*GRO Index Searches

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victor
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GRO Index Searches

Postby victor » 06 Sep 2017 20:21

[ This discussion is derived from the thread Changing a person's name and father link (15251). ]

Elaine
Regarding the GRO web site David mentioned it is used for ordering certificates.
You can look at FreeBMD that is for searching and gives a reference number for you to order certificates. For births from 1911 it shows the mother's maiden name.
It only goes as far as the 1980's. Ancestry has a better search if you subscribe the searches take you to 2005
An alternative is Genuki web site. genuki.org.uk/big/eng/ Not all areas are covered but if the area you are searching is covered it gives the details of where the marriage took place (name of church or registry office)

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Re: GRO Index Searches

Postby tatewise » 06 Sep 2017 20:29

Sorry Victor, but you are not up-to-date with what that GRO website offers.
See Knowledge Base > Service ~ UK GRO Online Index Search and the GRO tutorial.

It is the same website as the Certificate Ordering service, but after you login there is an option to Search the GRO Indexes.
This has the advantage that details like Mother's Maiden Surname for Births and Age at Death for Deaths are available for years prior to their inclusion in the Indexes, and it is free.

In other words, unlike FreeBMD, it allows searches for Mother's Maiden Surname for Births prior to 1911, and thus allows many Index entries to be eliminated without purchasing a Birth Certificate.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

victor
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Re: GRO Index Searches

Postby victor » 06 Sep 2017 20:47

Thanks for the update. It has been awhile since I looked at the GRO site.
I think it only goes as far as 1957.
Ancestry goes further and does give dates of birth for those who have died

Genuki has the advantage of listing name of church (where available) which the GRO and FreeBMD do not
This only applies to some areas where the local Registrar gives permission

I have come across this news about GRO from Lost Cousins who will have rep attending but they have signed a confidentially agreement so wont be able to report any details...
'On Friday 15th and Monday 18th September the General Register Office will be meeting with user representatives in London and Southport to discuss the latest developments'

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Re: GRO Index Searches

Postby tatewise » 06 Sep 2017 21:42

Yes, as David said in Changing a person's name and father link (15251), it currently covers Births from 1837 to 1916 and Deaths from 1837 to 1957 with the additional pieces of data. After those later dates that additional data is in the GRO Indexes so can be found elsewhere.

The primary advantage is it allows potential Birth Index entries to eliminate if the Mother's Maiden Surname is incorrect, or for Death Index entries the Age is incorrect, without going any further.

I suspect this GRO Index search service is still somewhat experimental, and users have noticed some errors and omissions.
It may well be extended to cover more years, and possibly Marriages too. Who knows?

I think Ancestry can only give Date of Birth for Death Index entries after mid-1969 when that data was added.
Otherwise, Age at Death was added to the Death Index from 1911.

GENUKI and FreeBMD are listed among others in Knowledge Base > Useful Research Web Sites.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

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Re: GRO Index Searches

Postby victor » 09 Sep 2017 11:09

One must bear in mind that in the GRO (and FreeBMD) there are missing entries.
The only complete list would be in the local Registry office where the original registry books are kept
My mother's two sisters marriages are not listed on the GRO but was able to find a copy of their certificate in the local history centre where they have the old registry books. The bonus of finding them here was I was able to print the certificates for just the copy print cost. These are of the original certificate not the one the GRO puts together

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Re: GRO Index Searches

Postby tatewise » 09 Sep 2017 15:41

Yes, there are no doubt missing entries in most data collections, but mainly due to human error, and the only complete list will be in the original local registry books.

FreeBMD admit they have not yet transcribed the whole period 1837-1983 and a breakdown by event and year can be viewed in their Coverage Charts.

At the risk of repeating myself, the big advantage of the GRO Index search is that it allows the Mother's Maiden Surname to be filtered for GRO Birth entries prior to 1911 without having to purchase a certificate or having to travel to a local office.
I suspect that even at a local office, it is not possible to quickly perform such a search for entries prior to 1911 because the Mother's Maiden Surname is NOT recorded in the Registry Index before that year.
Mike Tate ~ researching the Tate and Scott family history.

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Re: GRO Index Searches

Postby russellf97 » 15 Sep 2017 07:43

From tatewise 06 Sep 2017

"I suspect this GRO Index search service is still somewhat experimental, and users have noticed some errors and omissions.
It may well be extended to cover more years, and possibly Marriages too. Who knows?"

AFAIK, this is what is left of the GRO's abandoned plan to put everything online, which is why it only goes as far as it does and there are no marriages listed. It is though, mind-bogglingly useful for the reasons already stated.
Yes, there are errors and omissions, but you can report them and they are corrected quite quickly after being checked. You can also see what reported errors have been allowed or disallowed which is useful.
Phil

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