reference.




Searches in the unofficial index at www.manxbmd.com yielded 6 Whitehouse birth registrations, 2 marriages (see OTHER BRITISH MARRIAGES above) and no deaths from the beginning of registration to 1911.  Registration did not become compulsory until 1878, but there are two earlier birth registrations included.  The names, years of birth registration and GRO index references are as follows:  Flora Frances 1855 (Douglas A1 21); Agnes S 1867 (German District A1 21); Douglas J 1884 (Douglas A2 492); Annie Lois 1887 (Ramsey A1 197); Olive May 1889 (Ramsey A1 235) and George R B 1891 (Ramsey A1 235).




Civil registration of births, deaths and marriages in Australia began at various different times in the individual states, namely

Australian Capital Territory (ACT): 1930

New South Wales (NSW): 1856

Northern Territory (NT): 1870

Queensland (QLD): 1856

South Australia (SA): 1842

Tasmania (TAS): 1838

Victoria (VIC): 1853

Western Australia (WA): 1841


This index of marriages runs from the earliest times up to 1911.  It incorporates data taken from the Australian Vital Records Index, published by the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints, which covers New South Wales (1788–1888), Tasmania (1803–1899), Victoria (1837–1888), and Western Australia (1841–1905) only.  Although it is stated to contain about 4.5 million records of births, christenings, marriages, and deaths, it is reputedly only 70 to 80% complete.  The Tasmanian entries have ages and accurate dates.  The AVRI index was supplemented firstly by information supplied by correspondents and secondly by using the on-line records from the register offices.  For sorting purposes, the months and days missing from the data, have been entered as “mm-dd”.




Civil registration of marriages in New Zealand began in 1856.  This index of marriages is based on the New Zealand Government’s online BDM database, Historical Records section.  It includes two earlier marriages, in 1851 and 1852, which probably relate to the same event, despite the different years.  These appear in the Govt. database because it includes pre-1856 material from church records.  The index presented on this website includes some exact dates and places (some from certificates, some provided by correspondents from family or church records) and a “remarks” column in which official errors have been noted.  It is heavily referenced with WFHC reference numbers.  As with the other marriage indexes on this website, it runs up to 1911.  Later marriages, up to a limit set at 80 years before the current date, can be found in the Government database.  Historical births and deaths can also be found there.




The marriages are those of those born in England, Ireland or Scotland, from 1862 to 1928, the last date then available under the 85-year closure rule.  The practices of different counties varied considerably, so that the information supplied is far from uniform throughout the province.  While most of the details are derived from the original papers, the 3 earliest entries, which are pre-1870, depend on a transcript, which does not provide as much information as the original papers from 1870 onwards.

WFHC references have been added where findable.


The deaths are those of those born in England, Ireland or Scotland, from 1869 to 1938, the last date then available under the 75-year closure rule.  WFHC references have been added where findable. .  Occ = Occupation; Inf = Informant.  In the “Cond” (Condition) column, M = married, S= single, W= Widow(er), while blanks mean that this information was not given in the certificate.




This referencing file will eventually list all US and Canadian marriages for which a day, month, year date exists in the WFHC collection of trees.  The referencing is not necessarily complete at present.  State symbols are shown below.







North Carolina


South Dakota






North Dakota
















New Hampshire








New Jersey












District of Columbia




New York


















West Virginia






















Rhode Island








South Carolina




Canada:  AB = Alberta; BC = British Columbia; MB = Manitoba; NB = New Brunswick; NL = Newfoundland;

NS = Nova Scotia; NT = Northwest Territories; ON = Ontario; PEI = Prince Edward Island; QC = Quebec;

SK = Saskatchewan.




The term “Pre-GRO marriages” means marriages in England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland that took place before civil registration began.  In other words, they are marriages that can only be found in parish registers.


This referencing file has been established solely in order to provide an additional means of referencing correspondents’ trees.  It differs from most of the other files, in that it is not a complete record of all pre-GRO marriages of Whitehouses.  It covers only those marriages which are known or believed to belong to the tree of a WFHC correspondent.


