Moderator Control Panel ]

Appeal for help: local register office story

Share your thoughts with your fellow family historians – and the Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine team – here

Appeal for help: local register office story

Postby Rosemary Collins » Thu May 23, 2019 11:40 am

Hi guys,

We're hoping to gather some of our readers' stories for a forthcoming article looking at the state of the certificate service at local register offices. How useful is it to order a local certificate instead of from the GRO? How long do the orders take? What are the postage fees? Are register offices still offering this service in the face of spending cuts and increased digitisation?

Has anyone here ordered from a local register office? We'd love to hear what your experience was like!

Thank you for any help you can give!
Rosemary Collins
Staff Writer
Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine

rosemary.collins@immediate.co.uk
User avatar
Rosemary Collins
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:52 am

Re: Appeal for help: local register office story

Postby Guy » Thu May 23, 2019 2:51 pm

The last time I used a local Superintendent Registrar’s was in January of this year when I used two separate offices (Wakefield & Dewsbury).
Wakefield supplied me with a certificate within two hours (for an extra price) but at Dewsbury as there was no rush I chose the three day option.
Wakefield supplied the certificate in the GRO horizontal format where the digitised details were printed on a certificate then signed and dated by the Deputy Superintendent Registrar, but Dewsbury supplied a vertical A4 format hand written certificate.

Prior to this when I registered my brother Frank’s death in 2007 (in Alloa, Scotland) I asked the Assistant Registrar for a copy of his birth certificate.
Both his death certificate and his birth certificate were handed to me (at the standard price) before I left the office about half an hour to an hour in all, even though Frank had been born in Edinburgh.
It seems Scotland’s system is far more advanced than England’s.
Cheers
Guy
As we have gained from the past, we owe the future a debt, which we pay by sharing today.
Guy
 
Posts: 375
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 3:56 pm

Re: Appeal for help: local register office story

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu May 23, 2019 6:57 pm

I've only ordered from local Registrars through the UK BMD sites - CheshireBMD, my local, was one of the first. There are 2 major reasons for going to the local Registrars: one less copy has been made (potentially) with less chance therefore of error; and sometimes you can get an image of the original certificate with original signatures.

That last doesn't always apply - copying the relevant bit requires careful use of templates, I understand, not to mention the physical effort of handling the registers. No surprise that some offices just do a hand written copy. NB the images are always done on a certified background.

Another possible reason for using the local Registrars is that their indexes are different and therefore a record that might be lost in the GRO indexes, might be easier to find in the local ones. Always better to have 2 chances.

I'd guess that the offices that I use send out stuff as quickly as the GRO, though the days appear to be gone when I would get hand written copies from Crewe by return of post.

I've always had good service from the several offices in Cheshire, Staffordshire and Lancashire - although as they are more expensive now than an uncertified PDF, I use them less.

Sent from my Moto G6 Play using Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine Forum mobile app
Adrian
AdrianB38
 
Posts: 2568
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:07 pm

Re: Appeal for help: local register office story

Postby avaline » Fri May 24, 2019 1:24 pm

I ordered a birth certificate from Pontypridd register office about 18 months ago, at a cost of £10 + a stamped return envelope.

I didn't know for certain who the child's parents were as she never appeared on a census with them, and I suspected that both had died within a few years of her birth. After much research I was able to make an educated guess at her likely parents and year of birth, but I was far from certain; especially as her US death certificate named a different father than her marriage certificate.

I briefly explained my uncertainty - especially over the mother - and requested that if no certificate matched my 'guess' then they contact me and I would send further cheques to cover any certificates where the child's town of birth and the fathers name & occupation, per marriage cert, was a match. The father's occupation was, somewhat unhelpfully, 'collier', and I had two possible towns/villages where she may have been born.

With the surname Davi(e)s in Wales and no certainty as to her date of birth or her parents, finding the right certificate via the GRO was never really a viable option - especially as the index doesn't reveal the sub-district - but within four days of posting my request to the local registrar I had the correct certificate in my hands.

A fantastic service I would hate to lose.
avaline
 
Posts: 166
Joined: Fri Apr 13, 2018 10:47 pm

Re: Appeal for help: local register office story

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri May 24, 2019 4:36 pm

That's a good point. If you can see their indexes, then births and deaths are indexed at the sub-district level, so you can be a lot clearer when you're matching the birth place from the census to a sub-district. Whereas a registration district may cover several towns and villages.

Sent from my Moto G6 Play using Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine Forum mobile app
Adrian
AdrianB38
 
Posts: 2568
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 4:07 pm

Re: Appeal for help: local register office story

Postby Rosemary Collins » Tue May 28, 2019 10:24 am

Thank you for the replies everyone, they're really helpful!
Rosemary Collins
Staff Writer
Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine

rosemary.collins@immediate.co.uk
User avatar
Rosemary Collins
 
Posts: 121
Joined: Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:52 am


Return to Genealogy chat


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest