LONDON-L Archives

Archiver > LONDON > 1999-10 > 0940718787

From: Eve McLaughlin <>
Subject: Re: The next step please?
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 1999 23:46:27 +0100

In message <>, Maggie West
<> writes
>I am a relative newcomer to family history... your patience is sought!
>The positive? My certificates arrived from Southport - after 12 weeks!
>Frustrated by the wait, I joined my local FHS and obtained some references
>for marriages, which led me to write to the Superintendent Registrar at the
>London Borough of Newham. I was delighted to find the address from a Genuki
>The negative? My cheque was, this morning returned, together with a letter
>which explained that, on instructions from the Registrar General, it was no
>longer possible for protracted searches in Church Indexes to be carried out,
>where only the Registrar General's reference is quoted, since this reference
>bears no relation to local office indexes.

I suspect you were asking for marriage certificates - the local
registrars can usually do births and deaths easily, given the year and
quarter, but marriages are really impossible, because they are held
locally in the sepaprate files they arrived in - and unless you know the
CHURCH, that could me searching through 40 or 50 different churches.
They have the current population to attend to, which is very large in
that area, and you can see why they won't do the protracted searches.
Probably the best bet is getting a London agent to order the
certificates from ONS for you. They put in and collect the order in
London, so it costs them 6.50, and if you have the precise reference,
they generally add a pound for their time and the postage. If they have
to look up a reference, they charge for the search - but it is cheaper
and faster than ONS direct (provided the case is straightforward and you
don't find three or four possibles.)
The on line postal request to ONS takes yonks.

Eve McLaughlin

Author of the McLaughlin Guides for family historians
Secretary Bucks Genealogical Society

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