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Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

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Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby Mick Loney » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:08 am

When searching the new GRO records for deaths, be aware that in many cases, that if a childs age is given in months, this is often transcribed as years! i.e. a baby dying at 6 months, is hown as being 6 years old.
The odd one is understandable, but I have found it worryingly common.


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Re: Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby Guy » Mon Dec 19, 2016 1:16 pm

Yes the GRO have known for a while that ages of infants aged either in days, weeks or months may appear as years in the results.
No indication yet as to when this will be corrected.

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Re: Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby Mick Loney » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:10 am

Guy,
That would be a mammoth undertaking, as basically you can't trust any result where age is shown as 18 or below, as I have seen an 18 month old transcribed as 18, which could mean 50% are potentially wrong!


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Re: Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby ianbee » Tue Dec 20, 2016 8:56 am

But that problem of whether the age is in years or not only applies to pre 1866 deaths, since we have the ages after then from the old indexes.
Curiously, it says on the GRO website -
"For infants who died within 12 months of birth, the age is shown as 0 in line with the microfiche indexes."
Have they actually done that?
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Re: Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue Dec 20, 2016 9:25 am

Mick Loney wrote:... That would be a mammoth undertaking, ... I have seen an 18 month old transcribed as 18, which could mean 50% are potentially wrong...

That would actually depend on where the issue is. If the transcript says 18 and has an item to say that this is in months, then the issue is with the failure of the site software to look at the "units" item. And that's fixable easily. If the units item saying months has never been entered, or was irrevocably lost, then it's the mammoth task.

Cross your fingers.

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Re: Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby Mick Loney » Tue Dec 20, 2016 1:11 pm

ianbee wrote:Curiously, it says on the GRO website -
"For infants who died within 12 months of birth, the age is shown as 0 in line with the microfiche indexes."
Have they actually done that?


I have evidence that they haven't done that! I have found children who died during their first year, and their ages are shown ranging anywhere from 1-12. Furthermore, as the age of infants are often quoted in months well into their second year, I fear this error will impinge upon the 1 year olds too!

My worry is that the transcription was done by OCR, and anything after the age digits was ignored. So if it said age 6 months, the resulting age came out as 6! But I live in hope that this wasn't the case.


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Re: Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby junkers » Tue Dec 20, 2016 11:44 pm

My understanding (from the 1911 Census) is that technology can't cope with anything other than full age, so that parts of a year e.g. 28 1/2 might be recorded as 0 (as in the 1911 Census transcriptions), but GRO should have planned for this before releasing it.
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Re: Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby Cachalot6972 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 5:52 pm

I know this is an old thread, but the thing to do is if you come across one, report it to the GRO.
I've come across quite a few so far and have flagged up the error and given them the birth record as well if I think it needs it. So far, they've all been corrected...
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Re: Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby Mick Loney » Wed Oct 25, 2017 7:55 am

What I forgot to mention in my original post, is that one can confirm whether age is in months or years, by looking for the corresponding entry on Freebmd. i.e if Gro says 18, but freebmd says 1, you know the age is 18 months (rounded down to 1 year) rather than 18 years.
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Re: Ages shown on the new GRO Death record search.

Postby ianbee » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:19 am

Mick Loney wrote:When searching the new GRO records for deaths, be aware that in many cases, that if a childs age is given in months, this is often transcribed as years!

A development, noted on rootschat
"Has the GRO Death Index changed?"
http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=786378.0
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