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Esther Rantzen shows you how to trace your family tree without spending the family fortune
[April 07, 2009]

Esther Rantzen shows you how to trace your family tree without spending the family fortune

(M2 PressWIRE Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) - General Register Office information now available on Directgov - As the number of people investigating their family history continues to soar, people can save cash and find out how to go about researching their family tree by using Directgov.

Following programmes like the BBC's Who Do You Think You Are?, interest in genealogy has grown rapidly in recent years. Some commercial companies charge as much as GBP30.00 for a birth certificate but each certificate costs from just GBP7.00 if you order online via Directgov.

Public information about registering births, marriages and deaths in England and Wales has moved from the GRO (General Register Office) website and is now available on the government's supersite, Directgov, from 7 April 2009.

The GRO online ordering service currently receives up to 7,000 applications a day and 2.5 million views per month. More than 2 million certificate applications are made each year, the vast majority of which are investigating their family tree, others need a certificate for legal or administrative purposes and 90 per cent of these applications are made online. Other significant areas of interest include finding out about places to get married, marriage fees, and registering a birth.

Directgov, the government's flagship digital service, is now hosting information on registering births, marriages, civil partnerships and deaths, including details of how adopted adults can access their original birth records or place their details on the Adoption Contact Register. All the information is in plain English and the move to Directgov will improve public access to these services.

Directgov is an essential supersite, bringing together services and information from various government departments.

Jayne Nickalls, Chief Executive of Directgov, said: "This is a wonderful addition to the Directgov family and we are delighted to begin hosting this information. People don't need to pay over the odds for what is an essential legal and historical document of life in the UK. Directgov can play a key role in helping people to access it and in saving money." James Hall, the Registrar General for England and Wales said: "I am confident that all those accessing Directgov for information on topics such as getting married, registering a birth or what to do after a death, will find the information clear and helpful. People using the online ordering service will come through directly to the General Register Office, the only holders of the national record for England and Wales." Television presenter and founder of Childline, Esther Rantzen, traced her own family history on the BBC's television series, Who Do You Think You Are? Esther said: "Unraveling the secrets of my family was an incredible and emotional journey, one that I am pleased to have taken, even if some of the truths uncovered were hard to accept. Finding out where you come from helps inform who you are, and I am delighted to know that more people will be able to make their own personal discoveries using Directgov in an accessible and affordable way." For more information on Directgov contact: [email protected] 020 7261 8318 Notes to editors * Directgov provides user-friendly, 24/7 information on all government services - including education, transport, tax, crime, the environment, employment - all in one place and in plain English.

* As well as being available on the website , which now attracts more than 18 million visits a month1, it can also be accessed on any internet-enabled mobile phone, and on TV.

* is a Hitwise Top 10 Award winner for the quarter ending October - December 2008. During this period, ranked No. 2 based on market share of visits among all United Kingdom websites in the Hitwise Government - Central industry category. For more information, please visit * Please note: Directgov is spelt as one word and with a lower case 'g'.

* The migration from the General Register Office (GRO) website to Directgov comes as part of the Transformational Government agenda and a wider long-term plan to move customer-facing online information to Directgov, giving citizens access to services all in one place.

1 Directgov received more than 18 million visits to the website in March 2009 ((Comments on this story may be sent to [email protected])) (c) 2009 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

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