Births, Deaths, Marriages

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Births, Deaths, Marriages are often grouped together as BDM, and are the life events of which an official record are made by the relevant governmental body. Recently, civil unions have also begun to be registered. All events are legally required to be registered, and within certain deadlines.

Civil unions in England and Wales totalled six thousand, five hundred and sixteen by March 21st 2006. Female couples consisted of two thousand, two hundred and five civil partners. Male couples consisted of four thousand, three hundred and eleven.

Current registration of Births, Deaths, Marriages and Civil Unions falls (in Scotland) under the following acts applying to the Registrar General: The Registration of Births, Deaths and Marriages (Scotland) Act of 1965, the Marriage (Scotland) Act of 2002, and the Civil Partnership Act of 2004.

Any birth, death or marriage certificate which is issued comes from the official BDM records. A certificate certifies the entries made the registers, and is defined as a certified copy of an entry.

Given the sensitive nature of these records, usually access to the records themselves is not permitted, only the indexes of the records is open to be accessed by the public. However, the details of any record can be obtained by purchasing a certificate of the entry.

Some register offices now offer commemorative certificates, to mark events such as a wedding anniversary, or a hundredth birthday celebration. These certificates may not always be suitable for official purposes, but are popular for commemorative and sentimental reasons.

Prior to civil registration, Births, deaths and marriages records would be usually noted in the parish records of the local church where the event took place.

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