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Alterations to 1939

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Alterations to 1939

Postby Whiteblade » Fri May 25, 2018 8:45 am

My mother-in-law Jean Stella Manning is shown on the 1939 register as an eight year old (why isn't the entry redacted as she is still alive?) and her surname has been crossed out and overwritten with her married name, Eastwood. As she didn't marry until 1951, the entry has obviously been changed years later. Is it normal for this to have happened?

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Re: Alterations to 1939

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri May 25, 2018 9:44 am

Yes - the Register was used as a live document by the NHS into the early 1990s. Practices were supposed to report deaths and changes of name due to marriage etc. Supposed to...

Normally the errors are omissions but in the case of your mother-in-law the error appears to be in the opposite direction. If she is still alive, she should be redacted. I think that FindMyPast subscribers can request closing as well as opening through the site. Otherwise I think that you have to go through The National Archives, whose (electronic) documents these are.

As for why that error occurred, there could be several answers. I've seen one entry for my lot where the indexing was correct in its redactions, but the bars on the image were moved up 2 lines - whether the whole page was similarly affected, I've no idea. There could, of course, be a plain old fashioned transcription error - I think that the information about someone being dead is on the rest of the right-hand page that we don't see (but can't remember where I heard that) - as it seems to hold lots of administrative codes, it may be a wonder that there aren't more such errors.

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Re: Alterations to 1939

Postby Guy » Fri May 25, 2018 1:21 pm

Yes if the NHS were informed about a death that was written on the right hand page along with other medical details (which is why we cannot see the right hand page)
Errors occurred due to the transcribers only having access to one column of text, rather than viewing lines of text. When the various columns were combined they were sometimes mismatched resulting in errors in appearing in lines of text (along with the difficulty in trying to transcribe with only limited examples to compare difficult words or letters with).

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Re: Alterations to 1939

Postby brunes08 » Fri May 25, 2018 2:29 pm

Thank you Guy, for that explanation about the transcribers only able to see one column. It has helped me unravel a few oddities I have puzzled over.
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