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Thread: 1939 Register

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    I think that what this exercise has brought home to me is the need to not accept the dates in the 1939 Register at face value.

    I have a lot of birth dates for 2nd / 3rd cousins that I was given by an elderly relative some years ago, and based on the 1939 Register some of them "seemed" to be wrong. But by checking the Civil Registration Index you can tell whether the year is right, and whether the quarter looks right.

    So for two of her sisters, one of whom died as an infant, based on the 1939 Register I thought she had got her birth year wrong, but she hadn't, and another, I thought her birth date and month wrong, and she may well have done so, because she told me February, but the birth was registered in the Jul quarter!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Megan Roberts View Post
    I think that what this exercise has brought home to me is the need to not accept the dates in the 1939 Register at face value.

    I have a lot of birth dates for 2nd / 3rd cousins that I was given by an elderly relative some years ago, and based on the 1939 Register some of them "seemed" to be wrong. But by checking the Civil Registration Index you can tell whether the year is right, and whether the quarter looks right.

    So for two of her sisters, one of whom died as an infant, based on the 1939 Register I thought she had got her birth year wrong, but she hadn't, and another, I thought her birth date and month wrong, and she may well have done so, because she told me February, but the birth was registered in the Jul quarter!
    No sorry you cannot be certain of anything by checking indexes, always go to the record itself, preferably the original record but never rely on indexes or transcripts they are only guides.

    (Note Marlene died in 1996 before someone thinks she might still be alive)

    The birth I referred to earlier is indexed by the GRO under Births 1937 as
    Fillery Marlene P. Rider W.Ham 4a 146

    The reference in the GRO index is running up the side of this image

    http://www.anguline.co.uk/fampics/1937.jpg

    However I must add that FreeBMD does add a note to the entry

    “The above transcription represents what is in the GRO index but it is referred to by the following entry
    Births 1933 Jun: Fillery,Marlene P,Rider,W. Ham,4a,See S37
    which implies that this is a late entry, that is an entry that has been registered in a quarter later than the event”

    If one was checking the GRO index on microfiche for instance as many still do in FHS and in libraries and indeed archives there would be no indication of the re-registration FreeBMD referred to

    Indeed if one does as I must have done on the occasion I referred to simply looked at the top of the certificate rather than the date entered in the date column an error would be made.

    Cheers
    Guy

    PS the dash at the begining of the GRO reference is in place of the surname Fillery as there were other Fillery entries before this one.
    Last edited by Guy Etchells; 30-12-2017 at 12:42 PM. Reason: added a PS
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Etchells View Post
    No sorry you cannot be certain of anything by checking indexes, always go to the record itself, preferably the original record but never rely on indexes or transcripts they are only guides.
    I am sorry Guy I do not agree with you.

    The point I was making, and perhaps not wholly clearly, was that in one of the particular case I was citing I had been told that a girl was born on a particular day in 1935.

    The 1939 Register said that her birthday was the same day and month (January) as I had been told but the year was 1936. Now as this girl had died in the early 1940s, I presumed when I saw the 1939 Register that the elderly relative had misremembered.

    But then when later I found other errors in the 1939 Register that I knew for certain were errors, because of I had birth certificates which showed for those individuals, I then decided to check the E&W Birth Registration Index for the girl in question. That clearly shows that her birth was registered in the first quarter of 1935, and not 1936, so I can rely on the index in this instance without the need to purchase a birth certificate.

    That does not mean that I do not recognise that there any documents which are error free - that would, in my humble opinion, be impossible. Nor does it mean that I don't advocate the necessity of purchasing BMDs to back up research. BUT I do not advocate the purchasing of what I consider unnecessary certificates, and in this case this would be an unnecessary certificate, as I am satisfied that I have not correctly identified the birth year, which is all I am interested in.

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    If you are happy with it that's all that counts.
    Cheers
    Guy
    As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

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    This is a very interesting discussion. My mother in law's mother, Florence, has a birthdate on the 1939 register which is completely different by 2 years (and in month and day) from that on the birth certificate I have bought. However, her family were surprised by this birth certificate because the details on the 1939 register agree with their knowledge. cicilysmith

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    Quote Originally Posted by cicilysmith View Post
    This is a very interesting discussion. My mother in law's mother, Florence, has a birthdate on the 1939 register which is completely different by 2 years (and in month and day) from that on the birth certificate I have bought. However, her family were surprised by this birth certificate because the details on the 1939 register agree with their knowledge. cicilysmith
    Would I be wrong in assuming the birth certificate you bought was from the GRO?
    Have you tried to search the Superintendent Registrar’s indexes to locate the birth or even tried get a copy of the original birth certificate from the Superintendent Registrar.

    It is not unknown for there to be a disparity between GRO record and the local records.

    Is there a possibility of a baptism certificate that could throw light on the subject?
    Could there have been an earlier sibling?
    Have you thought about searching for a death registration just in case?
    If Florence is still alive has she thought of asking for her medical records?

    These are just a few of the many questions I would be asking to try to solve the disparity.
    Cheers
    Guy
    Last edited by Guy Etchells; 30-12-2017 at 5:57 PM. Reason: spelling
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  8. #17
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    Florence died in 1966.
    I haven't looked for a baptism. I could try that, but according to Cheshire BMD (which, as far as I know, is produced from the local records, not the GRO, her birth year is the same as the one on her birth certificate from the GRO.
    I have all her siblings but there is a gap between Florence and her previous sibling who died as an infant and was not called Florence, so it is possible she was born earlier. My cousin and I wondered if her family forgot to register her but that wouldn't explain why they changed the month and day as well as the year. I'll see if I can find a baptism. Thanks, cicilysmith

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