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Archiver > ESSEX-UK > 2006-06 > 1149754186


From: "jackycooper.clav78" <>
Subject: Re: access to registers
Date: Thu, 8 Jun 2006 09:09:46 +0100


First of all, I am not a family historian as such but a local historian in NW Essex, subscribed to the list in order to help people. It is therefore of no relevance to me personally what such certificates cost.

Secondly, there is more use to civil registration records than adding them to family trees. My friend wanted to do a project on public health in the mid-19th century, for which it is essential to analyse the civil death registers for age, sex, occupation, residence, cause of death etc for the period chosen.

It therefore does not need a civil servant's time to provide an automated copy of each record, but simply permission for him to visit the local registration office as a private researcher and go through the records as you would for any other types of archives over 100 years old. This access is denied so his research project is impossible. I'm sure he would be willing to pay a reasonable fee to use the records but £7-£8 a time would add up to hundreds of pounds and is not reasonable.

Some of this information is in parish registers, but the essential cause of death info is usually not recorded there. I consider this denial of access to records over 100 years old to be tantamount to preventing legitimate historical research, a topic that should concern us all.

I'm sorry I didn't make it clearer that this was the point of my comment, and I'm sure this is 'useful' research that adds leaves to the family tree and helps us understand the world our ancestors lived in.
Jacqueline Cooper


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