The three following lists provide the reference numbers of the registration districts for births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales. These reference numbers also serve as the Volume identifier in the General Register Office's indexes (at the Family Records Centre in London and many other libraries and family history research centres).

Roman numerals were used for the reference numbers until 1851 when the districts were modified and Arabic numerals plus a letter were used. As the older register indexes are updated the Roman numerals are being replaced by Arabic numerals.



1837-1851 (Roman numerals)

  Ref.No. Registration District
  ------  --------------------- 
  I       London & Middlesex  
  II      London & Middlesex  
  III     London & Middlesex  
  IV      London & Surrey  
  V       Kent  
  VI      Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire & Hertfordshire  
  VII     Hampshire & Sussex  
  VIII    Dorset, Hampshire & Wiltshire  
  IX      Cornwall & Devon  
  X       Devon & Somerset  
  XI      Gloucestershire, Somerset & Warwickshire  
  XII     Essex & Suffolk  
  XIII    Norfolk & Suffolk  
  XIV     Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Lincolnshire & Suffolk  
  XV      Leicestershire, Northamptonshire, Nottinghamshire & Rutland  
  XVI     Oxfordshire, Staffordshire & Warwickshire  
  XVII    Staffordshire  
  XVIII   Gloucestershire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire & Worcestershire  
  XIX     Cheshire, Derbyshire & Flintshire  
  XX      Lancashire  
  XXI     Lancashire & Yorkshire  
  XXII    Yorkshire  
  XXIII   Yorkshire  
  XXIV    Durham & Yorkshire  
  XXV     Cumberland, Westmorland, Lancashire & Northumberland  
  XXVI    Brecknockshire, Carmarthenshire, Glamorganshire, Herefordshire, 
          Monmouthshire, Pembrokeshire, Radnorshire & Shropshire  
  XXVII   Anglesey, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire, Denbighshire, Flintshire, 
          Merionethshire & Montgomeryshire  


1852-1946 (Arabic numerals plus a letter)

  Ref.No. Registration District
  ------  --------------------- 
  1a      London & Middlesex
  1b      London & Middlesex
  1c      London & Middlesex
  1d      London, Kent & Surrey
  2a      Kent & Surrey
  2b      Hampshire & Sussex
  2c      Berkshire & Hampshire
  3a      Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Middlesex & Oxfordshire
  3b      Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Northamptonshire & Suffolk
  4a      Essex & Suffolk
  4b      Norfolk
  5a      Dorset & Wiltshire
  5b      Devon
  5c      Cornwall & Somerset
  6a      Gloucestershire, Herefordshire & Shropshire
  6b      Staffordshire, Warwickshire & Worcestershire
  6c      Warwickshire & Worcestershire
  6d      Warwickshire
  7a      Leicestershire, Lincolnshire & Rutland
  7b      Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire
  8a      Cheshire
  8b      Lancashire
  8c      Lancashire
  8d      Lancashire
  8e      Lancashire
  9a      Yorkshire
  9b      Yorkshire
  9c      Yorkshire
  9d      Yorkshire
  10a     Durham
  10b     Cumberland, Northumberland &  Westmorland
  11a     Carmarthenshire, Glamorganshire, Monmouthshire & Pembrokeshire
  11b     Anglesey, Brecknockshire, Caernarvonshire, Cardiganshire, Denbighshire, 
          Flintshire, Merionethshire, Montgomeryshire & Radnorshire  


Reference Numbers for each County

  County                  1837-1851       1852-1946
  ------                  ---------       ---------
  Anglesey                XXVII           11b
  Bedfordshire            VI              3b
  Berkshire               VI              2c,3a
  Brecknockshire          XXVI            11b
  Buckinghamshire         VI              3a
  Caernarvonshire         XXVII           11b
  Cambridgeshire          XIV             3b
  Cardiganshire           XXVII           11b
  Carmarthenshire         XXVI            11a
  Cheshire                XIX             8a
  Cornwall                IX              5c
  Cumberland              XXV             10b
  Denbighshire            XXVII           11b
  Derbyshire              XIX             7b
  Devon                   IX,X            5b
  Dorset                  VIII            5a
  Durham                  XXIV            10a
  Essex                   XII             4a
  Flintshire              XIX,XXVII       11b
  Glamorganshire          XXVI            11a
  Gloucestershire         XI,XVIII        6a
  Hampshire               VII,VIII        2b,2c
  Herefordshire           XXVI            6a
  Hertfordshire           VI              3a
  Huntingdonshire         XIV             3b
  Kent                    V               1d,2a
  Lancashire              XX,XXI,XXV      8b,8c,8d,8e
  Leicestershire          XV              7a
  Lincolnshire            XIV             7a
  London                  I,II,III,IV     1a,1b,1c,1d
  Merionethshire          XXVII           11b
  Middlesex               I,II,III        1a,1b,1c,3a
  Monmouthshire           XXVI            11a
  Montgomeryshire         XXVII           11b
  Norfolk                 XIII            4b
  Northamptonshire        XV              3b
  Northumberland          XXV             10b
  Nottinghamshire         XV              7b
  Oxfordshire             XVI             3a
  Pembrokeshire           XXVI            11a
  Radnorshire             XXVI            11b
  Rutland                 XV              7a
  Shropshire              XVIII,XXVI      6a
  Somerset                X,XI            5c
  Staffordshire           XVI,XVII,XVIII  6b
  Suffolk                 XII,XIII,XIV    3b,4a
  Surrey                  IV              1d,2a
  Sussex                  VII             2b
  Warwickshire            XI,XVI,XVIII    6b,6c,6d
  Westmorland             XXV             10b
  Wiltshire               VIII            5a
  Worcestershire          XVIII           6b,6c
  Yorkshire               XXI,XXII,       9a,9b,9c,9d



There appear to be some inconsistencies and variations in the counties (partly) covered by some of the reference numbers - and so the above lists may not be accurate and complete.

Please notify any errors or omissions to Mike.Wheatley[at]BL[dot]UK

Data compiled 30 September 1995 by Michael L. Wheatley

Page last amended 6 May 2004 by Malcolm Austen.