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How to Become a Better Genealogist: Getting to Grips with the GRO Indexes


With the emphasis on the 19th century, Gwyneth Wilkie introduces us to the General Registry Office indexes (index to birth, marriage and death certificates in England and Wales).

In this talk, Gwyneth looks at:

- How the system was set up

-How the information was collected and transmitted to the GRO

- How it was processed

- The various modern ways of accessing the indexes, with their advantages and shortcomings.

Gwyneth shows some examples of certificates where the details are not what they should have been, making them difficult to find or revealing an interesting story. Finally she looks at what happened to some people who did not obey the rules and why one particular transgressor found himself sentenced to five years in prison.


About the speaker: Dr Gwyneth Wilkie has been a member of SoG for over 20 years and has volunteered in various roles from stuffing leaflets into plastic bags before shows to helping on the advice line for seven years. Her main interests are civil registration, fraud and nonconformity.  


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