Saturday, 3 March 2012

Beyond the Internet: Week 8 - Certificates

Continuing the weekly theme, inspired by Family History Across the Seas.

The early marriage certificate featured below, is the marriage of Richard BUD, who is my 4 x Great Grandfather.  Richard married Sarah Kemp in Stoke Next Guildford on 21st July 1796. This record was copied from the early church records which have been filmed by the Church of Latter Day Saints.BuddKemp

What is truly wonderful is that I can see the writing of Richard and his sister Elizabeth. Guildford was only about 5 miles from Guildford and was a bigger market town than nearby Godalming. It was also Sarah Kemp's parish. After the wedding Richard and Sarah returned to Puttenham where they raised their family.

Once Civil Registration came into force in 1837, the amount of data a certificate increases as you can see here, from the Marriage certificate of my Great Aunt in 1902, Edith Matthews to Charles Jelley.

Edith Matthews & Charles Jelley

Whilst the Certificates can provide details on the name of the father, perhaps the witnesses give a clue to family members, or the address. Even the occupation, nothing can be assumed to be 100% correct. In this case, it does not reflect that Edith and Charles had met whilst he recovered from an injury in the Boer War. So, whilst he perhaps was a labourer, he should have put soldier, as he was not discharged from the Army until June 1902.

Across the border into Scotland and the certificates provide much, much more information. In 2010, I accompanied my husband to register the death of his father. The registrar asked for details of my late father in law's occupation and that of his wife and any previous wife's. Had my sister in law registered the death she would not have provided accurate details and my mother in law would have had a an absolute fit at being asked for details of his first wife, whether she was deceased or not.  I should mention that clearly on the certificate it states that failure to provide correct information is subject to a £1,000 fine. Having registered the death we were issued with a small certificate, free of charge, which gives next to nothing in regard to genealogical data (this is the same in England). We paid for a full certificate.


  1. Thanks Julie. Seeing your ancestors' signatures on a document is a real thrill I've found. I like how you've talked about the ordering process too. Marriage certs are among my favourites as they seem the likeliest to be accurate and can provide rather more info.

  2. Congratulations! You have received the Versatile Blogger Award! Please stop by my blog, Mama Diaries, to pick it up. (I found you through the A-Z blog challenge.)


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