Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thomas Richman's 1848 Birth Record is Here From GRO PDF Service - Updated

I wrote Ordering a PDF of English/Welsh Historical Birth and Death Records From the GRO on 13 October 2017 after the General Record Office announcement on 12 October.  I picked my great-grandfather because I did not have a government record of his birth.

In an email today, the GRO informed me that I could access the birth record on their web page ( and that it would be available to view for three months.  They provided the COL number which is used to find the correct item on your "Orders" page on the GRO site.

So here it is:

The extracted information for this record is (handwritten entries in italics):

*  Superintendent Registrar's District:   Melksham
*  Registrar's district:   Trowbridge
*  18 48 BIRTHS in the District of  Trowbridge in the County of  Wilts

*  No.:  347
*  When Born:  Tenth of June 1848, Parish of Hilperton
*  Name, if Any:  Thomas
*  Sex:  Boy
*  Name and Surname of Father:  James Richman
*  Name and Maiden Surname of Mother:  Hannah Richman formerly Rich
*  Rank or Profession of Father:  Labourer
*  Signature, Description and Residence of Informant:  The mark X of Hannah Richmona, Mother, Parish of Hilperton
*  When Registered:  Twelfth of July, 1848
*  Signature of Registrar:  James Harris, Registrar

The source citation for this record is (updated per commenter suggestion):

England, Civil Registration, September quarter 1848, Trowbridge District, Melksham Superintendent Registrar's District, Vol. 8, page 375, Wiltshire, 1848 Births, No. 347, birth record (PDF) for Thomas Richman, born 10 June 1848; digital image, General Register Office, Southport, England, General Register Office ( : accessed 19 October 2017).

I had to adapt the source citation from the Evidence Explained template for 9.48 "England: Vital Records Databases & Indexes, Original Certificates" to reflect that this is not a certificate but a PDF record of what might appear on a birth certificate obtained from the General Register Office.

On the GRO website, I entered the COL number, entered the dates that encompass this record, and then clicked on the "Submit" button, and the screen below appeared:

The specific record is summarized at the bottom of the screen above, and I clicked on the "View PDF" button.  The PDF downloaded to my computer immediately - it did not show up on the computer screen.

I viewed it by clicking on the downloaded file (the file name was COL271875_2017-1-THOMAS_RICHMAN.pdf), then used the Windows Snipping Tool to make a JPG image of the record so I could show it above and also attach it to Thomas Richman in my RootsMagic database and Ancestry Member Tree.

When I ordered this record on 12 October, the email indicated that it would be available on 19 October.  They were right.

I had the birth date of 10 June 1848 from the Massachusetts death certificate for Thomas Richmond in 1917, so, in this case, the death record was correct.


Copyright (c) 2017, Randall J. Seaver

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Unknown said...

I would respectfully suggest that your citation for the record is not the best possible one. To allow a third party to easily locate the record, one should include the volume and page number for the record. That information does not appear on the record that the GRO has provided but it does appear in the birth index. In fact, it's the information that you had to give to the GRO so that they could find the record for you. The information might be inserted in the citation that you've written as follows:

England, Civil Registration, Trowbridge District, Melksham Superintendent Registrar's District, Wiltshire, 1848 Births,, //347, birth record (PDF) for Thomas Richman, born 10 June 1848; digital image, General Register Office, Southport, England, General Register Office ( : accessed and downloaded 19 October 2017)

Randy Seaver said...

Hi Jim,

That is an excellent suggestion. I will add the index volume and page number and update the citation.

Thanks -- Randy