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Topics - Nick_Ips

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The Common Room / FreeBMD down?
« on: Saturday 05 August 23 12:04 BST (UK)  »

Anyone else having problems with FreeBMD today?  The search screen is loading, but has a 'grey' overlay and none of the controls do anything.

It looks as though they are doing maintenance, or there's a pop-up that needs to be clicked, but nothing is displaying to that effect.

(Using Firefox, adblocker etc disabled)


The Common Room / GRO digital images
« on: Thursday 06 July 23 10:17 BST (UK)  »
Not sure if this is new, or if I've just missed it before, but the GRO online search results page is now showing an option of paying 2.50 for a digital image "available to view once payment is complete".

Is this the long-awaited and much anticipated cheap and fast service as an alternative to paper/digital certificates?

The Common Room / GRO certificates - date of issue
« on: Friday 19 June 20 23:03 BST (UK)  »
Asking for a friend....

Does anyone who has applied for one recently know if the paper certified copies currently issued by the GRO have a date on them when they were produced/issued?

The older ones I have state "Given at the General Register Office......" with the date of production.

Hopefully they still do.

The friend needs to provide their children's UK birth certificates as proof of ID to a French solicitor, and apparently they are only valid in France if they have been issued in the last 3 months.  The original birth certificates are 10+ years old and therefore not acceptable.

I've tried checking on the GRO website myself but have been blocked all day due to a security certificate error. 

Any help much appreciated.

The Common Room / New/old GRO death index - nicknames
« on: Tuesday 10 December 19 18:47 GMT (UK)  »

I've come across something a bit odd and wondered if anyone else had found something similar or knows how it might have happened.

A relative died in 2000. In 2007 I made a note of their death registration details while I was at the Family Records Centre. The details I collected include the given name of the person, which was exactly as my side of the family had always known them.

I hadn't found them on the 1939 Register, nor did I have marriage or birth registration records. However, I recently found their marriage and birth index entries but on these records the person has three given names, none of which are the name they were known by. In other words the name we knew them by was a nickname. (e.g. We knew them as 'Fred Smith' but they were actually 'Thomas Richard Henry Smith'.)

I checked the new GRO death index and it doesn't have an entry under the nickname, but does have one under the newly discovered three given names with all other details identical to those i already had.

I decided to check FindMyPast thinking I might have "had a moment" back in 2007 and written down the nickname by habit, rather than what the index showed. Curiously FindMyPast have two death registration records, both identical except for the given names.

I understood the new GRO index for 1984 onwards was using the already digital data, in which case why does it not include a record under the nickname? There is also nothing in the new index to indicate the entry has been amended or is linked to another entry.

I'm also a bit puzzled as to how this happened in the first place. I suppose it is possible the death was originally registered under the nickname and subsequently amended, but if so I'd have thought there would be some indication in the entries to show this was the case.

Is it possible to register an 'also known as' name, and could/should this generate a second index entry?

The thing to note is the new GRO index might not contain exactly the same data as the previous digital indexes post-1984.

The Common Room / GRO website - Deaths from 1984 to 2019
« on: Thursday 07 November 19 17:38 GMT (UK)  »
Apologies if this isn't new, but I've just noticed a message on the GRO Online Index website saying:

We are currently adding to our online indexes which will help you identify and apply for copies of our records. We have now added online indexes for deaths registered between 1984 to 2019.

This is certainly new to me :) and the search does produce death results as recently as 2019.

There is still a gap between 1957 and 1984 though.  :(

The search page has different functionality as per the thread started by keyboard86

Technical Help / Brother's Keeper 5 'Date changed' data for marriages
« on: Wednesday 19 June 19 19:26 BST (UK)  »
Has anyone ever managed to extract the 'date changed' data for marriages in an old Brother's Keeper database (version 5.2G) please?

BK5 displays the last date of change for individuals and for marriages on the edit screen - which means it must store this information - but I cannot find a way of extracting the last date of change for all marriages. (For individuals it is possible to do a numerical report including field 40 'date changed', but the equivalent field for marriages doesn't seem to be available).

I've also had a look at the current version, which also allows the 'change date' to be included in a GEDCOM export, but again this seems only to work for individuals, not for marriages.

I'd be interested if anyone else has ever had a need to do this and found a solution. (I've done a quick search on the forum and on google with little joy - possibly too obscure, or too ancient  :))

Many thanks.

Handwriting Deciphering & Recognition / 1939 Occupation challenge
« on: Sunday 19 May 19 15:35 BST (UK)  »
Does anyone feel up to the challenge of deciphering this 1939 Register occupation please?

It was transcribed as "25power Sarat Arp Operator". It would be a mild understatement to say I have some doubts about this.  ;)

The person involved was Marjorie W SPANTON, a 24 year old single woman, living in Liverpool. Although not listed with the family the father was still alive and was a journeyman upholsterer (the wider family were generally craftspeople rather than labourers if this helps). The reference is RG101/4441G/006.

From surrounding examples of the letter 'R' I think it is possible the third word might be the initials "A.K.P." instead of the more obvious assumption (for the time) "A.R.P." But I've drawn a blank with what an A.K.P. might be. (presumably some kind of machine which needs an operator?)

Being an "A.R.P. Operator" is a possibility of course, but then what are the first two words? The last letter of both words appearing to be the same, possibly giving "Powers Sanas"?

Mysterious.  Or else I'm being a bit dense today.  ;D

The Common Room / Suffragette Collection
« on: Sunday 04 February 18 18:29 GMT (UK)  »
Hi, Has anyone had any luck with the FindMyPast Suffragette Collection?

I have found someone I'm interested in but clicking on the image view button takes me to a never ending green 'hampster wheel' with no image appearing. Clicking on 'download' on the viewer page does however download the relevant page.

What I'm stumped on is the transcription gives details such as full name, date, place & county of birth, and occupation - but none of these are visible on the downloaded image.

The downloaded image has name, court(?), date (of hearing?) and then a number which in my heroine's case is 220.196/16. This number is presumably an index reference to where the other details such as birth date/place and occupation can be found, but what I don't see is how.  ???

The record I'm looking at is for Helen Margaret SPANTON b.1877

Has anyone managed to get more information about anyone they've found?

The Common Room / The National Archives Kew - Wifi access?
« on: Sunday 09 April 17 15:03 BST (UK)  »

Hi, does anyone know if there is wifi access at Kew which allows you to use your own laptop etc to search, view and download online documents (e.g. the ones the Discovery catalogue say can be downloaded for a fee, but are available to view for free at TNA)?

The last time I went you could view on-screen or get a print out, but there was no download facility on TNA's own computers.

TNA's site mentions free wifi, but doesn't say what you can access with this, or if it is just free access to the internet generally.

Any help would be much appreciated as I'm trying to decide whether to simply pay to download at home or else use what it would otherwise cost me to have a day trip to Kew  :)

I have enough downloads at 3.50 a time to more than pay my train fare if I can download (not just view) for free at TNA.

Many thanks,


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