1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. If you're looking for the LostCousins site please click the logo in the top left corner - these forums are for existing LostCousins members only.
  3. This is the LostCousins Forum. If you were looking for the LostCousins website simply click the logo at the top left.
  4. Only registered members can see all the forums - if you've received an invitation to join (it'll be on your My Summary page) please register NOW!

Certificate problems

Discussion in 'Any questions?' started by MaggieL, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. MaggieL

    MaggieL LostCousins Star

    I am helping an elderly gentleman researching his family history. He gave me his birth certificate which shows 2 addresses for the father. One has a bracket around it and the number 18 typed next to it. This is a certified copy of the original. The original was 1927, the copy was made in 1941. Would the copier have made an error and the number 18 refers to another document showing that an error was made? The first address and occupation is the correct one, I think! There is also a problem with the marriage of this gentleman's parents. The banns for their marriage were read in November/December 1925 and a note on the one says "Wedding Dec 13th 12.15" however the birth registration on GRO shows they married qtr 1 1927. Should I presume that there was some reason why the wedding didn't take place in 1925, but in 1927? There is certainly mystery about this, as the gentleman has his parent's marriage certificate, but the date has been torn off! They married in a registry office. The gentleman was born in the same quarter as the marriage.
  2. Heather

    Heather LostCousins Member

    Without any further details it is hard to suggest where to go for help with this. As you think the first address is correct, I had a look at the 1939 records thinking that the father, mother and son may still be there. At 1 Abyssinia Road in Battersea there are a Frederick and Daisy Williams, a John and Millie G Hall and a Stephen Wright. I was unable to find the 76 Park Crecent address in Clapham.
    The note on the banns record "12.15" do you think that this is the time they were to marry on that date? Having the date torn off the marriage certificate sounds strange, an accident or something else?? I do not understand when you say that " the birth registration on GRO shows they married qtr 1 1927" maybe more details will help others on the forum to help you, good luck.
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    The details of an amendment, showing when, why and by whom it was made, should be shown in the margin next to the entry and this is usually copied onto the certificate. They are numbered in succession through the register.
    I'm not sure what you mean by this - birth registrations in England and Wales don't make any reference to the parents' marriage. Or do you mean the marriage registration?
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    If you haven't already done so please open a LostCousins account for this gentleman - you can use your own email address if appropriate.

    In general, if you are helping someone to research their tree, it makes sense for them to benefit from the information their own cousins can provide. But if you want to make use of this forum it's essential - most members don't have access to the forum, so it wouldn't be fair for someone who isn't even a member to benefit, even at second-hand.
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    This has almost certainly been done deliberately to hide the fact that they married after their child was born.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    Or that the child was conceived out of wedlock.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. MaggieL

    MaggieL LostCousins Star

    Thanks. I will check the certificate again, but I don’t think there was an amendment in the margin.

    Sorry, you are right, I meant to write that the GRO shows the marriage was registered in 1st quarter of 1927
  8. MaggieL

    MaggieL LostCousins Star

    My apologies. I didn’t consider the fact that he wasn’t a member.
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The amendment is on the certificate. The note in the margin will give the date of the amendment, and indicate on whose authority it was made.

    The fact that we sometimes see marginal notes is because the information on the certificate has been photocopied from the original register. As the example you have is a typed copy there would have been no reason to include the marginal note.
  10. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Are you sure this is the case? I was under the impression that marginal notes were supposed to be included on the certificate - otherwise it would not be a true copy of the entry in the register. I have seen them on handwritten and typed certificates.

    If the amendment was made after the certificate was issued, then there would of course be no marginal note.
  11. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I'm not 100% certain, but I don't consider notes in the margin to be part of the entry. If it were otherwise, surely there would be provision on the certificates (as there is on a birth certificate for a name entered after registration, even though it is almost always blank)?

    The facsimile GRO certificate I'm looking at right now has three amendments, and all that appears in the margin are the three numbers and, against each, the initials of the registrar. It's purely housekeeping information.

    But for a definitive answer I would have to ask one of the LostCousins members who is a registrar.
  12. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Checking through my certificates I did find a GRO marriage certificate which was typewritten/printed, and did include information from the margin of the church.

