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Certificates from Superintendent Registrars

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Certificates from Superintendent Registrars

Postby Guy » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:02 am

Have any forum members had their request for a certificate from a
superintendent registrar refused?

I have heard that some city offices refuse to issue certificates for
family history purposes referring the applicant to the GRO and would
like to ascertain whether this is true or simply urban myth.
If you have had a request refused by a Superintendent Registrar please
contact me.
Thanks
Guy
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Re: Certificates from Superintendent Registrars

Postby coopernicola » Sun Mar 16, 2014 9:19 am

This is not a problem I've come across but I tend to use the local BMD sites were possible, e.g. YorkshireBMD, to generate forms and send/take these to local Register offices. This is usually cheaper than GRO, but not available in all areas. I suspect if you know the details most offices will be happy to oblige, but often do not have the staff/ resources to undertake searches.

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Re: Certificates from Superintendent Registrars

Postby KayFarndon » Sun Mar 16, 2014 1:16 pm

I have had one refusal from a RO in London and they said that they had too many family history queries to deal with!

I was not happy with this, as I had already tried the GRO and they could not find the death I wanted. I know there will be a death recorded for this person, but there will be an error in the name, which would probably be picked up by the registrar when looking through the parish records.

Some registrars go above and beyond the call of duty, while others are not so helpful. Just a little bit annoying though if you can't get to read the records yourself.
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Re: Certificates from Superintendent Registrars

Postby Guy » Mon Mar 17, 2014 6:27 am

Thank you to all those who replied both on the forum and direct to my email.

It seems there was a problem mainly with three London offices but also with a couple of provincial where it to some extent depended on who was contacted.
In many cases the problems were with requests for marriage certificates but some offices refused requests for any "historic" certificate.
Those who did supply the certificate gave them a low priority meaning longer wait times.
Cheers
Guy
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Re: Certificates from Superintendent Registrars

Postby paulberyl » Sun Mar 23, 2014 6:44 pm

Nothing to add other than I remember wanting a certificate from one of the London Register Offices and when I went onto their website to see if I could order online they actually stated on their website that they were unable to respond to requests from family historians as they were not staffed to deal with such requests. (Unhelpfully I cannot remember the name of the actual Register Office).

Our local Register Office (Solihull) have a system where you cannot apply directly to the Register Office for a certificate you have to apply at the local council offices who then, somehow, arrange for the certificate to be produced. (Assuming they can find it. On two occasions I have been told that entries cannot be found but after applying to the GRO certificates have been forthcoming showing the registration district as Solihull).

At the opposite end of the scale I cannot praise highly enough the service offered by Birmingham (who have their own genealogist); Sandwell and Isle of Wight Register Offices who, in my experience, go out of their way to help and assist family historians.

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Re: Certificates from Superintendent Registrars

Postby 2012girl » Sun Apr 06, 2014 5:34 pm

Guy,

Devon Register Office refused to search for a marriage for me, as I was unable to tell them exactly where it took place, and told me to order the certificate from the GRO. I was able to provide the quarter, district (Exeter), full names of both parties and father's name of the groom, but they said they needed to know which church they married at.

Although I appreciate there can be a lot of different places a marriage could take place in a district I thought they were particularly unhelpful as some other Register Offices go out of their way to conduct searches. The same Register Office also refused to search for a death certificate unless I was able to tell them exactly where the person had died! Again, I was able to provide district, quarter and full name but not enough apparently!

Perhaps they are not a very well staffed office, but unless you're ordering your own certificate, or for a close family member (parents/grandparents marriage for instance) you're unlikely to know all of the details. That's usually the reason for ordering certificates...to find out those things! Not very good for us family historian's I'm afraid,

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Postby coopernicola » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:32 am

It's worth noting that Devon is a large county with more than 40 registration districts and three Register offices. It would entail a significant amount of work to search these registers even if you did have the name, quarter & year. If you could break this down to a specific district I'm sure they would be more helpful. If you can't do this or visit yourself remember it would be costly for you to employ a researcher, and asking a local government office to do this without charge is a little cheeky! I have actually found Devon, both registrar & archive, to be among the most helpful areas.

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Re: Certificates from Superintendent Registrars

Postby 2012girl » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:10 pm

As I stated in my previous message, I was able to provide the name of the district, and even give them an idea of the area I believed them to have been living, but I couldn't tell them with certainty where the marriage/death took place so was unable to proceed any further with them.

I have had dealings with Register Offices all over the country and am well aware of their procedures so 'cheek' doesn't come in to it! I certainly would only expect them to conduct searches within reason, and this wasn't an open ended request. I'm simply stating the experience I had in being unable to obtain a certificate through a local Registrar's Office, which was what Guy asked about. Clearly your experiences are different from mine,

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Re: Certificates from Superintendent Registrars

Postby ksouthall » Mon Apr 07, 2014 11:59 pm

I have obtained copies from parish registers from Devon Record Office with no difficulty whatsoever. The service has generally been quick and good value for money.
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Postby fuzzyfoz » Tue Apr 08, 2014 3:39 am

ksouthall wrote:I have obtained copies from parish registers from Devon Record Office with no difficulty whatsoever. The service has generally been quick and good value for money.
k


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I'm not sure this is the correct way to reply.
Regarding varied comments on service at government record centres.
Keep in mind that most county records offices have had major staffing cut backs in the past few years.
Now volunteers are relied on to answer enquiries etc.
Time is the essence for these offices and the volunteers do the best they can.
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