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Searching pre-1911 birth indexes

Discussion in 'Search tips - discussion' started by At home in NZ, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Susan48

    Susan48 LostCousins Star

    I suppose such occasional anomalies are to be expected, but I have just come across a couple of birth entries where the mother's maiden name has been omitted from Findmypast but is present in the GRO indexes. Both entries are for the same surname (DEATH) in the same registration district (Colchester) within the same 5 year period (1844-1849). A third entry for the same name and registration district and within the same period is present on Findmypast without mother's maiden name but absent from the GRO indexes. I have reported it to the GRO.
  2. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Superstar

    OK so bias was the wrong word as was my interpretation; sorry. What I really wanted to convey was that just because someone follows a different path to the one you advise, it does not make them wrong (or blinkered, or misguided or even bonkers). You may tell me the quickest and surest way to catch a bus is to check the timetable, set out in time and go to the nearest stop and wait. But, if I know from experience a bus runs every 15 minutes, and if I take a scenic route I will end up with a choice of two buses. So I sit on a bench and wait until I see a bus approaching and decide whether it is the one I want. I doubt my choice is the quickest, but it is my choice and that matters.

    Just as it is my choice to begin most of my searches from within an Ancestor's page in a Public Tree (my own or a family Tree managed for others). First, I check out assigned Hints - and it is rare none are showing, and often there are many. These reveal Censuses, BMD records and sundry other data. I 'ignore' the 'sillies' and compare what I find with information already known. I then check out other Ancestry Trees showing the same family member. Despite all that is said about Ancestry Trees, not all are 'copy cat' fabrications but those that are can easily be disregarded. I get great pleasure in discovering those I regard as 'high order' and will take careful note of what they show. Finally I end up conducting a general search from the page and see if that reveals anything further. All this may take up the best part of an hour and may even need a return. But when satisfied with results gleaned from Ancestry, it is time to move on and see what FMP has to offer. It is my second bus so to speak.

    I have taken note over time of the hints given by you (Peter) about the best way to search in FMP. If possible I like to use 'All Record Sets' for specific Census years and "England... B-M-D-Electoral Registers", plus specific Parish records and such. I particularly enjoy searching for additional siblings born to a known mother and for other searches am adept at using wild cards. If there are still holes, I will check out 'Free BMD' or (a particular favourite of mine) 'Family Search'. It is rare, but not unheard of, that I then need to turn to other search methods, or of course post to the Forum.

    So even though my research approach does not strictly follow Masterclass procedures or Forum recommendations, I can and do make use of them as and when needed. In fact you could say (to parody a TV programme)..."It suits me sir".
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Findmypast don't have maiden names in every case, but they do in the vast majority of cases - so when you're looking for all the children born to a particular couple it's quicker to start there, then follow up at the GRO site if there are any gaps.

    There will always be differences between the original quarterly indexes and the GRO's new indexes because the latter were compiled retrospectively and using a different protocol.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1

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