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UK GRO indexes

UK GRO indexes

Posted: 22 Dec 2012 4:33PM GMT
Classification: Query
I would welcome some discussion about the best way to use these - and I am not talking about spending money on obtaining certificates. At the moment, in the absence of any other data, I will record a birth registered in the Jan-Mar quarter of 1890 as From Jan to Mar 1890. This is (a) cumbersome and (b) not necessarily accurate. In fact it seems to me that the only definite fact is that the birth occurred before registration so should it be recorded as Bef 31 Mar 1890?

Re: UK GRO indexes

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 2:20AM GMT
Classification: Query
Well, actually, that is what the register says. Its heading is 'Births registered In.....', not 'Born In....'.

However, it helps to know what the law requires at the time you are interested in. From 1874 births had to be registered within 42 days or a fine was payable. So, you have to accept the inaccuracies of whatever records you are looking at. Sometimes there is corroboration, sometimes not, maybe baptismal records. But, in the end, if you won't or can't pay for certificates, you must accept a little inaccuracy.

Mostly, I accept that the exact date of birth or whatever it is, is not that important. More important is being sure that the record really is whichever ancestor you think it is. If the date is wrong by a month or so, so what, but the wrong person entirely is another thing.

Also, there are times when the certificate can open up lines of enquiry, with more data on parents, etc.

Re: UK GRO indexes

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 10:36AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hello David,

I agree with timtracker, but would also add that the way you record the quarter in which a birth, marriage or death occurred is entirely up to you really, as long as you know what your convention means. I did go through a phase of recording them as you've suggested, e.g. "bef 31 Mar 1890", but settled on "abt Mar 1890" as it's easy and I know what it means.

Some inaccuracies are bound to creep in when using these records, simply because of the range of dates which they may cover, but this range is at least finite. The worst case of inaccuracy could actually be illustrated by the example you quote, as a person registered in Jan to March could have been born as far back as November in the previous year, but again, I accept that this might happen and allow for it when finding further information for the person concerned.

Christine

Re: UK GRO indexes

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 2:20PM GMT
Classification: Query
Many thanks for responding. I should say my post was prompted by a recent software change. For some years now I have used Legacy and Legacy recognizes Mar Q 1890 as a date and I have been happily using that format (knowing about the inaccuracy). Recently I purchased Family Tree Maker 2012 (or in my mind a 6-month subscription to Ancestry with FTM 2012 thrown in) and liked certain aspects of it, particularly the source, places and media management. So I decided to change and that is when I discovered that FTM did not regard Mar Q 1890 as a date. I modified the GEDCOM transfer file to change Mar Q to Jan-Mar and FTM converted these to between dates and I don't like the format. I think that I may give Abt (or Bef) a try or go back to Legacy.

Re: UK GRO indexes

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 7:33PM GMT
Classification: Query
DavidNewton31, there's a board just for Family Tree Maker -- well, two actually -- one for FTM for PCs and the other for Macs. Perhaps someone on an FTM board would tell you how they handle entering the info.

Re: UK GRO indexes

Posted: 24 Dec 2012 9:36PM GMT
Classification: Query
Thanks I'll look into that (after the holidays)
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