A marriage is referenced when, on the balance of probabilities, it is correct.  The more rigorous requirement of “beyond reasonable doubt” has not been applied.  The more doubtful references have a question mark (query symbol) after them.   Normally, the question mark will apply to all the references, but where one is relatively certain and the other relatively doubtful, the latter will carry the question mark and they will be a separated by a semi-colon.




Whereas baptism and burial files (see below) have been established in separate files for each parish or church, West Midlands marriages have been combined into a single file that covers the whole of Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire.  This file corrects many errors and rectifies many omissions in the IGI and Family Search, as well as containing witness and other useful information.  Nearly all the marriages are full entry, but this is still a work in progress, so there are some details missing.


Wherever possible, the parish register (PR) has been used, otherwise a Bishop’s Transcript (BT) or an unofficial transcript (Tr).  The source is shown in the column “Sce”.  However, for some entries at Handsworth St Mary and at Rowley Regis St Giles, the Bishop’s Transcript or an unofficial transcript had to be used.  Unfortunately, I did not annotate the entries to which this applies, so, for the time being, all indicate the Parish Register.  The problem with Handsworth St Mary was a poor quality film and with Rowley Regis St Giles fire damage to the original registers.  The source “Ind” means that an index was used and it has not yet been possible for me to extract the details from the parish register.


The policy in this marriage file has been to “normalise” forenames heavily.  Thus, abbreviations such as “Thos”, “Wm” etc. have been expanded to the full name.  To make the database easier to search, spellings of forenames have also been standardised as the name considered to be in majority use and the different name actually appearing in the register shown in the Notes column.  Thus, for example, all Annes are shown as Ann, Catharines as Catherines,  Phebes as Phoebe, Rebekahs as Rebecca.  At various times after 1812, a few churches have entered large numbers of marriages as taking place with consent of parents, even, sometimes, where the parties are widower and widow.  Possibly this practice arose from a misunderstanding of official instructions.  These consents have been annotated “(fe)”, meaning “frequent entry”, to indicate that it should not be inferred that the parties are minors (under 21).


The standard marriage entry in a parish register describes the parties as bachelor and spinster of this parish.  Sometimes, the marital status is omitted.  The transcript records only departures from the standard entry, for example mention that a party is from another parish or that one is a widower or widow.  Sometimes the register does not state the condition, but this transcript assumes bachelor and spinster unless otherwise stated.  A note of caution: I have encountered several instances in which a party has been entered as a bachelor or spinster, but he or she had married previously.


“M” (Male) refers to the groom,”F” (Female) to the bride and “w” to a witness.  Where there are 3 or more witnesses, they are shown as “3w”, “4w” etc.  If a third witness has signed, this is denoted by “s” at the end of his details, as in “3w: SMITH Samuel (s)”.  A frequent witness (parish clerk, church officer etc.) is shown by “(fw)” after his forename.


The Fleet marriages file shows 30 Whitehouses in the registers of the Fleet Prison Chapel and other Chapels in London where clandestine marriages took place.  They were conducted by an ordained priest, without banns or licence, an advantage to those who wished to hide their marriage from public view. The registers, some of which were in notebook form, were kept by the officiating priest, but many are copies.  Where the details given differ, it is difficult to know which register to believe.  This WFHC transcript shows the major variations.  Such clandestine marriages led to the 1753 Hardwicke Act banning them from 25th March 1754 and prescribing the information that had to be given in parish registers.  Although the marriages took place in London, this was not necessarily the residence of the parties.  A feature of these marriages is that many give residence information of the parties, their marital condition and the man's occupation. Chapman code abbreviations for counties have been used in this transcript and many names have been normalised. 




