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Accuracy of records

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Accuracy of records

Postby junkers » Wed Aug 07, 2019 11:33 pm

Whilst searching The National Archives' Discovery catalogue I came across references to two stolen birth and death local registers. The first (RG 48/511) from a robbery on 9/10 January 1924 in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, South Wales, where two burglars had stolen an iron box which had the registers for parts of 1922-1923 and which were not found when the iron box was found. The local registrar re-recorded the entries in a new register provided by the General Register Office and got most of the certificates re-signed by the informants but not all of the entries or people could be found. The burglars received 15 and 9 months' hard labour imprisonment respectively. Then in 1938 (RG 48/1258) a similar event occurred in Huntingdonshire, where money had been kept in the box, the assailants were not found nor were the registers, later instructions were issued not to keep money in the boxes. This may be just two recorded events of a bigger problem over the years.
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Re: Accuracy of records

Postby AdrianB38 » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:24 am

Interesting.... How would we ever know if our local registers were stolen, lost or damaged? Food for thought.

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Re: Accuracy of records

Postby Guy » Thu Aug 08, 2019 7:40 am

There have been many books over the years which touch on losses from registers including theft and loss by vermin flood & fire.
These include:
The Parish Registers of England by J. Charles Cox, LL.D., F.S.A. Published in 1910.

The History of Parish Registers in England (2nd Edition) by John Southerden Burn Esq. Published in 1862.

Parish Registers in England, Their history and contents.
With suggestions for securing their better custody and preservation
Attempted by R.E. Chester Waters, Published in 1883.

Also an in depth Worcestershire book-

A Digest of the Parish Registers within the Diocese of Worcester Previous to 1812, together with a Table of the Bishops' Transcripts now in existence in Edgar Tower, Worcester, previous to 1700. Published in 1899.

There were many similar books and articles on the subject published over the years.

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Re: Accuracy of records

Postby SarahU » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:28 pm

When l find an obvious error of any kind, l have notified them eg transcription error on Find My Past (where the image is available) and it has been corrected. If l have proof of an error or missing information on an ancestor’s record in Scotland’s People eg maiden name missing, parent deceased at time of child’s marriage, parent’s name wrong on death record or date of marriage missing on child’s birth (all of these have happened to me), l contact the authority (with source info), and they have issued an amendment to the record. This is important as future researchers may not be aware of the errors. For example, my grandmother died young while on holiday with me as a young teenager. Upon starting my research as a much-older adult, l ordered the death certificate and saw the person who registered the death was shown as a family friend. In fact, she was the landlady of our B & B and several details were wrong. They were all amended except time of death which was recorded as 3 am (when l was in bed) when it should have been 3 in the afternoon. I was sitting beside my grandmother in the hospital when she died then walked back to the B & B to notify the landlady. However, not provable and not important. Please make those corrections where needed.
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