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GRO duplicate entries

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GRO duplicate entries

Postby Tobina » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:59 pm

I am trying to pin down the death of William Seddon in 1837 in Prescot.
I sent for 2 certificates with different reference numbers which turned out to be the same person.
I’ve now found another William Seddon in 1837 in Prescot but am reluctant to send for another certificate if it is the same person again with yet another reference number.
Has anyone else come across this problem & is there a solution?

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Re: GRO duplicate entries

Postby avaline » Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:10 pm

I wonder if there are two because it was right at the introduction of civil registration, and perhaps there was some confusion - were the informants the same on both?

Although FreeBMD has three entries, the GRO index has only these:

SEDDON, WILLIAM aged 46 GRO Reference: 1837 S Quarter in PRESCOT Volume 20 Page 517
SEDDON, WILLIAM aged 68 GRO Reference: 1837 S Quarter in PRESCOT Volume 20 Page 504

Lancashire OPC has this burial:
Burial: 7 Jul 1837 St Mary the Virgin, Prescot, Lancashire, England
William Seddon -
Age: 46
Abode: Knowsley
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Re: GRO duplicate entries

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:23 pm

I have seen it before, yes. On another message board, we had an instance of two death certificates for the same person. In this case the reports were made in two different sub districts by two different people - possibly the doctor and the owner of the house in question. We suspect that neither knew that the other had reported the death. And being different sub districts, they were different Registrars of Deaths.

The only reason we suspected anything before obtaining the certificates was the rarity of the name. I think.

In your case, I can only suggest that you look at the GRO site because the index there is supposed to give ages at death, if I recall correctly. You could also have a look at the burial parish registers - Lancashire OPC or Ancestry??? - as it's a good bet that someone can't be buried twice. But no guarantees that the relevant church will be in.

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Re: GRO duplicate entries

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:36 pm

My post crossed with Avaline's.

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Re: GRO duplicate entries

Postby Tobina » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:34 pm

Hi thanks for the replies. Ancestry & the GRO have 3 William Seddon entries for 1837 in Prescot.
I’ve got the death certificates for vol.20 p504 & p 517 which are exact duplicates. The other is vol 20 p 324 which is the one that I’m considering purchasing.
Interestingly there are 2 parish entries giving William’s age as 46 or 76!
There are so many Seddons that it has become difficult to decide which line to follow.

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Re: GRO duplicate entries

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 7:49 pm

Tobina wrote:... I’ve got the death certificates for vol.20 p504 & p 517 which are exact duplicates. The other is vol 20 p 324 which is the one that I’m considering purchasing.
...

504 and 517 are identical? Now that's odd because the GRO index has different ages for 504 & 517... What are the page (if you have it) and line numbers for the two? Are they identical? In which case it sounds like there's a re-direct on one page to send the GRO staff to the other.
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Re: GRO duplicate entries

Postby avaline » Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:42 pm

Tobina wrote:Hi thanks for the replies. Ancestry & the GRO have 3 William Seddon entries for 1837 in Prescot.
I’ve got the death certificates for vol.20 p504 & p 517 which are exact duplicates. The other is vol 20 p 324 which is the one that I’m considering purchasing.
Interestingly there are 2 parish entries giving William’s age as 46 or 76!
There are so many Seddons that it has become difficult to decide which line to follow.


I would query it with the GRO asap, as their index definitely gives completely different ages for the two so at the very least I would be asking for a re-check/refund of the one where the age on the index differs from the certificate.

The parish entries are the same man. If you look closely, one is the Parish Register, which has his age as 46 (correct) and the other is the Bishop's Transcript, which has his age as 76. The burials are the same date and with the same people before and after. Bishop's Transcripts should always be treated with caution as - being copied from the Parish Register - they are a secondary source, not a primary.

PS I've double-checked, and the GRO do not have 3 entries, they have 2, per my earlier post. Are you looking on GRO.Gov.uk?
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Re: GRO duplicate entries

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:36 am

I have a feeling that the page 324 entry won't exist. It's in FreeBMD but not the new GRO index, as Avaline points out. If you use FreeBMD to look at the other entries on that page, there are 13 - there are only 10 on a page. Unless the first registers were a different size, of course! More to the point, on Volume 20, page 324, all the entries are for Liverpool District apart from 1 for Manchester and William for Prescot. A page definitely came from 1 and only 1 district, so those 2 are in error. Possibly the error came in the compilation of the original GRO manuscript index in the 1830s and hasn't been repeated when the new GRO computerized index was produced.



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Re: GRO duplicate entries

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 6:51 am

Pages 504 and 517 both have just ten entries. Worth mentioning that having, say, 11 entries in the index for a page might not be an error - it might happen where somebody is indexed under 2 names for the one certificate.

Tobina - just to double-check - you are absolutely certain that you sent for 504 and 517 and not one of those and 324? You wouldn't be the first person to lose track of which is what - I know that I have.

Although I suspect that you didn't send for 324 on reflection because I don't think that the GRO would be able to find anything for that reference so you'd have got your money back for 324.

As I suggested - check the line numbers on the 2 certificates that you have already got.

Confused I am...

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Re: GRO duplicate entries

Postby Tobina » Sun Sep 08, 2019 9:54 am

Hi thanks again Adrian & Avaline.
I"ve checked everything again & now realise that the 2 entries in church records are the same person.
I've also found another William aged 68. I do wish there weren't so many people with the same name!!
Just when I think I'm on the right line something throws a spanner in the works.

It's great to have people on this forum to help.

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