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  5. It's easier than ever before to check your entries from the 1881 Census - more details here

GRO digital images

Discussion in 'Latest news' started by Susan, Jul 6, 2023.

  1. KevinStortford

    KevinStortford LostCousins Member

    Just had GRO's response to my feedback on the misalignment. They have refunded my £2.50 and added "If you still require a copy of the above entry you may wish to place a further order for a PDF image or a certificate." That accords with Peter's comment on my original posting that there is no facility to correct a misalignment. Incidentally thank you Peter for suggesting 30th December rather than my assumption of something "teenth". On reflection given Henry was in the list of burials for w/e 4 January 1878 in the local paper and, on the evidence of other deaths there, the Colchester Workhouse seems to have been on the ball with getting deaths registered, the 30th looks a better reading. I've had it up at much higher magnification than the extract posted here.
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I think deaths had to be registered within 7 days - in practice most seem to have been registered even sooner.
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I've just uploaded a new edition of my newsletter which deals with the Online View service in more detail, and takes into account many of the comments I've received since Thursday.

    I'd be grateful if forum members could take a quick look and get back to me with any suggested changes before I start sending out emails to 70,000+ LostCousins members. Thanks!
  4. ChalfontR

    ChalfontR LostCousins Member

    5 days ...but it has never been enforced in any way.
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    On checking it seems that the 1836 Act allowed 8 days, whilst the 1874 Act allowed 5 days.

    Nowadays you can't bury someone without first registering the death, but I don't know if that was the case in 1837. But given the lack of modern refrigeration in the 19th century it would certainly be an incentive to register the death quickly - the deaths of some of my relatives were registered the same day.
  6. TerriB

    TerriB LostCousins Member

    Peter, thank you for the GRO digital image tip. I ordered 4 images last Thursday for £10 ($12.78 US) and had the images in minutes. One of the images was cropped incorrectly, cutting off the date of death. I notified the GRO and within 24 hours they had refunded the £2.50 with a suggestion to reorder as a PDF or certificate. This new service is a real blessing for those of us in the United States researching English ancestors. I thought the PDF program was great. This is even better. So much better than waiting for paper certificates to be air mailed and much more dependable. Thank you!
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. ChalfontR

    ChalfontR LostCousins Member

    Sec 19 of the 1836 Act says

    "That the Father or Mother of any Child born, or the Occupier of every House or Tenement in England in which any Birth or Death shall happen, after the said First day of March, may, within Forty-two Days next after the Day of such Birth or within Five Days after the Day of such Death respectively".

    The eight days mentioned in Sec 25 seems to relate to the time limit for registering AFTER a request ( "upon being requested to do so") made from the registrar. But the 1836 Act is very poorly worded in places, hence the confusion about fines/penalties that is so often misquoted and misunderstood.

    And you can bury/cremate somebody before registering ( and always have been able to) - as a registrar I registered quite a few deaths after the funeral had taken place. Nowadays it would probably only be in cases that involve the coroner ( although it can be in other cases too), and requires a "certificate for burial/cremation" to be issued by the coroner or a registrar, and that can be done before registration.

    Historically both the 1836 and 1874 Acts specified the requirement for the registrar to be notified within 7 days of any burial that happened without it first having been registered. For many people, the motivation to register after a funeral, when there was no estate to deal was probably pretty low and probably accounts for the examples of burials you can find in many parish registers which don't seem to have any corresponding death registration.

    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  8. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Is a certificate for burial/cremation always required? My father and I were given such a certificate when we registered my stepmother's death, although the coroner wasn't involved, and I got the impression that she couldn't be cremated without it.
  9. ChalfontR

    ChalfontR LostCousins Member

    Yes it is - also commonly called " the green form" by funeral directors and it is what gives them authority to arrange disposal of the body. It is almost always issued at the time of registration, but can be issued before.

    The interesting thing, from a research aspect, is that there is a tear off section that has to be returned to the registrar confirming where and when the burial/cremation took place. These are then checked against the issuing book and any missing ones chased up with the funeral directors so that all bodies are accounted for.

    Very sadly, they are not kept beyond that...... they could be so useful in tracking down that missing burial of an ancestor if they were.

    (A cremation does need a further authorisation signed by another doctor, but that isn't part of the registration process, and will be arranged by the FD ... the doctor gets a fee for doing it and they call it "ash cash")
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2023
  10. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    So whilst the funeral can take place before registration of the death, the registrar needs to have been informed for the form to be issued? I suspect some lay people would conflate this with registration of the death, especially if the coroner is the one who formally registers the death.

    It's unfortunate that the most of the guidance for registrars isn't accessible by family historians - it means that we have to extrapolate from our own experiences, leading to confusion.
  11. ChalfontR

    ChalfontR LostCousins Member

    These days a "before registration" authority for a burial/cremation would almost certainly come from the coroner and the registrar wouldn't be aware at all until the family come to register the death later, or the details for regsitration come through direct from the coroner ( if there has been an inquest).

    Most people only interact with the registration system at the most stressful times of their lives, so it isn't surprising they don't fully take in the details of what happens.

    Understanding of how civil registration actually works is generally very poor amongst family history researchers (including most professionals) - genealogy courses don't cover it any proper detail as it is seen as "too basic" and this is then compounded by so much inaccurate or sometimes completely wrong information that appears on many websites and forums !
  12. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    We're fortunate that in this forum we have someone who knows the registration system from the inside - I suspect most forums don't.
  13. lindy

    lindy LostCousins Star

    Online images for deaths are now available up to 1957 on the GRO website. Get ordering!
  14. Kate

    Kate LostCousins Member

    Thanks, Lindy
  15. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Newsletter coming out this evening - they didn't email me until 12.15 today!
  16. AlanB

    AlanB LostCousins Member

    As soon as I found out about this I ordered a death certificate for my great aunt's husband. His name was William Johnson, and being a common name I hadn't wanted to risk paying £7 for a pdf, only to find it was the wrong person. So all I knew was that his youngest child was born in 1914 and his wife was widowed before the 1921 census. Anyway, I ordered the most likely match and it was the right person and interestingly I discovered that he died in an explosion at a munitions factory in Chilwell. Notts on 1st July 1918. He had to be presumed dead because so many people were just blown to pieces. Very sad.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. PaulC

    PaulC LostCousins Member

    Apologies if it's been brought up elsewhere... I've found a number of cases where a death certificate is not available for download as a "digital image". When you try and order it displays the following message:

    "Image not currently available for this entry, the record may alternatively be ordered as a Certificate or PDF, please refer to the FAQ's."

    The ones I've found are from around 1918-1920 (give or take) although that's just where I'm usually looking. Do we know how many gaps there are in the digital image service, or why theses gaps exist, and if they are likely to become available in the future?
  18. LynSB

    LynSB LostCousins Member

    Is it possible that these images are ones that have been reported as not complete by people who have ordered them previously?
  19. PaulC

    PaulC LostCousins Member

    I have in a few cases ordered the DC as a PDF and the image seems fine. I'm guessing you receive the same image in either case?
  20. LynSB

    LynSB LostCousins Member

    Some of the digital images are misaligned resulting in missing information. This problem should not occur with the pdf version or with a certificate.

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