View Full Version : Marriage cert - all written by Curate
26-07-2006, 9:14 PM
Can anyone answer this query? Ordered and received a marriage cert from Southport for 1864. It was by license - presumably because the bride and groom lived quite a distance apart (their first child was born 10 months after the wedding). It is an actual copy of the original, not one handwritten by a current registrar. The entire certificate has been completed by the Curate - the names of the bride, groom, and two witnesses are all written in by him and are not signed by the individuals as I would have expected. Can anyone tell me why this would be - certainly the bride and groom could write and I think the witnesses could as well. Have not had this before on a marriage certificate and could not think of a reason why. I am sure someone out there will know!!!!!! Thank you for reading this !!!!!!!!
26-07-2006, 9:29 PM
That is perfectly normal.
If you get a certificate from the GRO at Southport, even though it is a photographic reproduction of something written at the time rather than a modern transcript, it is not "an actual copy of the original" - what they have at Southport are the "copies" written out by the clerk in the local office and sent into the GRO.
26-07-2006, 9:34 PM
Thank you for above. To get an actual copy of the original, and thus their signatures, do I have to contact the registrar for the area where the marriage took place and request only a photocopy??? Or do I have to go to the local records office and obtain copy from their films? Sorry, but I have not had this before so not sure how to proceed. Thank you
26-07-2006, 10:03 PM
To some extent, it depends on how co-operative the local register office concerned is, and, alternatively, how easy it is for you to get at the parish register films. You mention "the Curate" - obviously we're dealing with a church wedding here not one at the Register Office, so you do at least have two options rather than one.
There were two "original" registers - one retained by the church, one sent to the local office. Personally I go for the parish register every time - but most of mine are London area, I live in the London suburbs, and getting copies from parish register films at the LMA, Guildhall Library or Westminster Archives is, therefore, a doddle.
Quite apart from being easier, this also avoids having to deal with local offices which, in the London area at least, often do not want to know about family history enquiries, and even if they do, may only provide a transcript not a photocopy. As you'll have gathered, I don't use them very often. From my limited experience and that of friends, they do tend to be more willing to provide a photocopy in the case of marriages than in the case of births and deaths, but I wouldn't want to rely on it round here!
From comments of various people in other parts of the country, the experience elsewhere can be very different. So, if getting at the parish register films at the appropriate record office is a bit of a pain, you may find that the local register office are the most helpful people you could wish for and they will happily send a photocopy - but I would get confirmation of that from them before parting with any money!
26-07-2006, 10:21 PM
There is also the cost angle.
The Register Office will charge you £7, the same as the GRO did - and they may add a bit for postage too.
If you are able to use the Parish Register copy by visiting the appropriate record office in person and doing a print-out from film or fiche yourself, prices vary, but should be considerably less - the worst I know of is Westminster Archives at £1, in most others that I use, you're looking at around 30p-40p on average.
27-07-2006, 12:59 AM
If you have the actual marriage date and place (i.e.church), then it's always worth contacting the local Record Office/Archives (except London ones :) ) to ask if they could send a photocopy of the parish register entry, and what the cost would be.
Alternatively, if you unable to visit the Record Office in person, but have a local LDS FHC, then they may be able to order in the PR film for you. There's a small charge, but you get an opportunity to go through the rest of the PRs, and might find other family members with baptism, marriage or burial entries.
27-07-2006, 2:05 PM
Louise Renfrey and Myth have answered a concern of mine. I have been recently looking closely at marriage certificates obtained from GRO and was struck by the similarity of the hadwriting including bride & groom and witnesses and was going to post to see if I was imagining this or not. have done a post anyway.
27-07-2006, 4:32 PM
Thank you so very much for the above - I had no idea that gro Southport certs were not original/signed ones. You live and learn. Have just spoken with the Records Office and they advise should be around £2.50 to be confirmed. Have sent email with full details and await their response. Entry was actually added in ink to gro entry and had tried area registrar but they could not find it , so gro was only way of getting cert. Fingers crossed - and many thanks again. Reckon a few people will have been unaware of all this.
28-07-2006, 8:41 PM
Recvd email from records office with part to print off and complete a couple of forms - to do with copywrite/personal use etc. Charge was £2.50. Have posted off am today and hope to recve copy shortly. I am very excited to be getting this and to see how they signed - may be able to match up writing to 16th birthday gift from 'affectionate friend'..... or was it someone else........ Thank you to all - still learning!!!!!!!!!
28-07-2006, 9:35 PM
"Charge was £2.50."
Well, that's not bad considering you haven't had to go there and dig it out yourself - I'd be happy with that.
We all are, no matter how long we've been at it. :D
Hope it solves the little mystery when it arrives. :)
01-08-2006, 8:08 PM
Have recvd film copy of original cert today in post. Very pleased to have it and they were very quick in processing. Overall delighted and thanks to everyone for their input.
01-08-2006, 8:30 PM
Well, that was quick and painless - glad it worked out well for you! :)
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