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Durham County Council

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Birth, death, marriage and civil partnership certificates


This page contains guidance notes on ordering certificates.

Certificates available online

We currently have more than 1.2 million records indexed on system.

We hold birth, marriages and death registrations relating to the current geographical boundaries of County Durham. Areas that are no longer part of County Durham, such as Sunderland, South Tyneside, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Stockton and Darlington can be found by contacting the relevant local council.

What records are held online?

  • Marriage records: 1837-2012
  • Death records: 1991-2012
  • Birth records: many of our indexes are available

Certificates not available online

If the certificate you want is not available online you can ask us to find a birth, death, marriage or civil partnership certificate:

Please note there is a charge for a copy of a certificate.

What will we search on your behalf?

We will usually be able to do a search for you if it covers no more than five years, and includes accurate details on the certificate. If a wider search is required, we will expect you to make a general search in the indexes yourself. The indexes in a local office relate only to ceremonies which have happened within that district. Contact us for more information.

Visiting us in person

A general search is a search lasting not more than 6 hours in a day. You can contact us to arrange access to the indexes, but not to the registers themselves. If you are uncertain whether a reference found in the indexes relates to the certificate you want, we may be able to verify by referencing to the register. Any additional information can only be made available if you buy a certificate. Please note general searches of the indexes can only be undertaken at Bishop Auckland register office of the register books kept by the Superintendent Registrar. A statutory fee of £18.00 applies. 

Information about adoption certificates

Adoption records are held centrally by the Registrar General. These relate to anyone who has been adopted since 1 January 1927 under the Adoption Acts. You can find out more information at Gov.uk: adoption records.