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    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change. Pam Downes's Avatar
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    Default Missing entries in GRO's Historical Indexes

    Information once again courtesy of the Lost Cousins newsletter.
    https://www.lostcousins.com/newslett...htm#GROmissing
    Do scroll down to the next two articles in the newsletter as they relate to this one.

    Please note that the missing entries are on the GRO's Historical birth and death indexes at https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/

    The entries are on the original GRO Index and can be found on Findmypast,Ancestry, and FreeBMD.

    Though remember that although it may say 100% complete for a quarter on FreeBMD, there may still be odd missing sheets, so you should always do a 'full index' check on either FMP or Ancestry if you can't find an entry on FreeBMD.

    I've done a little more digging as regards the registration districts involved in the missing entries.

    BIRTHS
    1847 Q3 - the whole of volume 12 is missing except for the first page (about 3000 entries missing).
    Volume 12 covers parts of Essex and Suffolk, and affects the following registration districts.

    Essex: Billericay, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Dunmow, Edmonton, Epping, Halstead, Lexden, Maldon, Ongar, Orsett, Risbridge, Rochford, Saffron Walden, Tendring, West Ham, and Witham.

    Suffolk: Bosmere, Cosford, Ipswich, Plomesgate, Risbridge, Samford, Stow, Sudbury, and Woodbridge.

    1860 Q2 - entries from volume 4B have been duplicated as volume 6C in Q4 (about 3000 entries duplicated)

    4B is Norfolk. All the registration districts listed at https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/nfk.html
    except for Ely, Holbeach, Hoxne, Mutford, and Wisbech which were mainly in other counties and had a different volume number.
    And although Acle, East Dereham, Fakenham, Great Yarmouth, North Walsham, Norwich Outer, Smallburgh, and Yarmouth and Flegg are Norfolk registration districts they didn't exist in 1860.

    The duplication in the Historical Index is very easy to spot if you have a less-common surname (Smiths, Wilson, Johnsons, etc might not be quite so easy to spot) as the duplicate entry is exactly the same as the correct one (e.g.) J Quarter Thetford Union 6c except that it says (e.g.) D Quarter Thetford Union 6c.

    1860 Q4 - all of the entries from volume 6C are missing (about 4000 entries missing).
    6C is Worcestershire. Registration districts covering places in that county can be found here https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/wor.html[/SIZE]
    The districts with 6C as the volume number are: Bromsgrove, Droitwich, Dudley, Evesham, Kidderminster, Martley, Pershore, Stourbridge, Tenbury, Upton and Worcester.
    All other districts either mainly cover another county or didn't exist in 1860.

    1881 Q3 - the whole of volume 3B is missing (over 5000 entries missing)
    3B covers parts of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, and Northamptonshire.
    Bedfordshire districts - https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/bdf.html
    All districts affected except for Bedfordshire, Central Bedfordshire, Dunstable, and Hitchin.
    Cambridge districts - https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/cam.html
    All districts affected except for Cambridgeshire, Downham, Fenland, March, Risbridge, and Royston.
    Huntingdonshire districts - https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/hun.html
    All districts affected except for Huntingdonshire North and Stamford.
    Northamptonshire districts - https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/nth.html
    All districts affected except for Banbury, Corby, Lutterworth, Market Harborough, Newport Pagnell, Northamptonshire, Northampton and Hardingstone, Oundle & Thrapston, Rugby, Southam, Stamford, Towcester & Brackley, Uppingham.

    1881 Q3 - the whole of volume 4A has been duplicated as volume 3B (over 7000 entries duplicated).
    4A covers Essex and Suffolk.
    https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/ess.html
    https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/sfk.html
    Essex districts affected are: Billericay, Braintree, Chelmsford, Colchester, Dunmow, Epping, Halstead, Lexden, Maldon, Ongar, Orsett, Risbridge, Rochford, Saffron Walden, Tendring, West Ham, and Witham.
    Suffolk districts affected are: Blything, Bosmere, Bury St Edmunds, Cosford, Hartismere, Hoxne, Ipswich, Mildenhall, Mutford, Plomesgate, Risbridge, Samford, Stow, Sudbury, Thingoe, Wangford and Woodbridge.