Forenames have been minimally “normalised” : for example “Wm” has been expanded to “William”.  Abodes have been normalised:  for example, “Darby Hand” and “Derby End” in Dudley have been converted to “Darby End”.  Mostly, occupations have also been minimally normalised in the same way as in the marriage details files.  These minor departures from the literal original have been made to help in searching. 


The files are presented sorted by forename and then by OO (original order).  The original order is date order and where more than one Whitehouse baptism to the same parents has taken place on a particular day, the order in the register has been noted.  Births (b) and baptisms (c) are indexed and cross-referenced.


Dudley baptisms have been derived mainly by “trawling”, that is to say going through the registers page by page looking for Whitehouse entries.  The draft rough indexes, apparently prepared by church officials, are incomplete and so have been used only as a checking aid.  The IGI has also been used as a checking aid for baptisms.  Some of the entries for St John’s church (Kate’s Hill) have been taken from the index in the Dudley Archives search room and some from Bishop’s Transcripts (BTs).  They have been annotated accordingly. Otherwise, the parish registers have been used.  The entries for St Andrew’s church (Netherton) and St John’s were not trawled: the Dudley Archives’ indexes were used to locate them.


The file of Dudley non-conformist baptisms is extracted from the transcript by Arthur A. Rollason, The Herald Press, Dudley 1899.  It covers Quaker baptisms at the Old Meeting House, Dudley from 1743 to 1772 and 1775 to 1837 (contains 33 Whitehouse entries from 1747 to 1771 plus one in 1791);  baptisms at the Independent or Congregational chapel in King Street from 1803-37 (contains 3 Whitehouse entries, from 1834-37); Wesleyan Methodist births & baptisms 1804-37 (no Whitehouses); Baptist births 1816-37 & deaths 1814-37 (no Whitehouses); and burials only (no baptisms) at the Methodist New Connexion chapel, Wolverhampton Street 1829-37 (contains 4 Whitehouse entries, all female, 1832-36).  The abbreviations used are , b = birth, c = baptism, i. = burial and, in a note, m. = marriage.  Whitehouses were extracted using the surname index printed in the book of the transcript and trawling the relevant pages, because the index does not state how many entries occur on any particular page.  The file is presented sorted by forename and then by OO (original order), which is the same as date order.


Tipton St Martin baptisms were provided by a kind helper, working from Bishop’s Transcripts, checked against the IGI, a trawl carried out many years ago by another kind helper and my own trawl from 1837 to 1851 in the Parish Register.  Tipton baptisms 1852 to 1861 in all Anglican churches were trawled by me in the parish register.  The period 1838-1861 for St Martin was checked against the relatively new Family Search index, which seems a good one.


West Bromwich All Saints baptisms were extracted by using the IGI as a guide, while those for other churches depend mainly on trawling the Parish Register.  There are 6 series of extracts, which can be separated by sorting by the OO reference number (1001 onwards = All Saints; 2001 onwards = Christ Church; 3001 onwards = St Peter; 9001; 4001 onwards = Holy Trinity; 5001 onwards = St James onwards; 9001 onwards = miscellaneous birth certificates).  The file is complete for all Anglican churches in West Bromwich for the period stated.  Notes have been made to show where “Lamberts End” has been adopted instead of “Lambeths End” and “Summer St” in place of “Somers Street”.  “Lyne” is an abbreviation of Lyndon, which was the centre of Old West Bromwich.  The centre of the town moved in a south westerly direction to the area around Moor Street, which was the old heath area known as “Lyng”, presumably because of heather there.  Lyng Lane still exists, running from Sams Lane northwards towards the High Street and the Metro Station.  For more information about the quaint names of the areas of West Bromwich, see the Victoria County History of Staffordshire.




