This page gives you information about what family history search services the Portsmouth Register Office can provide.

Searches of indexes

The register office does not have the staff to undertake indefinite or protracted searches. However, if you provide accurate details of the registration, we are happy to search in the birth, death or marriage index covering up to a three-year period.

You will have to carry out wider searches in the indexes yourself.

Family history research certificates

Please email or write to us with your request. If you come into the office, you can complete an application form, but the search will not be done straight away. We will ask for a contact telephone number and call you once we find the relevant entry in our registers.

Once we find the entry, you can pay for the certificate over the phone by debit or credit card, and the certificate will be posted out to you. Otherwise you can call into the office and pay cash, and the certificate will be ready to collect the next working day.

General searches

The cost is £18 for you or someone on your behalf to search for up to six hours in the indexes relating to births, marriages and deaths in the Portsmouth registrar’s district. You will have access to the indexes, not to the registers themselves. You can however, buy a certificate of any entry identified (view our official copy certificates page).

If there is doubt whether a reference in the indexes is the correct one, the registrar can verify those details in the register, as long as there are definite details by which the entry may be identified. Any additional information from the entry will only be made available in the form of a certificate.

The cost of checking the first eight references is covered by the general search fee, but an additional charge will be made for each subsequent reference checked, unless a certificate is issued from the entry, in which case the certificate fee only will be payable.

Requesting a service

To request help with family history searches, contact the register office.