Author Topic: GRO Indexes - which to believe?  (Read 757 times)

Offline gazania

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GRO Indexes - which to believe?
« on: Thursday 30 November 17 05:25 GMT (UK) »
At the risk of sounding pedantic:

A christian name  is spelt: "Cattell" on the "old" GRO birth index.

On the digitised "new" index it is spelt "Cattill".
(Reference:  Sep qtr 1875  for Thomas Catte(i)ll Bromwich CLAYTON)

This difference is no big deal in the scheme of things,but may have implications for the research of surnames. I am not likely to buy the certificate which may show the recorded spelling.  How accurate are both indexes anyway?  Gazania


ALDERMAN, Bucks
BELK, Yorkshire, London
CARLING, Bedfordshire
CUNDITH,CUNDILL, Yorkshire, PALIN. Lincolnshire
FOX, Essex; Camberwell Surrey
LANE, Cork IE;Askeaton LIM, Liverpool, Clifton, Bristol
VOLLER, Surrey
WALL Clonlara Co Clare Ireland
WAREHAM, Esher, Surrey; London
WINCH, Surrey

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Offline locksmith

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Re: GRO Indexes - which to believe?
« Reply #1 on: Thursday 30 November 17 07:49 GMT (UK) »
All records can be subject to mistranscriptions at any stage from when they are first recorded. Free BMD Scan shows Cattell.

Simon


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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: GRO Indexes - which to believe?
« Reply #2 on: Thursday 30 November 17 07:57 GMT (UK) »
At the risk of sounding pedantic:

A christian name  is spelt: "Cattell" on the "old" GRO birth index.

On the digitised "new" index it is spelt "Cattill".
(Reference:  Sep qtr 1875  for Thomas Catte(i)ll Bromwich CLAYTON)

This difference is no big deal in the scheme of things,but may have implications for the research of surnames. I am not likely to buy the certificate which may show the recorded spelling.  How accurate are both indexes anyway?  Gazania




If you base you research on such precise spelling of names I am afraid you will not get very far at all.
The GRO Registers are all based on transcripts which are open to spelling mistakes, the further back you go the more fluid spelling becomes.

As for the indexes, the new index of Births and burials should be reasonable accurate as it is claimed to be taken from the registers but as yet there has been no assessment on how accurate it is.
The old index was very variable as it was a compilation of a variety of sources all of which were transcripts. The old index started as a handwritten index then was typed and eventually was digitised and contained many errors and omissions and even in 1914 was seen as not fit for purpose by a Royal Commission on Public Records.

Master Arthur Francis Ridsdale, who served in the Chancery Division of the High Court from 1912 until his death in 1935 stated in evidence to the Royal Commission in 1914 that prior to the year 1898 or thereabouts, it was usual to permit searchers, who were chiefly solicitors engaged in pedigree cases in Chancery, or professional record agents, to inspect the original registers, then at Somerset House.
Master Ridsdale showed there was a need for inspection of the registers themselves, using examples of the inadequacies of the indexes.

This state of affairs continued to the present day even though access to the GRO Registers was stopped, I suggest you read the two books published a number years ago (the second book was published in 2002)  by Mike Foster "The Birth, Marriage and Death Records of England & Wales - A Comedy of Errors" and "The Birth, Marriage and Death Records of England & Wales - A Comedy of Errors, Act 2" which detail a number of errors and omissions.

Cheers
Guy
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Online KGarrad

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Re: GRO Indexes - which to believe?
« Reply #3 on: Thursday 30 November 17 08:32 GMT (UK) »
Surnames get mis-spelled all the time - even nowadays.

Only this morning, a RootsChatter referred to me as KGARRARD rather than my true surname of KGARRAD!

Using FreeBMD you can get access to the original GRO Index - have you looked at that for your chap?
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline ShaunJ

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Re: GRO Indexes - which to believe?
« Reply #4 on: Thursday 30 November 17 09:00 GMT (UK) »
Quote
Thomas Catte(i)ll Bromwich CLAYTON

The man himself seems to have preferred the spelling "Cattle" per his army papers, marriage record, and children's baptisms. 
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Jebber

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Re: GRO Indexes - which to believe?
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 30 November 17 09:18 GMT (UK) »
I agree with all that has been said, if I had only followed an exact spelling of names a large chunk of my family would be missing from my tree.

Some people even varied the  spelling themselves, to give an example, I
have letters written by one man 170 years ago in which he signs his full name, on some he signs WALLACE and on others WALLIS.
CHOULES All ,  COKER Harwich Essex & Rochester Kent 
COLE Gt. Oakley, & Lt. Oakley, Essex.
DUNCAN Kent
EVERITT Colchester,† Dovercourt & Harwich Essex
GULLIVER/GULLOFER Fifehead Magdalen Dorset
HORSCROFT Kent.
KING Sturminster Newton, Dorset. MONK Odiham Ham.
SCOTT Wrabness, Essex
WILKINS Stour Provost, Dorset.
WICKHAM All in North Essex.
WICKHAM Medway Towns, Kent from 1880
WICKHAM, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Offline jeanc

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Re: GRO Indexes - which to believe?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 30 November 17 10:11 GMT (UK) »
I agree with there are many errors with transcribed information. I have found a different error with GRO entries. To shorten the story of find, on showing my sister on how to find her birth entry, we discovered the error. It has our mother's maiden name as JONES instead of OWEN, not even close to be misspelt. It's the correct maiden name on her birth certificate. This kind of error could easily put many researches with the wrong ancestors added to their tree. Even if the certificate was purchased showing the name as OWEN, to someone who didn't have word of mouth of the correct name, which would you believe to be right.

Regards.
JeanC

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Re: GRO Indexes - which to believe?
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 30 November 17 10:47 GMT (UK) »
Hi

Thomas Catte(i)ll Bromwich CLAYTON

To me, it "says" . . . . .
Thomas (Castle Bromwich) CLAYTON  ???

Then again, wasn't his mmn Bromwich?

Ray
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Offline lizdb

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Re: GRO Indexes - which to believe?
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 30 November 17 11:19 GMT (UK) »
Just to add my agreement. 

When my nephew married, as Edmonds, it is in the gro index as Edmunds.

So easy to misread someones writing along the way.  Happens all the time.

And as you get further back, as has been said, spelling of names was a lot more fluid. Often just depended on the way the person writing in would think to spell it. So one person (say the vicar at a christening) when the person said their name was Edmonds would write Edmonds, but another one on another occasion would write Edmunds, or Edmends, or Edmans - however they thought to write it. 
Couple that with unclear writing, and you soon realise that you need to look for all permutations on any index when researching.

Edmonds/Edmunds - mainly Sussex
DeBoo - London
Green - Suffolk
Parker - Sussex
Kemp - Essex
Farrington - Essex
Boniface - West Sussex

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