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On this day 1837 – General Register Office

On this day 1837 – The Compulsory registration of births, marriages and deaths came into effect in England and Wales. England and Wales were divided into 619 registration districts.
Prior to the creation of the General Register Office (GRO) in 1837, there was no national system of civil registration in England and Wales, thus making it difficult to establish lines of descent.

http://www.angliaresearch.co.uk/articles/the-history-behind-your-birth-certificate/

General Register Office