List of churches, chapels etc. covered:


Alcester St Nich (none found)

Bromsgrove St John B

Great Barr St Mgt

Oldbury Ch Ch

Tipton St John (none found)

Aldridge St Mary (none found)

Burntwood Ch Ch (none found)

Gt Wyrley Cemetery

Oldbury Wes Meth Church St

Tipton St Mark

Alrewas All Sts

Burton-upon-Trent St Modwen

Gt Wyrley St Mark

Pedmore St Ptr

Tipton St Mtn

Amblecote Holy T

Bushbury St Mary

Hagley St Ptr (none found)

Pelsall St Michl & AA

Upper Gornal St Ptr

Armitage St John B (none found)

Cannock St Luke

Halesowen St John

Penkridge St Michl & AA

W Brom All Sts

Ashted St Jas the less

Clent St Leon (none found)

Handsworth St Jas

Penn St Bt

W Brom Ch Ch

Aston St P & P

Codsall St Nich (none found)

Handsworth St Mary

Pensnett St Mark

W Brom Holy T

Belbroughton Holy T (none found)

Coseley Ch Ch

Harborne St Ptr

Perry Barr St John (none found)

W Brom St Ptr

Bewdley Particular Baptists 1757-1836 (none found)

Coseley Old Mtg House

Heath Town Holy T (none found)

Quarry Bank Ch Ch

W Brom Wesleyan Methodist

Bewdley Presbyterian High St 1812-15 (none found)

Cradley Heath St Luke

Himley St Michl & AA (none found)

Quinton Ch Ch (none found)

Walsall St Mary RC

Bickenhill St Ptr (none found)

Cradley St Ptr

Kidderminster St Geo

Redditch St Ste

Walsall St Matt

Bilston St Leon

Darlaston St Geo

Kidderminster St Mary

Rowley Regis St Giles

Walsall St Ptr

Bilston St Mary

Darlaston St Lawr

Kings Norton St Nic

Rugeley St Augustine

Walsall Wood St John

Bilston Swan Bank Wesleyan Methodist

Droitwich St Andw (none found)

Kingswinford St Mary

Rushall St Michl

Wednesbury St Bt

Birmingham All Sts

Droitwich St Nicholas (none found)

Kinver St Ptr

Sedgley All Sts

Wednesbury St James

Birmingham St Bt

Droitwich St Peter de Witton (none found)

Langley Holy T

Shareshill St Mary (none found)

Wednesfield St Thos

Birmingham St Geo

Dudley Independent King St

Lichfield except St Michael (none found)

Sheldon St Giles

Willenhall St Giles

Birmingham St Mary

Dudley Methodist Wolverhampton St

Lichfield St Michl

Shenstone St John B (none found)

Wollaston St Jas (none found)

Birmingham St Mtn

Dudley St Andw

Lower Gornal St Jas

Short Heath Holy T

Wolverhampton St Geo

Birmingham St Paul

Dudley St Edmd

Lye Ch Ch (none found)

Smethwick Holy T

Wolverhampton St John

Birmingham St Phil

Dudley St Jas

Martley St Ptr 1813-37 only (none found)

Smethwick Old Church

Wolverhampton St Mary

Birmingham St Thos

Dudley St John

Moseley St Mary (none found)

Smethwick St Matt

Wolverhampton St Ptr

Bloxwich All Sts

Dudley St Thos

Moxley All Sts

Solihull St Alphege

Wombourn St Bendict Biscop

Bordesley Holy T

Enville St Mary

Northfield St Laurence

Stonnall St Ptr

Wordsley Holy T

Brewood St Mary

Essington St John (none found)

Norton Canes St Jas

Tamworth St Editha

Yardley St Edburgha (none found)

Brierley Hill St Michl

Fazeley St Paul (none found)

Ogley Hay St Jas (none found)

