Our research is a journey to the past. That journey begins with a single step and each journey we take becomes easier as we become more familiar with the names, places and people we are researching and as we understand the context we are researching in.
My Great Uncle died in the mid 1960's and is buried at the municipal cemetery at Guildford. When my Cousins started researching they had problem locating this entry in the General Registration Office (GRO) indexes. For some reason a full copy of his birth certificate was not in the family. All my Uncle's siblings were located and yet he was not, and his birth dated back to 1906 - his siblings were born between 1900 and 1917.
|Taken by Julie Goucher, May 2007|
A further search was done in the neighbouring registration districts to Guildford, and eventually Uncle's entry was discovered in Hambledon registration district in Dec quarter 1906. So why was there are difference between him and other siblings? The address was the same. The reality is that no one knows the answer, My Great Grandmother died in the early 1970's, so she outlived her son be several years.
The reality at this point was this. Births usually happened at home. In this instance Wanborough Surrey. All my Grandfather's siblings were baptised in Wanborough and the registration district for all except one was Guildford. I looked again at the date that the registration of my Uncle took place. It was early December, and according to the Monthly record report from the Meteorological Office, December 1906 it was cold, windy and there had been instances of snow and sleet.
My Great Grandmother, who had already buried two of her six children born between 1900 - 1906 would have wanted to protect her children as best she could. Therefore it is likely that decision to record the birth in Hamledon registration district was logistical - Godalming was nearer than Guildford. Perhaps they had secured a lift on the back of a cart.
But what if the birth had not happened at home? Perhaps the birth occurred whilst visiting another household, and the birth recorded in the nearest registration district with the baptism in the family parish. Whilst that did not happen in this instance, it is absolutely possible which means that any time a place of birth is required, the individual could quite unwittingly records the place of birth incorrectly based upon what they believe to be true and let's face it would the individual would not recall their birth, just what they are informed by their parents and read on the official documentation.
We should be analysing the discoveries we make, even using non genealogical sources to assist us.
|Book of Me|
Copyrighted Julie Goucher
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