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  1. #1

    Default Original Lewisham registers ?

    I'm a former member, returning to genealogy, and a bit rusty (also not subscribed to any paid sites at this time).

    Can someone tell me which archive now holds the original Registers for Lewisham, Kent, for the 1870s?

    Thank you--
    Jane E

  2. #2
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Welcome back Jane.

    Registers for what?

    There are lots of free sites that you can use to search for birth, death and marriage records, post 1837, as well as for censuses and parish records.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
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    Hello again, Jane.

    The original parish registers for baptisms, marriages, and burials are held by the London Metropolitan Archives. I suspect that other records for Lewisham will also be held at LMA.

    From what I can see the parish registers for St Mary the Virgin, the parish church of Lewisham, are available on Ancestry. Depending on how urban or rural you are, your local library should, or a LDS Family History Centre will, have access to Ancestry. Alternatively, you could try taking out a free trial (remember to make sure you cancel any auto-renew 2 days before the renewal date), or actually take out a sub. Taking out a full sub for any site should be done with care. (Not sure how easy it is to elect to pay monthly, and then cancel after a couple of months.) Unless all the family members were born, baptised, married, died and were buried in the same parish/town, it's unlikely one site will have all the records you need.
    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

    The original parish registers for baptisms, marriages, and burials are held by the London Metropolitan Archives.
    Thank you, Pam, that is exactly what I needed to know. I'm sorry I neglected to specify BMD Registers. And thank you Megan.
    Jane E

  5. #5

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    London Metropolitan Archives referred me back to Lewisham Register Office. Lewisham's recent reply was that the records from the 1800s are in "deep storage", so not available to be searched.

    I was hoping to verify if there had been a misreading / mistranscription of one detail from a Lewisham original entry to the GRO's entries.

    Disappointing.
    Jane E

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    A transcription error should show up on the BMD certificate. What does it say, and who gave the information?

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    It is always possible that an error has occurred in the quarterly return/copying and indexing process by GRO (rare, but it does happen).

    Sadly a number of districts are now relying on this idea that they can put their original registers into "deep storage" and just refer enquiries for older certificates to GRO. That is a clear breach of the statutory duty of the superintendent registrar to issue certificates from registers that are held "in their custody".

    I have found that if challenged on this they will issue a certificate - the best method is to apply in writing, addressed to the superintendent registrar of the district, reminding them of their legal duty, and enclosing a cheque for the statutory fee ( £12.50).

    Note that it doesn't mean they have to photocopy the original register to produce the certificate, so you may just get a handwritten copy.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jane Elderfield View Post
    London Metropolitan Archives referred me back to Lewisham Register Office. Lewisham's recent reply was that the records from the 1800s are in "deep storage", so not available to be searched.

    I was hoping to verify if there had been a misreading / mistranscription of one detail from a Lewisham original entry to the GRO's entries.

    Disappointing.
    Jane E
    Just so there is no misunderstanding. I originally thought you were referring to parish registers which reference baptisms, marriages, and burials. And LMA will hold the PRs for Lewisham.

    However, it now seems as if you mean birth, marriage and death registrations which come under the registrar's office in Lewisham, and thence the General Register Office (GRO).

    Do you have a copy of the birth, marriage, or death certificate from the GRO, or are you merely referring to the indexed entry either on the GRO website, or FreeBMD?

    If you're querying the index, which bit do you think is wrong, and why? e.g. the birth registration index says the name is Frances, but the 1881 census leads you to believe that the name should be Ann. Names were frequently changed. (In one branch of my family three of the children changed their first and middle names around. Caused me a lot of confusion initially.) Have you found a baptism for 'Frances/Ann', and what name did that person continue to use in later life?

    If you're talking about a detail on a death registration, the details on those are dependent on how well the person registering the death knew the deceased. (And, trust me, even close family members can get things wrong.)

    On all certificates names can be misspelt, or written incorrectly because the registrar/vicar wrote what they thought the person said, and not what the person actually said.
    I transcribed some marriage registers, and because of the vicar's writing (scribble!!) some entries were very difficult to decipher. Straw or Shaw? Barnett or Burnett? Skelton or Shelton? I think the surname was Storr, the GRO Index says Stow. etc, etc.

    If you don't already have a copy of the actual certificate I would suggest that you get one. Digital images of almost all birth and death certificates for the 1870s should be available via the GRO site for £3.
    Unfortunately, marriage certificates are only available as paper copies and will cost you £12.50
    The advantage of already having a copy of the certificate is that you can then say to Lewisham that the birth/marriage/death was issued in sub-district xx, entry number 123, dated 1 January 1873, and then give one other fact. e.g. child's name Brian, or surname Jones, omitting the part you think might be incorrect.
    If it's a marriage certificate, in addition to sub-district and all the other details you need to be able to tell them the place of the marriage. To the best of my knowledge, copies of the parish/church registers are filed in separate registers for each church so there are likely to be at least fifteen different registers, and possibly even twice as many, to search unless you know the name of the church.

    Giving them such precise details means it's very difficult for them to say 'we've looked but can't find the record'. The only reason why they wouldn't usually be able to find the record would be if the registers had been destroyed in bombing raids during the war or by fire. As they haven't said that, it can only be assumed that the registers are just in a secure vault
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonyMMM View Post
    It is always possible that an error has occurred in the quarterly return/copying and indexing process by GRO (rare, but it does happen).

    Sadly a number of districts are now relying on this idea that they can put their original registers into "deep storage" and just refer enquiries for older certificates to GRO. That is a clear breach of the statutory duty of the superintendent registrar to issue certificates from registers that are held "in their custody".

    I have found that if challenged on this they will issue a certificate - the best method is to apply in writing, addressed to the superintendent registrar of the district, reminding them of their legal duty, and enclosing a cheque for the statutory fee ( £12.50).

    Note that it doesn't mean they have to photocopy the original register to produce the certificate, so you may just get a handwritten copy.
    As always, thank you, Antony, for the insider gen.

    Presumably,
    That is a clear breach of the statutory duty of the superintendent registrar to issue certificates from registers that are held "in their custody"
    means they can't fob you off with 'we don't have time to issue old certificates' which is I believed what happened in many London districts c2004 onwards when family history really began to take off.
    Vulcan XH558 - “Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened.”

  10. #10

    Angry

    Thanks to both Pam and Antony for further information. I am embarrassed to find out, by looking in my own "deep storage", that I already have the information I need.

    My search for the truth about Charles Ernest RODWAY, b. Lewisham 1879, began in 1977. (See thread in BRICKWALLS.) In 1999, I wrote to the GRO concerning the details on my 1977 hand-written copy of the birth registration.

    The response was "I can confirm that your copy and the details in the Register do actually correspond."

    In 2023, through DNA, I discovered the likely biological father, Charles MORGAN. His known occupation is "barber". My thought was that perhaps the original Lewisham certificate read "barber", but was mistranscribed as "baker" in the GRO. (That was the reason for this thread.)

    Tonight I got into the dozen large binders containing my own handwritten genealogy notes from the past 45 years. I found that the response in 1999 came not from the GRO, but from Lewisham Registration District ! So I barked up this tree 25 years ago....

    My apologies for the trouble you both have taken over this issue. Perhaps the information will be helpful to others.

    Jane E

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