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Using the GRO Register to Cross Check Info

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Mick Loney
Posts: 201
Joined: 15 Jun 2020, 07:27

Re: Using the GRO Register to Cross Check Info

Post by Mick Loney »

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that because child’s surnames and mother’s surnames match, the entries are for siblings! For example, if two brothers married two sisters, all their children will have same surname and mothers surname, and you will not be able to allocate correct parents just from GRO entries alone.
To get round this, you will need christenings and/or census entries as well. Failing that, you will need the actual birth certificates to be certain.

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Guy
Posts: 95
Joined: 01 Jun 2020, 19:14
Location: Wakefield
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Re: Using the GRO Register to Cross Check Info

Post by Guy »

Mick Loney wrote:
15 Jun 2020, 17:19
Do not fall into the trap of thinking that because child’s surnames and mother’s surnames match, the entries are for siblings! For example, if two brothers married two sisters, all their children will have same surname and mothers surname, and you will not be able to allocate correct parents just from GRO entries alone.
To get round this, you will need christenings and/or census entries as well. Failing that, you will need the actual birth certificates to be certain.
I would also add that there are also occasions where one parent may have remarried and the father's name or the mother's name may not be the same as the children's names, but the children are half-siblings.
I would always urge researchers to find as many different sources of primary information to base decisions on rather than basing conclusions on indexes or transcripts and indeed secondary sources.
Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.

pinefamily
Posts: 64
Joined: 26 Jun 2020, 20:16

Re: Using the GRO Register to Cross Check Info

Post by pinefamily »

Very true, Guy. It is important to view as much primary information as possible. Every transcription, however accurate, will contain errors, even as minor as the misreading of a name.
Seeing the original records can also give you extra information. In a parish record for example you might find John Smith of such and such which can help separate from any other John Smith's in the same parish. That information is generally not available in an index or transcription.

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