Accessing English records

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rosieno1
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:19 pm

Accessing English records

Post by rosieno1 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 1:11 pm

Hi - an amazingly basic question to ask, but despite being ethnically Irish to 100% or very close, because my ancestors came to Scotland in many cases nearly 200 years ago, I have been lucky to not have to access records outside Scotland, or at least to have to access very few.

I've checked Irish church records on a few occasions, and requested Irish civil records on 2-3 occasions only, but I have never had to access English records at all. I think on 1 previous occasion I have accessed the death indexes via ancestry, but the information I found there was enough to confirm information I already 'knew', and I didn't need to go any further. However on this occasion, I am trying to prove a link to a DNA match (ancestry). Actually, I don't know if seeing the death certificate will help, as I don't know what information I will/might find on the certificate, but I am hoping for his parental details, because you get them on Scottish death certificates.

Can anyone help me, what is the cheapest way to view a certificate?? I have found the death on the indexes through using Free BMD, but what do I do next? I know that I can access it via ancestry, but the price seems very high! I must remember to pipe up when people moan about the costs of accessing Scottish records! We are lucky the costs are so reasonable, and that the vast majority can be accessed from one site or place - Scotland's People, the website or the Building!

Anyway, your help would be much appreciated, and please tell me you can't get parental details from English certificates, if that be the case! :o

arthurk
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:19 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Accessing English records

Post by arthurk » Sun Oct 14, 2018 5:22 pm

Hi Rosie

On an English death certificate you wouldn't normally see the names of the person's parents unless it was a child who had died, and then probably only the father.

A woman would be shown as wife/widow of xxx, if that applied and if the informant knew that information; in very recent times, a married or widowed man's wife would be similarly named.

The person who registered the death would be named, with their relationship to the deceased, if any.

Sometimes information about parents can be found by other means, such as memorials and newspaper reports. Wills (starting with the free probate indexes) can also give family information, though less commonly about parents. So any of these sites might help:

http://www.gravestonephotos.com/

http://www.deceasedonline.com/

http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/ (much of this site is duplicated at FindMyPast)

https://probatesearch.service.gov.uk/#wills

Finally, if you do decide to order a certificate, I strongly advise you not to do so through Ancestry or other 3rd party sites, as they are invariably more expensive. The cheapest way is through the GRO's own site - https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/cert ... efault.asp - where you can get a pdf copy for £6. There's also lots of useful guidance there about English certificates etc, and if you prefer you can order a paper certificate instead (£9.25).

It's also possible to order paper certificates from local register offices, some of which have online indexes and/or ordering facilities. The ones that do are listed at https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/ Usually you pay about £10 for these - they tend to add on a bit for postage, which the GRO doesn't. On the other hand, they sometimes provide a more personal service and may be better at helping you get the right certificate if you're unsure about some of the details. (Note that their indexes are totally different from the GRO ones, so reference numbers etc aren't interchangeable.)

Good luck, and ask again if you need to.
Kennedy (PER > LKS > ARM > England); Campbell, Rutherford, McDonald, Sinclair (all PER)
Wilson, Millar (RFW & LKS); Duncan (LKS); Hastings (KKD) (all > WRY)

rosieno1
Posts: 46
Joined: Sat Aug 08, 2009 11:19 pm

Re: Accessing English records

Post by rosieno1 » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:10 pm

Thank you Arthur for a fantastic reply, lots and lots of great/useful information!!

arthurk
Posts: 56
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:19 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Accessing English records

Post by arthurk » Sun Oct 14, 2018 7:27 pm

I meant to say that English certificates are more or less identical in content to Irish ones, which you may be familiar with. (I've a feeling there may be a minor difference somewhere, but I can't remember it at present.)

I've also found the relevant FAQ on the GRO site, which includes examples of what certificates show:

https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/cert ... o_know.asp

The death certificate they give an example of in their pdf leaflet is for Florence Nightingale, who died a 90-year old spinster. Contrary to what I said above, it actually names her father, but this will always depend on the informant actually knowing the facts. In this case it was a cousin.
Kennedy (PER > LKS > ARM > England); Campbell, Rutherford, McDonald, Sinclair (all PER)
Wilson, Millar (RFW & LKS); Duncan (LKS); Hastings (KKD) (all > WRY)

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