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Birth certificate of Florence Nightingale. Catalogue reference RG 5/83

05 February

All birth, marriage and death records from our collection of Non-Parochial, Foreign and Maritime Registers can now be found online at

An excellent resource for researching details of ancestors that may not be recorded elsewhere, the records can be searched with ease and without a fee, though there is a cost for advanced searching and downloading documents. Listing over 8.25 million entries from 1636 to 1950, this unique and wide-ranging record set contains maternity records, Fleet marriages, births, marriages and deaths aboard ships, non-conformist records, and many others.

A number of famous writers, entrepreneurs, social reformers and political leaders can be found within these records:

  • John Cadbury, founder of confectionery manufacturer Cadburys, was also a social reformer who campaigned against animal cruelty and children sweeping chimneys. In 1831 he rented a factory and began manufacturing drinking chocolate and cocoa. His baptism (1801) and marriage to Candia Barrow (1832) are both registered in RG 6. 
  • The birth of Florence Nightingale, known as the 'lady with the lamp' during the Crimean War, is also registered in these records. Commonly attributed with being the forerunner of modern nursing, Florence was named after the city of her birth in 1820.

For more information on tracing British Nationals abroad, see our research signpost on Looking for records of a birth, marriage or death of a British national at sea or abroad.