* Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

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NigelBrown
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Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by NigelBrown » 05 Jan 2018 18:38

I am not happy with my many hundreds of records of Births and Deaths where the source is the GRO Index and only "quarter dates" are given because we do not know if the event took place during the quarter, only the registration. Is it possible to modify the standard Birth/Death Facts, or create second Birth/Death Facts (one of each of course) with a different name or in a different Fact Set, to say "{individual} was born/died shortly before or during the period< {date}> ..." in cases where the source is a GRO Index record that gives only a quarter period rather than is a fully dated Certificate, and where the date takes the form e.g. btw Apr 1939 and Jun 1939. Whilst the event might not have taken place during that quarter period, then most probably it did "shortly before". And, importantly, the Fact needs to show up in the Focus Window. Or is there any other means to achieve the desired end.

I know I could use the Standard Facts and add the words "born/died shortly before or during the period" before the quarter date in each appropriate case, but the size of the backlog is such that it would be a massive undertaking and very tedious. Am I missing something easy, or am I asking too much?

In case none of the above is achievable I have tried using the Search & Replace Plugin. I understand that with Date fields the words are spelt out in full. So, I have searched for between January and March and replaced it with shortly before or during the period between January and March. This seems to work (I think!) and would sort the backlog leaving me to do the job manually with new records. I could live with that except that it insists on putting the date phrase in quote marks which I do not want to live with. Can the quote marks be inhibited or otherwise be removed?
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tatewise
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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by tatewise » 05 Jan 2018 19:42

First a few ground rules :-
Only Standard GEDCOM Birth, Baptism, Christening, Death, Burial, Cremation facts can appear in Focus Window.
Only Standard GEDCOM Date formats are allowed, or they become "Date Phrases" and the quotes cannot be hidden.

Genealogists generally recognise the connotations of GRO Index entries and that their Quarter Date does NOT provide the event date. It cannot be guaranteed that the event occurred "shortly before or during the period" or even near the Registration Office. So without the Certificate, any attempt at adjusting the wording may still be incorrect.

But if you insist, then here are a couple of ideas.

Put the Quarter Date in the Citation Entry Date, and in the Event Date put whatever you are comfortable with.
May be a Range between a month before quarter to end of quarter, e.g. between Dec 1899 and Mar 1900
Or an Approximate simple Date for the first or middle month of the quarter, e.g. c. Jan 1900 or c. Feb 1900

Make the words "shortly before or during the period" conditional on the GRO Index source record.
In the Sentence Template insert the following code just before the {date} code:
{=TextIf( %FACT.SOUR>_TYPE% = "GRO Index", "shortly before or during the period ", "" )}
where GRO Index is whatever Source record Type you assign to such Source records.
Note that it only applies to the 1st Source Citation, so when superseded by a Certificate Source Citation then the condition that the 1st Source Citation equals GRO Index will be false.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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NigelBrown
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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by NigelBrown » 05 Jan 2018 23:44

Mike,

Thank you for the advice about usage and sentence template code. It works perfectly, of course. I have dropped the word "shortly" so now it reads "born/died before or during the period...".

Nigel
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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by Gowermick » 07 Jan 2018 08:05

Nigel,
As Mike says, every researcher knows the limitations of the GRO reference, and adjust their data accordingly.

When working backwards, (as one should), my birth dates generally start off as ‘c 1848’, then become a bit firmer when I find the GRO reference, so may become ‘1847’. This will only change to an actual date, if and when I find additional evidence. It may then become ‘11 Oct 1847’, and to be honest, without going to expense of buying all these certificates, this rarely happens, and even with a birth certificate to hand, the date may not be accurate, people made mistakes or even lied, especially if they thought they were going to be fined for late registration! (My own father is a case in point, he was born 18 Dec, yet his birth certificate states 31 Dec!)

