Saturday, 21 January 2012

Unrelated certificate search

Birmingham and Midland Society for Genealogy and Heraldry's Unrelated Certificates Index site at www.bmsgh.org/search/Unrelated_Certs_index.html has recently been updated. From the site:

The Unrelated Certificates Index is a rapidly growing collection of individual surnames from mainly British Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates which have been kindly donated by family historians, which are either not relevant or no longer required. There are also a few entries from other miscellaneous holdings such as Wills, Burial Certificates, etc. It is estimated that the collection currently amounts to approximately 100,000 individual names.

Information can be requested for £1 per entry. I'm not sure if this project only indexes the key individuals e.g. child born, spouses, the deceased etc, or all names on a certificate.

(With thanks to @GenSocIreland via Twitter)

It is interesting to think of all the information that can be found on a certificate that is not indexed but which may equally concern our ancestors. On a typical Scottish marriage certificate on ScotlandsPeople, for example, you have the names of both spouses, their four parents, the minister's name, and two witnesses. That's nine people, of whom only two are indexed. One project I am aware of that has tried to index by more is the UK Marriage Witness Index via World Vital Records (www.worldvitalrecords.com), which contains just under 60,000 names of witnesses to marriages from 1655-1992. Great idea - and fairly virgin territory for a new indexing project if anyone is looking for one!

Chris

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