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02-07-2006, 7:27 PM
I copied this from a Family History Centre email:
The General Register Office for England & Wales have announced that the digitization of all their birth, marriage and death records is under way. The original paper copies of the certificates are being scanned and from these images new indexes will be constructed so that errors that occurred in the original indexing will not be repeated. Starting at 1837, the new birth indexes will show the mother's maiden name (starts at 1912 in the current index), the death index will show the age at death (currently starts at 1866) and the marriage index will show the spouse's surname (also starts in 1912 currently). The first two forenames will be shown in full, not just the first plus an initial. The whole project is due to be completed in the middle of 2008.
Does this mean the end of freeBMD ??
Doubt it. I suspect the digitization will have no effect on the FreeBMD project - it looks like the GRO are simply using modern technology to make it easier to provide certificates. Or am I getting the wrong idea?
FreeBMD is a useful way to identify the certificates you want - then the GRO can use their new digital images to copy off a certificate you have ordered.
02-07-2006, 9:18 PM
The GRO are simply putting into effect as much as they can of the 2002 consultation document on proposed changes as the can due to the government's failure to present the proposed changes to parliament.
Eventually the government will understand the procedure required and will present the Registration Modernisation to parliament and the changes will take place.
02-07-2006, 9:22 PM
FreeBMD is what it says Free.
Can't see the GRO being free, but then do pigs really fly?
02-07-2006, 9:38 PM
"new indexes will be constructed so that errors that occurred in the original indexing will not be repeated."
Very nicely worded.
I trust that FreeBMD (and 1837 online, and those other people across the pond) will not be so gullible as to assume that this means that the new index will have less errors, and throw away all their scans of the old paper one.
(In the firm belief that the new one will be worse than the old one, wanders off to get the calculator, to work out what size hard drive is needed to save the entire existing index, just in case ... ;) )
03-07-2006, 12:02 AM
"The original paper copies of the certificates are being scanned and from these images new indexes will be constructed so that errors that occurred in the original indexing will not be repeated."
To say nothing of the errors they made when they 'updated' Index pages from handwritten to typed ones. I keep the GRO ref in my FH files but I now also note whether the index page was written or typed. Whenever possible I try to find a handwritten copy, either at the FRC or my local LDS FHC.
I don't suppose that the companies that provide online copies of the GRO Index will be exactly thrilled at the thought of having to buy the updated one, and the poor FreeBMD transcribers will have to virtually do it all again.
03-07-2006, 12:44 AM
I haven't seen anything on the actual form of the new version.
Unpleasant scenario ...
The new index is entirely digital, and the only normal means of access is a pay site run by the GRO. To comply with existing legislation, free access is available to those visiting an obscure office run by the GRO, twenty miles from the nearest railway station and only open between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m.
The new index has a different reference system, which, like some of the local BMD projects, is based on the individual *entry* not the page number.
The GRO announce that from 1 January 200x, only new style references can be used for ordering certificates.
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