    Duplication is shown as before - Name, then (e.g.) S Quarter Maldon 4A and name, (e.g.) S Quarter Maldon 3B

    1902 Q4 - most of the entries from volume 11A are missing (around 11000 entries missing)
    11A is Wales.
    Districts affected are:
    Bedwellty, Llandovery, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath, and Pontardawe, in the historic county of Brecknockshire.
    Most of Carmarthenshire https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/cmn.html except Lampeter and Newcastle in Emlyn.
    The whole of Glamorganshire https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/gla.html
    Most of Monmouthshire https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/mon.html except for Crickhowell, Dore, and Hereford.
    Cardigan, Narberth, and Pembroke in Pembrokeshire.


    DEATHS
    1863 Q1 - most of the entries from volume 1C are missing (about 2000 entries missing)
    1C is 'Greater London'. But that was 'made' from Middlesex, Surrey, Kent, Essex and Hertfordshire, so plenty of districts to check there! Though I admit that I didn't check Kent.

    Districts affected are Bethnal Green, East London, London City, Mile End Old Town, Poplar, St George in the East, Shoreditch, Stepney, and Whitechapel from Middlesex.

    1863 Q1 - entries from volume 2C have been duplicated as volume 1C (about 4500 entries duplicated)
    Not such a disaster as missing entries. Just confusing as to know which one to order if you didn't know about the
    duplication.
    In the Historical Index you'll see two entries. e.g. John Smith (age 4) Q1 1863 Shoreditch volume 2C page 123 and another one exactly the same except the volume number will say 1C.

    These are the links I used to determine the districts.
    http://www.ramsdale.org/1837gro.htm
    https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/index.html

    Incidentally, during the checking I think I've found further omissions re deaths in Windsor and Basingstoke districts in Q1 1863. There are entries on FreeBMD which are not in the Historical Index.

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

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    Pam, I hope that I am not the only one confused by this. You say that the "missing entriea" are on the gro indexes but did you mean that they are not? If the entries are on the gro then surely they are not missing. As soon as the gro discovered that there were missing volumes then it would not have been rocket science for them to have gone back to the original index books or even the microfiche. If they didn't do that one has to wonder why. A financial deal with FMp and anc perchance?

    Cheers. Ed
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    [url]http://edmck.blogspot.co.uk[url]

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    Super Moderator - Completely bonkers and will never change. Pam Downes's Avatar
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    You're not the only one who was confused, Ed. I got in a right pickle, and had to have Peter Calver explain it to me. (My excuse was that I originally read it late at night. )

    In the beginning we had the GRO Index. Which is now getting on for almost being completely transcribed as far as 1983 on FreeBMD. The 'complete' Index (to 2007) being available on FMP and Ancestry.

    A few years ago, the GRO then published on its own website what they called 'historical birth and death indexes' *** (births I think went up to 1915, and deaths to 1957). The historical indexes included mother's maiden name for births between 1837 and 1911 and age at death between 1837 and 1866 - those pieces of information being missing from the original GRO Index.

    The omissions and duplications are ONLY in the Historical Indexes on the GRO website. https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/
    Examples:
    Birth 1847 Q3 - the whole of volume 12 is missing except for the first page (about 3000 entries missing).
    Volume 12 covers parts of Essex and Suffolk.
    Search FreeBMD for a birth for Mary Downes in September quarter 1847 born Essex.
    One result - Mary Ann Jane Downes, Maldon registration district volume 12 page 145.
    Now do the same search on the GRO Historical Index.
    The only result is for a Mary Ann Downes, birth registered June quarter Edmonton registration district.
    i.e. Birth 1847 Q3 - the whole of volume 12 is missing except for the first page


    1881 Q3 - the whole of volume 4A has been duplicated as volume 3B (over 7000 entries duplicated).
    4A covers Essex and Suffolk.
    Search FreeBMD for a birth for Charles Downes in September quarter 1881 in Essex.
    There's one in Maldon registration district 4a 363.
    Now do the same search on the GRO Historical Index.
    There's two - both have the same mother's maiden name, year, quarter and page number. But one says volume 4A and the other says 3B. The 3B one is wrong - that's the one which is the incorrect duplicate.
    i.e. 1881 Q3 - the whole of volume 4A has been duplicated as volume 3B


    Hope this explains things a little more clearly.