    But this is a rather different situation because the instructions in the register were that any corrections should be made in the margin - in contrast with the example above, there is absolutely nothing in the body of the entry to indicate that there are changes.
  13. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I have found a few handwritten or typed birth certificates with notes in the margin to the right of the entry. One just has the amendment numbers and initials, another has a longer note about the amendment.

    I also have a birth certificate issued by the local registrar where the space to the right of the entry is headed up “Insert in this margin any notes which appear in the original entry”. This was a certificate issued in 1953 for an 1887 birth.

    I’ve also noticed that almost all my birth certificates of all sorts have a definite line crossing through the space to the right of the entry, sometimes as an extension to the line crossing through column 10, and sometimes a totally separate crossing through.
  14. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I have a photocopy of a local copy birth certificate issued in 1887 which doesn't have these instructions (unless they have been cut-off), and a GRO copy birth certificate issued at Somerset House in 1936 definitely has no provision for marginal notation.

    But I've found 1921 and 1944 local death certificates which do.
  15. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Minor amendments made at the time of registration would normally be numbered and initialled in the margin of the register. Amendments done at a later date generally have a longer note of explanation in the margin and, I think, require the signature of the superintendent registrar. More significant errors in the initial registration might require a re-registration, and again a more detailed marginal note. In all cases the marginal note should be included on any subsequent certificates issued.

    I think it is more than just housekeeping - the line through the space to the right on a birth certificate (or below the entry on the more recent A4 size certificate issued by local registrars) lessens the chance of unauthorised alterations to a handwritten or typed certificate after it has been issued.

    The example in the first post of this thread looks as though the amendment might have been made at the time of registration so there may be no more than the registrar's initials in the margin. I also wondered if the image was taken from a photocopy of the certificate, and if so, because certificates issued in 1941 would be longer than A4, the far right margin with any notes may not have been copied.
  16. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    I don't think this part of the original post has been answered. It was not so uncommon for banns to be read and then the marriage postponed or even called off. I would guess that the date and time given in the banns register was when the marriage was planned to take place, but if there is no marriage in the register, or entry in the GRO marriage indexes, then it seems the marriage probably did not take place when intended.

    There may be any number of reasons for this - possibly illness, a family bereavement, or maybe something came to light which showed the couple could not legitimately marry.

    Another possibility, since the 1927 marriage was at the Register Office, is a re-registration due to some significant error in the registering of the 1925 marriage. However, there should then be a marginal note on the certificate (as mentioned above) and entries for both in the GRO indexes.
  17. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    There are all sorts of reasons for delaying a wedding - for example, if it was a shotgun wedding the bride may have miscarried, if one of them was under 21 a parent may have objected (and even if they were over 21 they might have been relying on the support of parents). Or the groom might have lost his job.

    If they married in church then you should be able to find the marriage register at Ancestry - this is the primary source.

    How is the search for 'lost cousins' going? If want to find out the real reason the marriage was delayed, ask the family.
  18. MaggieL

    MaggieL LostCousins Star

    I went back to the birth certificate, and there is an amendment.
    Unfortunately, all is not visible, but I presume it means that in fact an error was made. Eighte... presumably refers to 18 shown on the address for the father. W.G. was the registrar. Thanks for the help and suggestions.
  19. MaggieL

    MaggieL LostCousins Star

    This was a photocopy, so I think your comment above is correct. Thanks.
  20. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Was able to get a quick word with my Granddaughter at a family get together to celebrate my wife's birthday. She works for the Kent Library Services and amongst her many other duties she is a qualified Registrar. I asked her about Certificate errors (amendments, scoring out etc) and an adjacent code number. She understood immediately and said any error or amendment made to the Register has to be given a code number which is sequential to the Register. So the code 18 will be the 18th sequential number and the reason for the amendment will be recorded against the code number in the Register.

    The original Certificate has to be a faithful copy of the Register entry and the error number recorded so it can be traced in the Register. So the reason for the amendment can only be found by (someone) consulting the Register. However subsequent Certificate copies (and here I do not mean photocopies) rarely -unless deemed essential to the interpretation of the Certificate- will exclude any amendment or code number.

    Of course that is applicable to Kent. Other counties may be different, but most likely follow the same routines.
    • Agree Agree x 1

Share This Page