A guide to searching for death and burial records in Southwark

Stillbirths

From 1874, the law required that a death certificate was needed before a stillborn baby was buried. However, civil registration of stillbirth did not start until 1927. A stillborn baby born after 24 weeks must be registered by law as a stillbirth. Each country within the UK has different rules on the deadline for registration. In England for example, it is 42 days. Only certain family members can order a stillbirth certificate.

If you are searching for the burial records of a stillborn baby before the 1980s, contact the hospital where the stillbirth took place. Hospitals did not usually involve parents in the funeral arrangements of their baby. It is still possible to find the records of a stillborn funeral. Ensure you have as much information as possible including the name of the mother and baby’s date of birth. If the hospital do not hold the records, contact local cemeteries and funeral directors.

The following organisations offer information on stillbirth and bereavement:

Page last updated: 25 October 2022

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