Tees Valley Registration Services
The registration service was introduced into England and Wales in July 1837.
Its objectives were the provision of personal life event documents, to provide a source of statistical information, and to affect the marriage law, so that there was proper public notice, and the ability to marry by means other than by the Church of England.
In 1837, there were two Register Offices established - at Stockton-on-Tees and Guisborough. These were the offices of the Superintendent Registrar, who was responsible for marriage notices, the solemnisation of civil marriage, and the receipt and maintenance of completed registers.
These registers were compiled by a Registrar, of whom there were five locally: Stockton on Tees, Yarm, Hartlepool, (who came under the Stockton Superintendent Registrar), and Guisborough and Kirkleatham, (reporting to the Superintendent Registrar at Guisborough).
By 1875, the towns of Hartlepool, and particularly Middlesbrough, had grown to the point that reorganisation of districts was necessary. A Superintendent Registrar was appointed at Hartlepool, and also at Middlesbrough, where three Registrars were located - Thornaby, Ormesby, and Middlesbrough itself.
General Register Office administered the service at the centre, and received from Superintendent Registrars quarterly copies of births deaths and marriages from his district. Those records now form the duplicate register stock. This means that certificates may be issued either by a Superintendent Registrar or from General Register Office. It is worth adding that the former supplies certificates much more quickly and less expensively than the latter.
General Register Office indexes are available at establishments such as public libraries - for further information phone GRO on 0870 243 7788. Please note that the references quoted in those indexes have little meaning to a local Register Office, and can be misleading to the customer. For example, "Stockton" on the GRO index will refer to the Superintendent Registrar. Therefore for a 1837 registration the record currently could presently be at any of four Register Offices, This anomaly should be borne in mind if using both this and the GRO index are used in conjunction.