The register office in Usk holds records only for events which took place in the county of Monmouthshire.

Tracing family history is an increasingly popular hobby. However, sometimes it can become a very complicated and time-consuming process. Here at the register office we receive countless enquiries from all over the world, not all of which we can provide answers to, but these are some frequently asked questions.

What information would I need to obtain a birth, marriage/civil partnership or death certificate?

To obtain a birth certificate you will need to inform us of the name of the person at birth, date of birth, place of birth and parents’ names.

For death certificates we need the name of the person, the date of death, the place of death and the date of birth.

For marriage/civil partnerships the names of the parties, the date of the event and the place.

Where can I find the information?

In order to obtain this information you will need to search the General Registration Indices (also known as St. Catherine’s House Indices). These indices are held at numerous locations including libraries, family history centres and record offices around the UK as well as in Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

Can I obtain from your office a certificate of a birth, marriage/civil partnership or death that occurred outside Monmouthshire?

Unfortunately not. Records of births, marriages and deaths are always held in the district where the event took place and can only be issued from the local office.

Can I trace a long lost relative?

At the register office, we only keep records of births, deaths and marriage and the details given at the time of those events. We do not keep updated records of a person’s whereabouts. Try contacting the electoral register for the district covering the person’s last known address. Alternatively, telephone directories can sometimes be useful.

Can anyone come into the office for a certificate?

Yes, as long as they have the information necessary to find the entry. We do not need to see any identification.

Certificates for family history

In cases which require extended searching, e.g. family history searches, it may be necessary to post certificates on to you. We have had a large increase in family history applications following programmes like ‘Who do you think you are?’ and ‘You don’t know you’re born’.

As a result we are not always able to provide a same day service for family history certificates. We will accept email requests for a search in the first instance or we can accept telephone applications when accompanied by a debit card payment. There is a charge for this service.

For what dates do you hold records?

Civil registration of births, deaths and marriage started on 1 July 1837 and our records are complete from this date to the present day. Before this date, baptisms, burials and marriages were recorded by the churches where they took place.

Where can I get help tracing my family history?

There are many people interested in family history (or genealogy as it is also called), and many groups and organisations that can help. Try visiting your local library and take a look at some of the books written on the subject. Alternatively, you can conduct a search on the internet (but be warned! Prepare for thousands of search results)