General Register Office (Northern Ireland)
The General Register Office (GRO) (Northern Ireland) is responsible for the civil registration of births, deaths, marriages, civil partnerships and adoptions as well as administering marriage and civil partnership law in Northern Ireland. The GRO is within the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency which in turn is part of the Northern Ireland Executive's Department of Finance.
Registration indexes held by GRONI
- births registered from 1 January 1864 in what is now Northern Ireland
- adoptions recorded in the Adopted Children Register Northern Ireland from 1 January 1931
- deaths registered from 1 January 1864 in what is now Northern Ireland
- registered non-Roman Catholic marriages from 1 April 1845 and all registered marriages from 1 January 1864
- civil partnerships registered in Northern Ireland from 5 December 2005
- World War II death indexes from 1939 to 1945
Certificates are only available for life events registered in what is now Northern Ireland. To order a life event certificate online you can visit GRONI at https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/ordering-life-event-certificates, order by telephone on 0300 200 7890 or 028 91513101 (if outside NI) or download an application from the website and apply by post. Applications for collection in person may only be made at the General Register Office in Belfast . Non priority applications will be ready to collect on the third working day. GRO offer a While You Wait Service for priority applications (extra fee). Waiting times will be approximately 20 – 30 minutes. If you fail to collect your certificate within three working days it will be posted out to the address you have provided.
Family History Website
Available at nidirect.gov.uk/family-history, the General Register Office for Northern Ireland (GRONI) unveiled its family history website on Wednesday 9 April 2014. As with the system currently in place in England and Wales, it has previously only been possible to access civil registration records as certificates sent by post – a process in Northern Ireland that costs £15 and can take around five full working days.
However, family historians can now search the website’s free BMD index and click through to view an ‘enhanced’ transcription of a record for 50p. In the case of births, for example, this will include a place, date and the full names of both parents. Users can then decide whether to go ahead and view a scan of the original register entry for £2.50, instantly revealing more crucial genealogical information.
For researchers at home, only ‘historic’ civil records dating back to 1845 will be available through the platform – births over 100 years, marriages over 75 years and deaths over 50 years. However, those paying a visit to GRONI’s public search room in Colby House, Stranmillis Court, Belfast, BT9 5RR will be able to see more recent material from the computer terminals, including adoptions and civil partnerships.
It was a landmark moment in Northern Irish genealogy.
Visit GRONI online
For data protection reasons, if you are using the internet to search the register, some of the records will not be available to view. You will be able to access the following records if you visit GRONI online(external link opens in a new window / tab):
- birth records over 100 years old
- marriage records over 75 years old
- death records (including World War II death records) over 50 years old
You cannot access civil partnership and adoption records online. If you want to view these records, or view recent records, you must book an appointment at the public search room or, if you know the details, you can apply online for certificates. Stillbirth records are not available for public access. If you want to apply for a stillbirth certificate, you should contact GRONI.
GRONI search room opening hours
The search room is open from 9.30 am until 4.00 pm (except the first Tuesday every month, when the office opens at 10.00 am). Booking is advisable. The public search room is accessible to wheelchair users. A personal induction loop system is available for deaf or hearing-impaired visitors.
- General Register Office
- Office for National Statistics
- Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency