How can I get my grandparents birth certificates for my UK Ancestry Visa Application?

The only information I have is my grandmothers first and maiden name and the age she was when my father was born.

I've tried the GRO index search but without her month of birth it's just returns 0 results.

  • 1
    Would your father's long form birth certificate have the information you need?
    – DJohnM
    Mar 3, 2017 at 4:38
  • Did you try searching GRO by enumerating the month?
    – Gayot Fow
    Mar 3, 2017 at 12:10
  • Are you in a country that has census or immigration records? Those can help to pin down the ages of your grandparents, as might death certificates, military records. While they can be imprecise (e.g., a census taker asking a person's age, not what year they were born), they can help you narrow down the info.
    – Giorgio
    Mar 3, 2017 at 15:23
  • I ended up tracking my father's cousin down on facebook and used her mother's details (so my father's mother's sister) and found her details on the GRO - the reason I could find my Grandma was they spell their surname differently in Australia (A instead of an E). Thank you for your suggestions though!
    – Jenkins
    Mar 4, 2017 at 0:13
  • Have you tried searching freebmd.org.uk ? I found it very useful for tracking things down in the past. Alternatively it may be worth signing up for a free trial on something like findmypast.co.uk or ancestry.com and seeing if they have records. If you are in the UK you can also visit the National Archives in Kew and search ancestry.com and other databases for free while on the premises. Mar 8, 2017 at 9:26

1 Answer 1


Citizens Advice outlines the different methods and notes that, when you're unsure of the dates, you have the option of sending the request on paper via the post (emphasis mine).

You can get a copy of a birth certificate by post from the General Register Office.

You should provide as much information about the birth as possible. If you do not know your exact date of birth, a search will be made for one year either side of the year you give. If an entry cannot be traced, you will get a refund.

You can download an application from the GOV.UK website at www.gov.uk or by emailing the General Register Office. You can pay the fee by credit or debit card or by a cheque payable to IPS. The contact details are:

General Register Office
Certificate Services Section
PO Box 2
Tel: 0300 123 1837 (Mon-Fri 8am-8pm; Sat 9am-4pm)
Email: [email protected]
Website: www.gro.gov.uk

For details of fees for copies of birth certificates, go to the GOV UK website at www.gov.uk.

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