Birth entries in a birth register. Marriage entries in a marriage register. Death entries in a death register.

Do you know how those entries actually got to be in the register? In many cases, those entries in a “register” (or ledger of entries) may have been made from submitted certificates of those events. If that’s the case, the register entry could contain a transcription error or an incorrect rendering of a word or phrase on the original submission.

Chances are doctors, midwives, and others did not just “walk in” to the records office and verbally give the information to be put in a register of births or deaths. A form likely was completed and sent or taken to the appropriate records office with family, the official, and possibly others providing the actual information. If you are using a register of vital events in a locality, determine if there are records of the certificates or submissions that were used to enter information into the register.

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