CHESHIRE-L ArchivesArchiver > CHESHIRE > 2001-07 > 0996582150
From: "Pam Birtles" <>
Subject: Re: [CHS] Signatures on Birth and Wedding Certificates
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2001 13:22:30 +0100
>>My question is simple but raises some fundamental problems for me.
I realise that copies of certificates are just that ie copies written in
the registrars office from the originals BUT are the signatures on the
copies EXACTLY as they appear on the originals and secondly can it be
assumed that the person whose signature it is ACTUALLY signed the
You will probably get a reply from someone much more authoritative than me,
but I don't think it can ever been assumed that a written copy is exact.
There is no guarantee that what was written in the church records was
accurate in the first place; this info is copied again into the Register
Office records, and then again onto the certificate you get. Those doing the
copying have often to cope with bad handwriting, so all in all, there's a
lot of scope for human error. [I've just read an article by a recently
retired vicar who, on checking both of his registers, which were supposed to
be duplicates, found an absolutely enormous number of discrepancies between
>>I have a number of certificates where a person is indicated as having
"made their mark" so I have assumed that person could not read or write<<
I have a certificate from 1840 on which my ggg grandmother "made her mark" ,
but one from 1841 which she apparently signed. I still don't know whether
she was a quick learner or not!
>>can I assume that the signature is an EXACT spelling of the name AND has
been signed by the person involved.<<
Again, I have several certificates for an ancestor called Lilian (or
Lillian). The number of l's varies, even in the "signatures".
Anyway, I shall now get back to pondering the mystery of my ggg
grandfather's son, Mary Elizabeth (who is either my gggg aunt or uncle!)
|Re: [CHS] Signatures on Birth and Wedding Certificates by "Pam Birtles" <>|