Re: Don't place too much reliance on ONS! #general

Harry Dodsworth <af877@...>

I think Naidia Woolf is being unkind is criticising GRO for not
finding her relatives when she gave them the wrong names/dates :-)
There are errors in the GRO records. The indexes were prepared
from data submitted by district registrars and certainly there are
omissions and transcription errors. There is actually a book written
about them, Comedy of Errors? but presently out of print.
The 1881 transcription of the census of mainland Britain is a
valuable tool but has many errors. These may come >from the original
enumeration or subsequent transcriptions. Ages are notoriously

Her advice to do your own research is excellent. More fun to find
the ancestor and you are more likely to spot someone of the same
I find references in the GRO BMD indexes (St. Catherine's indexes)
and then order the certificates directly >from ONS in Southport.
This is more convenient if you are ordering certificates registered
in different offices although slightly more expensive. Also ONS take
credit cards and many local offices don't. Both ONS and local offices
are backlogged with requests for certificates for genealogy.
All local offices do not use the same procedures although the
centralized British system is much easier to use than the patchwork
US system.

Birmingham Reference Library is excellent; I had a day there two
weeks ago and found unexpected information on several lines in books
on the open shelves, and I have no family >from Birmingham!

Harry Dodsworth Ottawa Ontario Canada af877@...

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