The Genealogist Research Guide

Adoption Search Service (1927-1969)

NOTE: This is a lookup service provided by a professional genealogist.

This is an index to all adoptions granted by courts in England and Wales since 1927. A birth entry was made in this index when a court issued an adoption order.

The entry will replace the original birth entry, and also instructs the GRO (General Register Office) to mark the original birth entry as 'adopted'.

Searching for an adoption and getting the references is just the first stage in the process of finding the birth parents.

If you are the child you are required to attend an informal meeting with an approved adoption advisor for confidential guidance, either with your local Social Services, at the General Register Office or, under certain circumstances, at the agency that handled your adoption.

You can also choose to see an adoption worker at another local authority. The General Register Office will forward your original birth information to your chosen approved adoption advisor.

More information can be found on or

Until 1927 there was no formal adoption process, although the term adoption was often applied to what we call guardianship or fostering. The legal process of adoption was introduced in 1927. The GRO holds the Adopted Childrens Register which records legal adoptions under the Adoptions Acts since 1 January 1927. A special form has to be completed to obtain a certificate of a register entry, which was made by the Registrar General after a court made an adoption order. It gives the courts name, the date of the order, the date of the childs birth and the names, occupation and address of the adoptive parents. The country and place of the childs birth are shown from 1950 to 1959 respectively. The register and certificates do not reveal the childs name prior to the adoption.
Ancestral Trails by Mark Herber, click here to read more.

Reference Books

Clandestine Marriages in the Chapel and rules of the Fleet Prison 1680-1754 - Mark Herber describes the fascinating history of these marriages and presents transcripts of eight of the registers and four of the notebooks, which include marriages (and some baptisms) from 1678-1679, 1707-1709, 1716-1719, 1726-1730, 1734 and 1736-1754.

He also describes the evidence for Fleet marriages contained in settlement examinations of the poor. Most people using the Fleet wanted a short legal ceremony without the cost and delay of banns or marriage licences. But some others wanted secrecy - a true clandestine marriage - like Robert Williams, who married in the Fleet in 1717. The Reverend Henry Gower performed the ceremony and noted in the register that the marriage should not be discovered until Robert had completed his apprenticeship.

Ancestral Trails - In association with the Society of Genealogists this book is a complete guide to British genealogy and family history. Ancestral Trails guides you through the voluminous British archives, extending back to medieval times, and provides a detailed view of the records & published sources available. From newspapers & directories, civil, legal & religious records to personal recollections, photographs & other memorabilia, every kind of record is analysed & the researcher is guided to the many detailed finding aids or indexes. (Ancestral Trails is the winner of the Library Association McColvin Medal for Outstanding Reference Work.)

For our full list of research books with description please see here

Landowner Records

This 19th century tax survey provides an index to all individuals who owned 1 acre or more of land in 1873. It is arranged alphabetically by County where the land is situated, so their may be holdings in more than one county. It provides the name of the owner: their address (town or village only); how much land they owned in the County and its gross estimated rental value.

These returns, also known as the Modern Domesday, were the result of a survey to ascertain the number of owners of land of one acre or more in the United Kingdom (except London). The returns were compiled from rates records."
Ancestral Trails by Mark Herber, click here to read more.

Image Archive

Photographs are an important part of our family history. They bring our records to life and allow us to feel a personal connection with the past. TheGenealogist’s Image Archive is free to use, and will allow you to look at snapshots of the past, with the ability to download the images so you can add them to your records.

Currently containing thousands of images dating back to 1850, the archive will continue to expand.

Our Image Archive is available for all to view with the option to purchase copies of specific images.

Premium subscribers to are able to download copies of the images with Diamond subscribers able to download higher resolution images.

You can access the Image Archive from the tab along the top of your page:

2015 Image Archive 1.jpg

Please note that these images are for personal use only. If you wish to publish an image in any way, you will need to purchase a licence.

Please contact us if you wish to use an image commercially.