Friday, December 30, 2016

BDM Places - A Rant

I get annoyed when people often incorrectly use the NSW BDM Indexes to provide place names for Birth Death or Marriage events.


In so many trees I find that the Place of an Event is incorrectly recorded as the Place of Registration (the registry where the event was recorded). If I don't have a second reliable source (like a certificate) for an NSW event I record the place accurately as NSW, Australia.

Just because a birth was registered in Sydney does not mean that the event occurred in Sydney. My Grandfather died in hospital Darlinghurst but his death was registered in Rockdale close to Brighton-le-sands where the family lived. Aunt Jane's death was registered in Sydney but I know she died at Waverley. My Grandparents were married at Lavender Bay but their marriage was registered at St Leonards. My Maternal Grandmother was born at Thompson's Creek but her birth was registered at Rockley.

I could go on and on and on.... but you get my drift. Registration Place does not equal the Place of the Event.

Unfortunately many people in their online Public Trees have recorded the places for these events erroneously.

How can we educate our fellow researchers to do the right thing?

10 comments:

Lois Willis said...

I'm afraid I'm one of the ones who puts the registration district as the place of the event. I prefer to indicate roughly where an event occurred, rather than just indicating the state the event occurred in.

Jan Herivel said...

I use Registered at in my comments field to clearly show that I do not know the actual birthplace. I believe a lot of researchers are unaware that the centralised system of BDMs is a fairly recent innovation. In the late 1800s many suburbs had their own registrar of BDMs. I have quite a few registered at Lambton in Newcastle but they were born at Waratah a couple of suburbs away. This had me baffled until I realised that the registrar at Lambton was a brother in law and they must have registered the births when visiting him.

Sharon said...

I'm guilty of this too. I think it's one of those things that the longer you are in the game, the more you realise the mistakes you made early on.

Alona Tester said...

Great post Jill.

Jill Ball said...

Thanks for your comments. I hope the rant assists in educating people.

Hilary Gadsby said...

Registration districts are not always a place. Registration in a district does not equate to the town in that district.
Online trees suffer because the website providers don't allow you to record as a district without editing. They also want to record a month rather than a quarter date as used in the index.

Shauna Hicks said...

Thanks Jill we should always remember that online indexes are only that (indexes) and that we need to check original records (certificates) to learn all the facts, not just those indicated in the index.

Judy Webster said...

I can't afford to buy all of the thousands of certificates for my direct ancestors and their siblings and their descendants, so (to avoid ambiguity) I enter the place as (to use an example from British BDM indexes) 'Camberwell reg.dist.'

Jill Ball said...

Beaut idea Judy.

Fran Kitto said...

Great point Jill. Good reminder that we need to review index details before adding them rather than adding automatically.

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