I think you are trying to add accuracy to data that is inherently inaccurate to start with. Personally I wouldn’t waste my time. I’ve lost count of the times I’ve seen Christening dates used as birthdates in on-line tree, or even quarter dates. They both have no relevance to the actual birthdate, so why bother quoting them.

It is far better to look at an individual in totality, ( e.g. Birth, Christening, Census, Marriage, etc), then one gets a fairly accurate feel for when and where they existed.
Mike Loney

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victor
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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by victor » 07 Jan 2018 19:38

If I see a so called birth date before 1837 I treat that as a Christening date unless it states 'birth' or 'born'
From memory some parish councils (in Yorkshire) added the birth date in the margins of those Christening dates. There is a name for this. I will have to give a thought of what it was called.

I do recall Archbishop of York, William Markham (no relation), decreed, I think in 1804, that parishes should show the birth date. Unfortunately William did not live long after his appointment so this was not carried out but those parishes who had been adding birth dates continued to do so

Victor

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AnneEast
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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by AnneEast » 07 Jan 2018 23:20

Victor, those are Dade registers and the best ones list the grandparents and where they were from as well. However there are very many more parish registers that do record the birth date in the margin, or in some cases in a special column. I don't think its that rare, just the policy of an individual vicar.
Anne

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victor
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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by victor » 07 Jan 2018 23:35

Thanks Anne Dade was the name I was trying to recall. As you say there are many other parishes giving these birth dates. It was all down the the clergy writing them down but these are unofficial. Who cares if they were they are a good source of information. That was why the Archbishop wanted to make all parishes use Dade.

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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by Gowermick » 08 Jan 2018 08:10

Victor,
Treating a Christening date as the birth date is fraught with danger and in my opinion should not be done.

Whilst many were Christened within weeks of birth, others had their Christening delayed for one reason or another. I’ve seen too many cases where parents delayed Chistening their Children until they had 3 or 4, then Christened them all at the same time ( at a bulk discount from vicar? :D ). Some were not Christened by their parents at all, and only got Christened as adults, possibly shortly before marrying.

Apart from the Dade registers you already mentioned, I have found that some of the best English sources were Methodists, who didn’t Christen, but recorded births, quoting both parents surnames.
Mike Loney

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johnmorrisoniom
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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by johnmorrisoniom » 08 Jan 2018 10:04

Roman Catholic Registers mostly give the DOB as well as baptism, also mother's maiden name.
Some may even contain details of a later marriage crammed into the space underneath.

If there is a discrepancy between birth certificate and baptism birth record, I tend to use the baptism record.
These discrepancies are usually an earlier birth date, or absence of a (Fictitious?) father's name. (The mother would lie to the registrar, but not to the parish priest)
I have hot quite good at translating Latin because of these.

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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by LornaCraig » 08 Jan 2018 11:25

Gowermick wrote:Victor,
Treating a Christening date as the birth date is fraught with danger and in my opinion should not be done.
If you read Victor's post carefully you will see that he is not doing this. He is doing just the opposite: treating a so-called birth date as a christening date unless the record specifically says it is a birth date.
Lorna

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AdrianBruce
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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by AdrianBruce » 08 Jan 2018 15:37

johnmorrisoniom wrote:...The mother would lie to the registrar, but not to the parish priest...
Oh! My experience tends to be the opposite (dealing with records that is, not being lied to). Maybe my Anglican relatives were less afraid of the parish priest than the average Catholic. Though I also wonder if there was some collusion between some mothers and the priest. ;)

There's one family, ostensibly with a couple of children, where I'm convinced the father, invisible in censuses, doesn't exist. He's recorded in baptisms at the church 200 yards down the road in a small village - well, if he doesn't exist, how likely is that?
Adrian

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Re: Recording GRO Index Birth/Death sources

Post by tatewise » 08 Jan 2018 15:43

This thread has drifted far from the original topic of GRO Index Quarter Dates and associated Birth/Death Dates.

Should I start a new thread for this discussion of pre-GRO Baptism and Christening records?
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history ~ tatewise ancestry

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