Tardebigg St Bt


Brockmoor St John

Frankley St Leon

Old Swinford St Mary

Tettenhall Regis St Michael & AA



The Black Country burials file covers Whitehouse burials in the churches tabulated, from 1813 or the start of the burials register, if later, until the end of 1861 (except in a few instances, as noted).  Many churches are not listed here because they did not have a burial ground before 1862.  Coverage of non-Anglican churches is highly incomplete and not all the Anglican churches are covered at present.  Some of the churches covered are not indexed in any online form and some not at all.  Sources used comprise parish registers (PR), other church registers (Reg), Bishop's Transcripts (BT), (Ts of BT), necessitated by the fire damage at Rowley Regis St Giles, other transcripts (Ts) and General Register Office Certificates (GRO), most of which are for Sarah Whitehouses.  The Coseley Old Meeting House entries include extracted burial forms covering the period of civil registration as far as 1861, taken from a visit to the chapel many years ago by the late Gerald Moorman (GM).  Bilston entries for 1832 have been supplemented from the cholera list for that parish. 


The forenames have been normalised and the actual names shown inserted in square brackets in the Notes column.  Other notes and comments not in the original document are also shown, mostly in square brackets.


The Cannock area burials file which covers a different date range has been retained (see above for link).



Whitehouse burials have been extracted from the Dudley Council’s online index.  It covers 6 cemeteries for the period 1887 to 1960, now under the control of Dudley Council.  The Halesowen cemetery was the first of these to open, in 1859, but no Whitehouse burial took place there until 1887.  In 1879, cemeteries were opened at Stourbridge and at Lye, in 1904 at Dudley (on the Stourbridge Road) and in 1926 at Brierley Hill.  The other cemetery covered is at Gornal Wood.  Two still births have been excluded.  The file is arranged in a similar manner to the GRO Deaths one, by forename of the Whitehouse deceased and then by calculated birth year.  The far left column, headed “OO” (Original Order) can be used to re-sort the burials into date order.  If searching yourself in the Dudley Council’s index, note that you have an option to select a range of  5 years.  Confusingly, this does not mean up to five years either side of the date entered, but up to five years after the date entered.



This is an extraction from an index that combines Boyd’s London Burials (over 240,000), completed in 1934, and Cliff Webb’s London City Burials (over 35,000).  The latter are nearly all from printed sources and nearly all in the range 1813-1854.
















Clerkenwell St James





London St Botolph without Billingsgate





Clerkenwell St James





London Bunhill Fields





London St Mary Magd: Old Fish St





London St Botolph without Billingsgate





These records, indexed by “Findmypast” in 2007, relate to people who, from 1855 onwards, wanted to take the Civil Service entry examination, but could not supply a birth certificate from the GRO (England & Wales), for example because they were born abroad or the birth was never registered or they were born before civil registration began.  It was also required for the purposes of the civil service pension scheme which came into being in 1859.  Such people provided evidence as best they could, for example in the form of a Statutory Declaration (a simple sworn statement) or a foreign birth certificate.  The Civil Service Commission kept these records for those born overseas and for unsuccessful applicants (who might try again).  Some 64,300 people have been documented in this way, giving rise to 190,000 pages of material.  The range of birth dates is from 1752 to 1948.  The records are being held by the Society of Genealogists, but free public access (even to SoG members) is not available.  The only way to see them is to apply to the SoG, quoting the reference given in the index, and paying a substantial fee for a photocopy.  For more detail, see the SoG website or the article on pages 26 & 27 of “Family Tree Magazine”, February 2008.


There are just three Whitehouse entries, as follows:

1.  Charles WHITEHOUSE b. 13 Oct 1836 Haverhill SFK, ref. 2050 003

2.  Albert WHITEHOUSE b.11 Aug 1839 Dudley WOR, ref. Z904 133

3.  William Jayes WHITEHOUSE b. 15 Oct 1903 Lichfield STS, ref. Z172 660 199/2


No. 1 is the excise officer referenced to WFHC correspondents 362 & 414.  No. 2 is probably the son of Henry WHITEHOUSE (Agent) and Harriet, living at Flood St. in central Dudley on the 1841 census:  he is waiting for a descendant to “claim” him.   No. 3 might be an illegitimate child of Esther Annie JAYES, who married William Henry WHITEHOUSE in the 4th quarter of 1904.  If so, he is also waiting to be “claimed”.