Thursday, 14 January 2010

1939 Scottish national registers - my order arrives!

As readers will no doubt be aware from my post last Friday on Scottish 1939 national registration, it is now possible to order up copies from the enumeration that was carried out in September of that year (see 1939 Scottish national registration census records to be released).

Well muggins here does not muck about! As soon as I learned of the new release, I immediately placed an order to the General Register Office in Edinburgh, with a request to view the details of the two individuals, my great grandmother Jessie Paton (nee MacFarlane) and my father's uncle, John Brownlie Paton.

Both entries came this morning, and I thought it might be worth outlining the information it contained and how those entries have both been of use.

1) Jessie

The following information was supplied: County, Burgh, Address, Surname and Other names, M or F, Birth, Single, Married Widowed or Divorced, Personal Occupation

In this instance, I did not supply an address for Jessie (I did not have one) just her date of death and a vague indication that she might have been in Glasgow or Inverness. Family lore had it that she was moved to Inverness just prior to the start of the war by her eldest son, along with her daughter. The returned record conclusively shows that she was still in Glasgow when the war broke out. The mystery is, who was she staying with, as the address is not one I have come across? Possibly her daughter, certainly not her sons, but now I have a whole new line of enquiry to pursue. The record outlines that she was doing unpaid domestic duties, which might imply that she was staying with a family member. Lots of fun ahead...!

2) John

I provided John's date of death and address in this instance. The information returned mostly confirmed what I had before, but the date of birth supplied was significant, as until now I only had his birthdate from a school record in Inverness. John was in fact born in Brussels, Belgium, where my family used to run a series of shoe shops for the Glaswegian firm R & J Dicks. So this is the only GROS issued record I have with John's date of birth.

In each case the entry costs £13. I supplied two cheques, one each for £13, rather than a single cheque for £26, in case one could not be found.

Am I pleased with the results? Very.

Is it expensive? Yes, but I knew the cost up front and the likely type of information to be returned.

Was it worth it? In this case, absolutely, as I was able to learn more about my family members from each, though in some cases I can see that it may not provide info above and beyond what people may already know. However, it is a fixed event, and every record is as important as the last in my view, so even if nothing new is forthcoming, that also shows that nothing has changed.

So what unique info can be found in these records for 1939?

i) Address obviously, particularly as you can order an entry without it - all you need is a date of death.

ii) Names - John's middle name of Brownlie was simply abbreviated to B, so you may not necessarily find out someone's middle name if you are looking for it. Jessie's maiden name was not included.

iii) Date of birth.

iv) Marital status - note the question includes divorce as an option

v) Occupation - in this case both had civilian roles. I am unclear as yet how this might differ for members of the military.

I will be making more applications in future, though my grandparents had moved to Northern Ireland by this stage, but there were a few family stragglers still floating around to chase up! And maybe it's just me, but a three day turnaround?! Crikey - I think I got in before the rush! Big thanks to the GROS.

A very useful release.

Professional genealogical problem solving and research

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