Finding English or Welsh ancestors in the birth records | The Nosey Genealogist's: Help Me With My Family Tree
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Finding English or Welsh ancestors in the birth records

by Nick Thorne, The Nosey Genealogist on December 11th, 2016




In this video tutorial I look at the 3 mistakes that people new to family history research make when trying to find their English or Welsh ancestors in the births marriages and death indexes published by the General Register Office (GRO).
The first and biggest mistake that people make is to not buy the certificate!
So why do you need to buy the certificate?


Well just assuming that you’ve got the right person, because their name and maybe the place seems right to you, is opening yourself up allowing a huge error creep in your family tree. You could end up adding the wrong John Smith to your family tree and from then on you’re going to be tracing the wrong ancestor. And just think of all that wasted time that you’re going to spend.


By buying a certificate this will provide more information that helps you to check if you’ve got the right person. In the video I set out to find an ancestor of my own. I look in the correct quarter in 1865 for Sydney Thorn and I know that he spelt his name with a ‘Y’ and not an ‘I’.
looking for english ancestors birth records
But if you look carefully at the index page there are two Sydney Thorns. One in Westbury and the other in Totnes. The index is providing me with the information that I need to buy the certificate but what to do of I didn’t know which one of the two Sydneys was the correct one?


I could end up tracing a family tree that doesn’t belong to me!


The next mistake that many people make when trying to find their English or Welsh ancestors in the births marriages and deaths indexes is using information that they’ve gleaned from somebody else’s family tree and that information has been unchecked against the primary records. So if you are new to this fascinating passtime please please don’t do that.
Whatever you do, make sure that you use the information in the other person’s tree as a pointer towards finding the source and check it to make sure that you have got the right people.
My next tip is to beware of looking in the wrong place, or perhaps being too narrow in your thinking of where an ancestor should be. If you are looking for birth and you think that it should have been in a particular parish and you just can’t find it there, well widen your search to other churches and parishes because our ancestors certainly did move around. I’ve got people in my family tree that I thought should have been in the Devon indexes and yet I found them up in Hampshire while others turned up in London.


So do please broaden out your research to other parishes and towns.


Watch on YouTube:

Want more tips and techniques for finding elusive English or Welsh ancestors?

Take a look here:>

One month trial of the Family History Researcher Academy English/Welsh course

Click the Image to take a trial for only £1

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