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New GRO indexes

Discussion in 'Comments on the latest newsletter' started by Pauline, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Star

    Others may be too busy searching to comment yet on this item in the special edition newsletter, but it seems worthy of comment.

    In just a few minutes searching I was able to solve a couple of long-standing unknowns. Firstly, I found the mystery 4th child of my great grandparents, previously only a statistic in the 1911 census. Secondly, I discovered 2 additional children of my 2x great grandparents, and while I have long suspected additional children, there were too many possibilities to find anything definite.

    So that's 3 certificates ordered - will further searching bankrupt me?!!
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    You could always wait a few days and order PDF copies - it will be exactly the same information - and you'll get 54% more for your money!
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Star

    Yes, but I was thinking - pessimistically perhaps - that it was more likely to be 3 hours than 3 weeks before the 45,000 are snapped up, and that the intense rush might cause the site to crash.

    Besides, with new family history discoveries, can I manage to wait a few days. :)
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    In theory the PDF versions should arrive about the same time as they don't have to be printed out and sent through the post. But you're right, there will be a lot of people trying to order PDFs on Wednesday (including me), so who knows what will happen.
  5. HeyerFan

    HeyerFan LostCousins Member

    I can't get any results from searching the indexes. Safari and Microsoft Edge just hang for ages and then say no connection, Firefox eventually says it won't connect because "the authenticity of the received data could not be verified. Please contact the website owners to inform them of this problem."
  6. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I don't have a problem using Chrome.
  7. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Star

    I've done successful searches in Safari (on my iPad) and in Firefox. But in both it has come to a dead halt after a few searches, and I had to log out, close the browser and start again - after which normal service was resumed. I put it down to excess demand on the site, but it may not have been. But mostly it's been fine.
  8. Stephen L

    Stephen L LostCousins Member

    Doing a search for a child known to have died before the 1911 census I have just found one Maria CUTLER, mother's maiden surname PARKES who was born in the Sep Q 1891 in Dudley and died in the Dec Q 1891. According to the index we have always used in the past she died age 0, but the new index shows died age 5 years, so is clearly wrong. Could this be age 5 months or 5 weeks or even 5 days?

    Is there any other evidence to suggest that more precise ages may have been transcribed for those under 1 but the system currently only displays ages as if they are all in years? Or is it just an error that has been made in the transcription that I may as well report?

    The page at https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/indexes_data_quality_error_reporting.asp suggests that it should be shown as age 0.
  9. Stephen L

    Stephen L LostCousins Member

    Oops, I should have read the newsletter more closely. I have done now after finding two more and see this was mentioned as a possibility. One of my new finds died 2 quarters after the birth was registered so the age must have been 7 months. I hope that as a result of the beta testing a future enhancement might be to actually show the correct time units for deaths under 1 year. I wonder if the data was captured in DOVE.
  10. PhilGee

    PhilGee LostCousins Member

    I have had mixed success with the missing "died before 1911, not on a census". I have found a few, but the Jones/Hopkins, Jones/Thomas and Williams/Jones combinations in Swansea still defeat me at the moment :confused:

    The interface, designed to find known entries for certificate purchase, is somewhat laborious for finding unknowns even where the names are relatively good - such as Gollop/Ponsford.

  11. Tony

    Tony LostCousins Member

    I've just phoned the GRO to ask why I'm failing to receive the account verification email, to be told that "the system" crashed over the weekend. Nearly all their support calls today are about that problem! They're "working on it" and I was advised to just keep trying the Resend facility - they couldn't possibly send an email to everyone with the problem when it's fixed :rolleyes:.
  12. Tony

    Tony LostCousins Member

    A follow-up. Shortly after my phone call to the GRO, I received all the account verification emails that I'd requested! I had been wondering why I was asked for my email address if they weren't going to use it, but somehow my personal log jam was released. So you know what I've been doing for the past few hours :). I'm certainly making heavy use of the new features - using mother's maiden name to find all births to a couple, then age at death to explain why they had 3 children called Joshua.

    PS I didn't grasp immediately the significance of the GRO contact number - 0300 123 1837 :cool:
  13. Tony

    Tony LostCousins Member

    Looks like I broke it :(

    Service Announcement
    The online certificate ordering service is currently unavailable
    whilst we perform scheduled maintenance
  14. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I assume that's because they're in the process of adding the PDF option!
    • Useful Useful x 1
  15. Tony

    Tony LostCousins Member

    Just ordered my first PDF record. Totally simple.

    It's worth reading the Pilot FAQs (or MCwtKs, as the GRO chooses to call them :confused:). Two items surprised me:
    • Q6. "Pilot phase 2 (approx. three week duration)
      PDF copies of all birth, death, marriage and civil partnership records, within 3 hours. These PDFs will cost £45."

      £45. Yikes! Don't think I'll be taking part in that. I assume it's an enhancement of the current Priority Service (next working day despatch of a certificate).

    • Q9. "What is the service standard for turnaround of PDF applications?
      For phase 1 and 3 of the pilot the turnaround time for the process of PDF applications is 5 days."

      That's a long time in these days of instant electronic gratification! Shows that it's still a manual process.
    There's also a Guide to Searching the Online Historic Indexes (a PDF file). The definition of Mother's Maiden Name is interesting - "The maiden surname is the one in which the mother contracted her first marriage. This is not necessarily the surname of the mother at her birth." I must admit I hadn't come across that distinction before.

    Anyway, a pleasing improvement. Let's hope that it moves from pilot into normal service, and soon.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  16. CarolB08

    CarolB08 LostCousins Member

    Thanks to the newsletter I was able to go online today and order three pdf certificates, simple, no delays and confirmation email right away, sadly although I was going to fill in the questionaire I stalled at the what did you think of the quality of the pdf question ! How can I answer that until I get one. ;) but all in all simples :)
    Mind you it occurs to me that if Peter had not mentioned it in the newsletter I would not have known about it unless I went to order a normal certificate, so how succesful do they want it to be?
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  17. Tony

    Tony LostCousins Member

    I've also delayed completing the survey until my PDF records arrive. The Welcome page of the survey was disconcerting - it said "Questions for Users PDF pilot (phase 2)" :confused:. However, I see that they've now changed it to "Questions for Users PDF pilot (phase 1)".
  18. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It was described as a 'soft launch', which is where you don't actually tell anyone - I had to ask permission to write about it in the newsletter. The good news is that LostCousins members will get to snaffle up most of the £6 PDFs before they run out (one member has ordered 20!).
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  19. CarolB08

    CarolB08 LostCousins Member

    I see, thank you Peter, I have just been and ordered another one, not sure how many more I can run to financially, but taking the opportunity to get certificates for the family I am not 100% sure one at £6 rather than £9.25 :)
  20. MarionK

    MarionK Moderator Staff Member

    I've just ordered 3 death certificates (PDF) for direct ancestors. Hadn't realised that I didn't have these certificates, until I went looking for something to order. I had already purchased all the birth & marriage certificates for my direct line, long ago. I'll have to look at siblings of ancestors now.

    Love the new indexes, but there are a number of errors. I'll report them to the GRO.

    Thanks, Peter, for the heads up about the PDF trial.

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