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  1. #1
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    Default GRO/FreeBMD/Family Search incomplete records

    Hi All,

    I do a One-name study, and after a few years of not progressing well I decided a different approach was necessary.

    First, I wrote out, by hand, all the births of my study name in chronological order, taken from FreeBMD, from 1837 to 1992.

    Then I went through all the deaths from the GRO, 'killing off' names where I could. I chose the GRO to do this as they have age at death from the beginning, making it easy to identify each person. I should say that at this point I'm only killing off the males.

    I have just under 900 names, say half of them are males. I discovered 43 deaths for which I have no births. I accept there will be some issues with names being different over the years, ages being inaccurate sometimes, and other possible reasons, but I've matched where I can, marked some as dubious, and am still left with 43 that I definitely can't put anywhere yet. I feel this is quite a high percentage of missing records.

    I next looked at Family Search births, and the very first 6 records that came up don't appear on either FreeBMD or the GRO. They do all, though, have a Volume and page reference. I haven't looked at their deaths yet.

    I'm really surprised at the level of inconsistency - I thought these records all came from the same source. I would expect some errors, but not omissions to the degree I saw.

    The other thing that caught my eye was the number of records on the GRO that state age at death in years, but should be months. I don't remember exactly but I think around 25 of my males who died under a year old actually had their ages in years. I do plan to send corrections.

    I have a lot more work to do on this, I just felt I had to mention it. Does anyone know if these records are all sourced from the same place? It seems no wonder that we struggle finding our ancestors sometimes.

    MoK

  2. #2
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    Though it might be a surprise 43 deaths with no matching deaths is not really a great number.
    Have you taken into account those who were born prior to 1837 ?
    Those who may have been born between 1837 & 1874 when the onus was put on parents to register the birth?
    Then what about vaccinations a number of parents refused to register children born between 1953 and 1907 as then they would be liable to have them vaccinated!
    Then of course there may also have been those registered but the registration not being transmitted from the local registrar to the GRO and those miss-transcribed?

    Over the period you searched that is only a rough average of 1.5 births missing per year even if we assume those moving in to the country was equal to those emigrating from the country.
    Cheers
    Guy
    As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Etchells View Post
    Then what about vaccinations a number of parents refused to register children born between 1953 and 1907 as then they would be liable to have them vaccinated!

    Cheers
    Guy
    Hi Guy,
    Sometimes I can make a subtle correction but as I don't have a clue which years are involved I will have to leave it to you to come back and tell us the correct ones.

    Pam
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam Downes View Post
    Hi Guy,
    Sometimes I can make a subtle correction but as I don't have a clue which years are involved I will have to leave it to you to come back and tell us the correct ones.

    Pam
    Vaccination Act of 1853 required every child to be vaccinated within 3 or 4 months! Position was altered by the 1907 Act.

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    Hello MoK2,

    Welcome to British-Genealogy.

    I think Guy has covered all the points I was going to raise (as well as some extra ones!)

    I next looked at Family Search births, and the very first 6 records that came up don't appear on either FreeBMD or the GRO. They do all, though, have a Volume and page reference. I haven't looked at their deaths yet.
    Frankly, I'd be extremely suspicious about these entries. Missing from the Index on the GRO's own site is a possibility because it's a known fact that even this supposed super-index is full of omissions, but also missing from FreeBMD which was taken from the the original GRO Index is unlikely unless all the entries were for the same quarter and year. I know FreeBMD is still not complete, but I'm still calling it unlikely.
    If you tell us the names and details on FamilySearch our super-sleuths will have a look and give you their opinions.

    Have you checked names and birthplaces on the census to try to match people to records which at first might seem unlikely? I found one family the other week where some of the children have one mother's maiden name while the others have a different one, yet they all have the same mother.
    There's also instances where children were born before a marriage so were registered with the mother's maiden name but then the parents married and the child took his father's name for a while, but later reverted back to his birth surname.
    Plus those who, like Zebedee Plonker, decided that they didn't like their name so wanted to be called something entirely different.

    I was searching for Mike Foster's 'Comedy of errors' and found this instead.
    https://www.heritagefamilyhistory.co...ng-entries.pdf

    Interestingly, although it seems Mike's books deal mainly with (missing/incorrect) marriages, in book 2 there is one chapter headed 'The LDS film/fiche of the GRO indexes'. It might be worth seeing if your local library (once it reopens) has, or can obtain, a copy of the book for you to borrow.
    https://www.
    hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/data/books/books-0/book0023-errors.htm

    Pam
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pam Downes View Post
    Hi Guy,
    Sometimes I can make a subtle correction but as I don't have a clue which years are involved I will have to leave it to you to come back and tell us the correct ones.

    Pam
    Oops typing error here it should of course have been 1853.
    It was first instituted in 1853, with a another similar Act in 1867. This was slightly amended in 1871 & again in 1874 & 1898. The final Act was in 1907 the main effect for family historians was some parents not registering their children.
    Cheers
    Guy
    As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

  7. #7
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    I believe the birth index on FamilySearch comes from Findmypast.

  8. #8
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    Hello Pam,

    Thank you for your reply. I have tried to respond to Guy and to yours last night and earlier today but for some unknown reason my responses were deleted before I could send them.

    Thank you for the Comedy of Errors article - I've not read it all yet but it certainly seems an eye-opener.

    I spent a little time this morning looking again at some of the records I couldn't find - I managed to locate one, thanks to Guy - a birth most probably before a marriage. There may be more like that. I also found another record at the GRO where death was recorded in years, and should have been months, meaning I was looking at the wrong birth year.

    I'm not looking at Census records at the moment, but when I do I'm sure I shall find some more of the missing people.

    MoK

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    Thank you for the Comedy of Errors article - I've not read it all yet but it certainly seems an eye-opener.
    Don't read too much into that. Others have discredited it.

  10. #10
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    I used to transcribe the data for FreeBMD years ago and I think its still an on going Project so that might be why you are not finding things that you want. Just saying as no one else has pointed this out may be that's why you find information on some other sites. Family Search site was the "Latterday Saints of Utah"

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