*Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

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Jane
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Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby Jane » 12 Apr 2019 07:40

I have just been working on a new family and discovered that FMP appear to be using the new GRO index with the mothers surname.

This means you can search the whole index for a Surname and Mothers name combination, rather than in 5 year chunks and once for each gender.
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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 12 Apr 2019 08:20

Is it consistent throughout, Jane? They've had (seemingly random) elements of it in the past. Also, do they have the first name for mothers with common surnames, which the GRO seems to be intrducing?

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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby LornaCraig » 12 Apr 2019 09:52

They have been steadily adding to it since they first started showing mothers' maiden names a few years ago. It's pretty good now, but I think there may still be a few gaps because I am still occassionally seeing entries where there is no mother's name in the index. (i.e.not even a repeat of the child's surname, which indicates the mother was unmarried).

I have not noticed any mothers' first names, but it's not something I have been looking for. If you give an example from the GRO index, Helen, I can check FMP.
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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby Jane » 12 Apr 2019 10:02

> Is is consistent

Not sure, I just noticed this week that most of the entries I was working on had the information. I have just managed to find 4 more children for one couple all of which were born and died between census and all fit neatly into the gaps in the existing children.
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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby mjashby » 12 Apr 2019 12:44

They have probably been 'scraping' the added data from the GRO Online Index. Not aware that there is any other source for that information that they could use.

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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby ColeValleyGirl » 12 Apr 2019 13:25

Lorna,

I can't find an example right now -- I remember it was pointed out in (I think) the LostCousins newsletter) and I looked at some examples at the time.

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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby AdrianBruce » 12 Apr 2019 18:28

LornaCraig wrote:They have been steadily adding to it since they first started showing mothers' maiden names a few years ago. It's pretty good now, but I think there may still be a few gaps because I am still occasionally seeing entries where there is no mother's name in the index. (i.e.not even a repeat of the child's surname, which indicates the mother was unmarried). ...

Sorry - are we talking FMP or GRO index here in relation to "no mother's name in the index"?

For the new GRO index, the Mother's Maiden Name, which is officially the name immediately before (first?) marriage, is taken from the surname prefixed by "formerly". Hence an unmarried mother in the new GRO index will have no "formerly" name and therefore the child of an unmarried mother will have a blank MMN. (Though I'm not sure about a woman who was married and, for this birth, is with the father but is unmarried to him... I think.)

Or were you talking about the FMP index? Which I have to say I'm not that familiar with having stuck to FreeBMD and the new GRO index so far - maybe it's time for me to look at the FMP one?
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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby LornaCraig » 12 Apr 2019 19:01

I was talking about the FMP index. They have been gradually adding mother's maiden name to their index of pre 1911 births for some time now. I don't know whether they are doing this by 'scraping' the data from GRO online, as Mervyn suggested, or collecting data from local family history societies which have accessed local register office records. But I have seen a few where the mother was unmarried and her maiden name has been shown as the same as the child's, rather than blank.
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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby AdrianBruce » 13 Apr 2019 10:15

LornaCraig wrote:I was talking about the FMP index. ...

Oh good - I rather hoped you were. Apologies for doubting you!

LornaCraig wrote:... They have been gradually adding mother's maiden name to their index of pre 1911 births for some time now. I don't know whether they are doing this by 'scraping' the data from GRO on-line, as Mervyn suggested, or collecting data from local family history societies which have accessed local register office records. ...

Well, checking my Grandpa's details for 1896, FMP has his mother's maiden name now and this must have come from the GRO as CheshireBMD are forbidden to publish MMNs for Cheshire East by the Registrar who took the view that if it wasn't explicitly permitted, then it was forbidden. (The Cheshire West Registrar, however, took the opposite view). I very much doubt that they are scraping the stuff on-line as I believe that this would come under the concept of database copyright whereby individual entries might not be copyrighted but the database as a whole is. Probably they've simply negotiated for a download from the GRO databases. The numbers of differences between the FreeBMD and new GRO indexes must surely mean that there needs to be a lot of manual(?) reconciliation, accounting for the gradual nature of things.

LornaCraig wrote:... But I have seen a few where the mother was unmarried and her maiden name has been shown as the same as the child's, rather than blank.

I shall try to remember that, thanks.
Adrian

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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby LornaCraig » 13 Apr 2019 13:09

I wonder if FMP have decided to show the surname of an unmarried mother as the same as the child's, rather than leave it blank, to make the pre-1911 index consistent with their long-standing post-1911 index entries.

Also, while they are still working on adding the mothers' names, leaving the surname blank would make it impossible to know whether it was indeed an unmarried mother or an entry that FMP had not yet updated with the mother's surname.

Edit:
Having said that, I now find that FMP are inconsistent. Here's an example of the difference between GRO index and FMP index regarding single mothers:
Ann Elizabeth Roberts, born Q2 1861 in Brighton, vol 2B page 203.
GRO has mother's name blank, FMP has mother's name Roberts.

And here's an example where both FMP and GRO have the mother's name blank:
Douglas Spencer Colley, born Q4 1900 in Yeovil, vol 5c p 361.
(And FMP have definitely added mother's maiden names to other 1900 Yeovil births)
Lorna

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Re: Find My Past appears to have the new GRO Index

Postby mjashby » 13 Apr 2019 16:44

Of course concluding that all children whose mother's maiden surname was the same as theirs were probably illegitimate would be inaccurate. I have numerous examples in my own research of people marrying spouses with the same surname and producing many offspring. Some were close to distant cousins, but not always?

The Mother's Maiden Name as recorded in GRO Index can also present the unwary researcher with problems when no corresponding Marriage Index entry can be found, as it suggests a variety of possibilities (apart from simple miss-indexing), including she was married before and the marriage was only indexed using her previous married name, they were not married when the children were born, they were married in another country, etc., etc. Examining such possibilities and solving those 'mysteries' can be frustrating but, for me, it's part of what adds interest and colour to some of those apparently ordinary past lives.

Mervyn


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