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  1. #1
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Default Reference Checking

    For years I have bought certificates using the on line service, and want to do so again, although because I am not 100 per cent certain about whether or I have the right entry I wanted to include some reference checks - e.g. was the father Joseph Bloggs? However, I could find any facility on the web site to do this, so I decided to contact the GRO and ask their advice. Here is their reply:

    In order to ensure full legal compliance we have regretfully withdrawn our reference checking service.

    Alternatively you may wish to place a research order and we will carry out a three year search of the General Register Office Indexes for the entry you are seeking.

    Additional information may be included on these orders which will help us identify an entry.

    We are only able to undertake searches where at the very least the year and place of the event together with the full name and surname of the person is provided.

    If the search is unsuccessful we will contact you to advise no trace of an entry can be found in the details supplied and a full refund is issued .

    Standard Service charge 9.25 - 15 working days
    Priority Service charge 23.40 - Despatched the following working day.

    For further information on how to place an order, please refer to our website: www.direct.gov.uk/gro


    Does anyone have any idea what the "full legal compliance" is referring to?

  2. #2
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Default

    The reference checking facility was dropped a couple of years ago in April 2010. As far as I can remember it was deemed illegal for the GRO to charge for a failed search. I.e. you would pay for the cost of the certificate up front when ordering but only receive a partial refund if the search failed.

    Their research service is similar to the old reference checking facility in that you can specify certain criteria, such as a father's name on a marriage certificate. However, one major difference with their new service is that you are not charged for a failed search. If they can't find a certificate which matches any criteria you specify, such as the name of the father, then you receive a full refund.

    If you are unsure about using their research service, do let us know.

  3. #3
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Default

    Here is the explanation from the GRO published in 2010 explaining why they dropped reference checks...

    Customers are asked to please note that there will be a change to the GRO fee structure which will take effect from 6 April 2010. Further details can be found on the IPS website at www.ips.gov.uk. Please note in addition that GRO have reviewed the range of services which we currently offer. We have been advised that there is no clear remit in statute for charging for a service to check additional index references, or to retain partial fees. In order to ensure full legal compliance, and in view of the fact that we cannot afford to offer this service free of charge, we are regretfully withdrawing our reference checking service from 6 April. This will include the withdrawal of the "checking points".

    See http://
    webarchive.nationalarchives.gov.uk/20100413151441/gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/

  4. #4
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Default

    I will have to give it a go and see what happens - although I think that their web site is very unclear about how to do this, and perhaps deliberately so.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Megan Roberts View Post
    I will have to give it a go and see what happens - although I think that their web site is very unclear about how to do this, and perhaps deliberately so.
    It's not obvious is it. In case it helps, here are some steps for you.

    If you want to order a marriage certificate and specify a father's name, then on the GRO certificate ordering page...

    Tick the box - Marriage Certificate (England & Wales)
    Scroll toward the bottom of the page and type in the year of the marriage
    For 'Is the GRO Index Reference Number known', tick NO
    Click the Submit button.
    The next page just asks you to confirm your own details. Click Submit.
    On the next page, you can specify the following ...

    Man's surname
    Man's forenames
    Woman's surname at marriage
    Woman's forenames
    Date of marriage (dd/mm/yyyy)*
    (If you do not know the exact date enter 01/01/yyyy, we will search the specified year and one either side)
    Place of marriage *
    Surname of man's father
    Forenames of man's father
    Surname of woman's father
    Forenames of woman's father

    I've highlighted the required fields in red. You also have to specify ether the man's surname and forename or woman's surname and forename

  6. #6
    Brick wall demolition expert!
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    Default

    Many thanks - I think I am going to need this to sort out the Williams line!!

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