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Civil Registrations in the United Kingdom Part 2

The Value of Civil Registrations
The previous lesson dealt with a brief historical overview, the record availability of, and the value of civil registrations in the United Kingdom. This lesson will discuss how to analyze the information found in a civil registration and the various clues provided.

Locality Clues
As you might suspect, registration districts in the United Kingdom cover very different areas from parishes or townships that we are more familiar with. Even if you know the name of the town or parish where someone was born, married, or died, you will usually be very surprised at the name of the registration district. It may be totally unfamiliar to you in the case of a child who was born in a hospital, the registration district for the childís birth would be the district where the hospital is located, not the childís home. This is another reason it is so important to check the quarterly indexes as explained in the previous lesson, even if you have the exact parish. It will save you money when ordering the certificate, because it saves the clerk time in finding what you want.

Place names in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland can also be a challenge. Sometimes the same name can be in several areas, towns can completely change their name, and some towns have been absorbed into others. It is helpful to spend a little time with a good introductory book such as Tracing the History of Place Names by Charles Whynne-Hammond. His book explains the value of the place name in explaining history, geography, and the nature of the society. Also be aware of unique terms used in each country. The Scottish Association of Family History Societies publishes A Scottish Genealogistís Glossary by Burness.

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