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  • Writer's pictureWendy Percival

Opening a can of worms...

Having only ever had a "short" birth certificate, I thought it was about time I got a copy of my full certificate for the family history files, so I ordered one via the General Register Office website.

Today it arrived in the post. But to my amazement, I noticed that my middle name had been spelt wrong!

I telephoned the GRO to explain, only to be told at one point that to "make any changes" would cost me £94! Fortunately, when I pointed out that I had no intention of paying £94 for errors made by their office, the representative must have realised she was talking out of her ear and backed off.

Thankfully, all is not lost. It would seem that the original entry made in the record book at the register office where my birth was registered was correct. We have therefore concluded that the mistake was made when someone mis-transcribed my name on to the certified copy sent to the GRO as part of their quarterly returns, back in 1958.

I have now placed another order for my birth certificate, this time directly to the local register office where my birth was originally recorded and I'll receive a copy of the page of the register book which was filled in at the time. Meanwhile, I've demanded a refund from the GRO for the cost of the certificate with the error.

I'll leave the local office and the general office to fight it out between themselves as to how they go about correcting the mistake in their central files!


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