    *** We all cheered at the time, thinking the historical indexes would be far more accurate than the original index. Silly us.

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

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    This is pretty much how I have always understood it, that the "new" official index was less than perfect but thought it related only to mistranscriptions rather than missing volumes. However, in my ignorance I thought that the indexing would continue to correct errors like the the duplication you mentioned. It can't be that hard, surely? You may know the correct one but others coming along later may not and could buy the wrong cert. Having spent many "happy" hours at St. Catherines house I can understand why some the dirt encrusted entries in the bottom corners from licked thumbs could have been misread. But this of course only applied to the volunteers on freebmd working from scans of the microfiche, not to "professional " transcribers with the original registers. Oh well, as I have always said to my children expect perfection and you will be disappointed.

    Cheers. Ed
    www.jeaned.net
    [url]http://edmck.blogspot.co.uk[url]

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed McKie View Post
    As soon as the gro discovered that there were missing volumes then it would not have been rocket science for them to have gone back to the original index books or even the microfiche. If they didn't do that one has to wonder why. A financial deal with FMp and anc perchance?
    The GRO are indexing from the original documents so if it isn't simply a technical issue then they have to identify the missed registers and index each individual birth certificate. That takes a wee while.

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    Hopefully the missing volumes issue will be addressed by GRO as soon as possible - the digitisation was done quite a few years ago, and outsourced through an IT system provider as part of a previous project so will probably need the work to be tendered out to another transcription services provider.

    What is important to realise is that getting a different result when searching the new GRO index compared to the result you get on FreeBMD (from the old index pages) does not automatically mean there is a missing entry or any error at all. The new and old indexes have been compiled in different ways, and using different indexing rules so some differences are to be expected - and can actually be useful in determining what is likely to be on the register entry.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonyMMM View Post
    Hopefully the missing volumes issue will be addressed by GRO as soon as possible - the digitisation was done quite a few years ago, and outsourced through an IT system provider as part of a previous project so will probably need the work to be tendered out to another transcription services provider.

    What is important to realise is that getting a different result when searching the new GRO index compared to the result you get on FreeBMD (from the old index pages) does not automatically mean there is a missing entry or any error at all. The new and old indexes have been compiled in different ways, and using different indexing rules so some differences are to be expected - and can actually be useful in determining what is likely to be on the register entry.
    While the cause for the errors or the reason is understandable it shows that not only did the compilers fail in their task the checkers also failed, this should have been discovered during the checks to miss a block of about 3000 entries is unforgivable.

    However this is not a new problem the GRO have never since 1837 complied with their legal obligations to provide an index of BMDs in their possession.
    I was hoping that after 180 years they could do their job correctly.
    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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    I have no knowledge as to how the GRO organised the compiling of the Historical Indexes but I wonder if the reason for the missing 'blocks' is because the plug got pulled before those particular blocks were started.
    Logic says start with number 1, then do number 2, etc, but perhaps logic wasn't used.
    It's a bit like the way some newspapers are added to FMP. One week they'll add they'll add, say, the Liverpool Echo 1881-1883, 1886, 1888, 1891-1895. A couple of weeks later they add 1884 and 1889. No rhyme nor reason to it.

    However, pulling the (monetary) plug is no reason for blocks to be duplicated with an incorrect district number. That is sheer carelessness.

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

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    For those of you who were reading this thread yesterday, I have great pleasure in announcing that I have finally finished posting in post #1.



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

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