ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2001-03 > 0984512280
From: (Mike Foster)
Subject: ESSEX MARRIAGES - Source
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2001 07:38:00 GMT+12
, Joan van Daalen, wrote from Canada ....
JVD>...GRO quarterly listings? I have been unsuccessful in finding the
JVD>marriage of John Lee (or Joseph) Riley and Elizabeth Ann Pennell of
JVD>Northfleet, Kent around 1862 ........
From my two periods of research at the GRO, in 1998 and 2000, I have a
number of samples of marriage entries that I took from GRO marriage
films and later checked to see if the names appeared in the indexes. I
took great care to pick names that were clearly written, so that I
be sure of the accuracy of my samples and could be certain that the
entries should have been accurately indexed without confusion as to
the names were.
The results of the checks against the indexes showed that approximately
three per cent of my sampled names were not to be found in the indexes.
In other words, of the names in the national record for the period that
I sampled, some 3% appear to be missing from the indexes.
I also reported in "A Comedy of Errors" that the 1998 research at the
GRO had detected a number of possible omissions from the quarterly
returns, based on the fact that marriage entries in the GRO films for
certain parishes and register offices showed gaps in the sequence
numbers over the years (those are the numbers in the LH column of any
certificate you have, i.e. the number of the event in the register from
which it was copied in the process of the quarterly returns). Some of
these "gaps" proved, not surprisingly, to be spoiled entries of one
or another that the clergy had omitted to comment on in their returns,
but I have a longish list of marriages that were simply not returned to
In other words, marriages took place, recorded in the parish marriage
registers, that never reached the GRO.
When we add to these factors the many indexing errors, and also the
omission of many frames from the published GRO fiche of the indexes
remember that the LDS fiche is made from the same negative as the GRO
fiche), then the chances of events not being found are quite high, high
enough to produce at least some blocks in most people's research.
That is why it is exciting that the current GRO review, shortly to
emerge as a White Paper, has as one of its possible options the
reconstruction of the early records from the original registers. I have
encouraged a few people to write to the GRO supporting that policy and
the response has been very positive. Family Tree Magazine is likely to
be publishing reports on the GRO consultation process shortly.
But I'm sorry, Joan, that I don't have access to anything other than
GRO indexes. New Zealand is rather too far away ....
X OLX 2.1 TD X Researching Mueller/Gotzinger/Woelhaff Ldn