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    GRO records

    Has anyone ever found an error in these records. I am trying to find the death of Margery Ellen Burrell born 1914. Lived in the borough of Lewisham. I have found a death in 1967 but the name given is Margery H Burrell. Dates fit but I never add records to my tree unless I truly believe they are accurate. I have had errors in census but never in these records.
    Regards
    Ann

    #2
    I guess the person registering the death could have done it wrong? Helen instead of Ellen? only sure way is to get the certifictae, unless you can find a burial giving more clues.
    Carolyn
    Family Tree site

    Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
    Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

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      #3
      I think you could be right. It would have been the husband registering the death and I well believe that he could have not been understood
      Thank you
      Ann

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        #4
        It could also be an error in the index. I have found specially the initial letter of the middle name wrong and I think it may sometimes be because the old style typewritten letters are not clear to the original indexer. E and H could quite easily be confused if the type is not very clear.
        Anne

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          #5
          Helen for Ellen perhaps?

          Comment


            #6
            Yes I am now sure I have the right one. Very grateful
            Ann

            Comment


              #7
              I believe there are over one million "errors" in the GRO indexes. Who decides.what is an error though? Years go, an old chap in a records office said to me

              "Evrery time man picks up a pen, an opportunity for error occurs".

              My friend's father died in a care home and staff registered his death as Bert, because that's what he was known as. It wasn't his given name, but the procedure for altering the death cert was a bit of a fuss, so my friend left things as they were. No one will ever find him!

              OC

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                #8
                I have read that the new GRO records are more accurate as they have gone back to source documents. Many records are transcriptions from the register by the registrar, that are then sent to GRO for indexing, Many of these were written and rewritten/typed so was loads of room for errors.
                Carolyn
                Family Tree site

                Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Jill on the A272 View Post
                  Helen for Ellen perhaps?
                  Ooh yes, you are right Jill. I forgot about that one!
                  Anne

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Definitely potential for errors, never assume just because it’s the GRO that it has to be right
                    My Family History Blog Site:

                    https://chiddicksfamilytree.com

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                      #11
                      Not only that, but the information might b wrong in the first place ............... much information on a death certificate is only what the informant was told.

                      I've long considered that the only information that one can trust on a death certificate is ..............

                      Date and Place of Death, plus Time if given
                      Cause of Death
                      Name of Doctor, and his qualifications
                      Name of Coroner
                      Name of Informant, Address and Relationship if applicable (name with some qualification as to accuracy)

                      What can not be trusted with confidence ............

                      Name and Age of Deceased
                      Marital Status of Deceased
                      Occupation of Deceased
                      Any other personal information regarding the deceased.


                      I've got several death certificates with wrong information, all because the informant did not know.
                      My grandmother, on the beach, South Bay, Scarborough, undated photo (poss. 1929 or 1930)

                      Researching Cadd, Schofield, Cottrell in Lancashire, Buckinghamshire; Taylor, Park in Westmorland; Hayhurst in Yorkshire, Westmorland, Lancashire; Hughes, Roberts in Wales.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by cbcarolyn View Post
                        I have read that the new GRO records are more accurate as they have gone back to source documents. Many records are transcriptions from the register by the registrar, that are then sent to GRO for indexing, Many of these were written and rewritten/typed so was loads of room for errors.
                        Not quite - the new indexes have been compiled from the GRO copies of the register entries, rather than just copying the existing printed/written indexes. In theory they should be more accurate, but both old and new have problems, like all indexes. And you are correct that GRO only has copied information, with the possibility of errors at a number of stages.

                        The new indexes haven't been taken from the original registers, which are held locally and not by GRO.
                        I am a professional researcher, and ex- deputy registrar, based in Buckinghamshire - please contact me for any help/advice or research via PM or my website www.chalfontresearch.co.uk
                        Follow me on Twittter @ChalfontR

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by AntonyM View Post

                          Not quite - the new indexes have been complied from the GRO copies of the register entries, rather than just copying the existing printed/written indexes. In theory they should be more accurate, but both old and new have problems, like all indexes. And you are correct that GRO only has copied information, with the possibility of errors at a number of stages.

                          They new indexes haven't taken from the original registers, which are held locally and not by GRO.
                          I must admit I thought that there could still be errors, and I was corrected on a forum, thank you for confirming. When I worked with register office I was amazed how many times things were 'rewritten' until relatively recently.
                          Carolyn
                          Family Tree site

                          Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                          Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Cbc

                            It would be a very misguided person who claimed that ANY written records did not contain any errors, how could that possibly be proven. The bigger the dstabase, the more errors it could contain.

                            OC

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                              #15
                              Thank you all for your contributions
                              Regards Ann

                              Comment


                                #16
                                Originally posted by Olde Crone Holden View Post
                                Cbc

                                It would be a very misguided person who claimed that ANY written records did not contain any errors, how could that possibly be proven. The bigger the dstabase, the more errors it could contain.

                                OC
                                yes I realised that, but I had not appreciated that the transcriptions were of transcriptions, and sometimes of that transcription!
                                Carolyn
                                Family Tree site

                                Researching: Luggs, Freeman - Cornwall; Dayman, Hobbs, Heard - Devon; Wilson, Miles - Northants; Brett, Everett, Clark, Allum - Herts/Essex
                                Also interested in Proctor, Woodruff

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  I have found at least 10 errors on the GRO site, I always report them, most have been corrected, but some they felt were right and were left as they were.

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    I use freebmd and leave a post it note if I find what I consider to be incorrect, which isn't necessarily an error, lol.

                                    OC

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      My grandmother's surname at her marriage is incorrect in the GRO index, but this is because it was incorrect on the certificate issued by the registrar when he conducted the marriage. It was recorded as MacDonald (Scottish derivation) whilst her name was McDonxxxx (Irish derivation.) I had quite a job tracking the marriage in the GRO index and also on FreeBMD. I purchased the cert and it is for the correct couple, but with an incorrect surname for Granny. The births of the children were all recorded with the correct maiden name of the mother.

                                      Registrars did make mistakes - the birth date of the above grandfather is incorrect on his birth certificate. He was born on 26 November and the birth was registered at the local office on 24 December of the same year. However the registrar recorded that the birth took place on 26 December - two days after the registration. I have often wondered if the registrar had been celebrating Christmas a day early! (The birth was in 1867 and was registered by the mother who could neither read nor write.)

                                      Jay
                                      Janet in Yorkshire



                                      Genealogists never die - they just swap places in the family tree

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