Register Office Services during coronavirus

Visit our frequently asked questions page for information about how Registry Office services are affected by the pandemic.

Historical certificates

If you're researching your family history or curious about your ancestry, our register office holds records for all births, deaths and marriages that occurred in Southwark's districts dating back to 1837.

If you know the exact details of the event, we'll locate the entry and produce the certificate for you. However, you'll need to be sure of the details you supply in order to receive the correct certificate.

Information we require

If you're applying for a copy of a birth certificate, we'll need the:

  • the full name of the person whose certificate you require
  • date of birth
  • address of place of birth (if it's a hospital birth, the name of the hospital is sufficient)
  • parents full names including mother's maiden name (if applicable)

If you're applying for a copy of a marriage certificate, we'll need the:

  • full names of the parties married (including bride's maiden name)
  • date of marriage
  • place of marriage (if the marriage took place in a church, state the name of the church)

If you're applying for a copy of a death certificate, we'll need the:

  • full name of the deceased
  • date of death
  • place of death

In all cases, the place must include the sub-district or precise address where the event occurred. For more information, see our list of sub districts.

If you're unable to supply the details we require, you have the option of searching the indexes yourself or we can appoint a Registrar to conduct a search of the indexes for you. Please note there's a charge for this service.

If you're unsure of exactly where in Southwark an event took place or unsure of any of the details, you have two options:

  1. You can search the indexes yourself for up to six hours
  2. You can enlist the help of a trained Registrar to do the search of these events for you - we'll search the districts and produce your requested certificate(s)

If we're unsuccessful in locating your required entry, we'll supply you with a log of the districts we've searched. This will help you in the future if you obtain more information and decide to search again.

Fees for record searches

We charge £18 for an applicant to search through the Southwark indexes this gives you up to six hours to search our records. This fee does not include any certificates you wish to purchase.

Please note that searches are normally carried out every Tuesday by appointment only. To arrange an appointment please contact us by email registrars@southwark.gov.uk or by phone 020 7525 7669.

Southwark historical districts

The borough incorporates the districts of:

  • Newington
  • Bermondsey
  • Rotherhithe
  • Peckham
  • Camberwell
  • Dulwich
  • Southwark
  • St Saviour
  • St Olave
  • St George Southwark

Please try and give as much information as possible to help us with your request.

There are times we can't find an entry, possibly due to insufficient or incorrect information. In this case, we'll contact you for additional information. If we can't provide a copy certificate, we'll refund any fees you've paid.

Page last updated: 23 October 2019

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