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Note, the correct terminolgy for a certificate is "A certified copy of an entry in a register" -
In the past certificates (which despite what you may be told by rather
careless tutors have been available since 1644*) were handwritten transcripts
of the register entry, larger parishes eventually started printing "certificate
These saved time by requiring only the details that commonly changed to be entered by hand.
When civil registration began as a result of the 1836 Act for the registering of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England The Registrar General printed forms to enable certified copies of a register entry to be supplied to members of the public.
It is these forms which are now termed certificates by the general public.
* On 03 January 1643/4 an ordinance was passed that-
"... and it is further ordained, by the authority aforesaid, that there shall be provided, at the charge of every parish or chappelry in this realm of England and dominion of Wales a fair register-book of velim be kept by the minister and other officers of the church; and that the names of all children baptized, and of their parents, and the time of their birth and baptizing, shall be written and set down by the ministers therein ; and also the names of all persons married there and the time of their marriage ; and also the names of all persons buried in that parish, and the time of their death and burial ; and that said book shall be showed, by such as keep the same, to all persons reasonably desiring to search for the birth, baptizing, marriage, or burial of any person therein registered, and to take a copy or procure a certificate thereof."
Other useful documents
Caution not everything recorded is accurate.