Friday, May 25, 2018

From Anticipation to Disappointment

I have been eagerly anticipating the arrival of marriage records from the U.K. GRO office.  They send PDFs of birth and death records but marriage records are sent as paper copies through the regular postal service.

On April 19, 2018, I ordered and paid for the marriage records of
          >  Elizabeth Laws and Andrew Doyle, and
          >  Martha (Reay) Doyle and Thomas Richardson

Notice that in England they record the date as dd/mm/yyyy.

These two records were mailed from England on April 25, 2018.  On May 9, 2018, I received an envelope containing the marriage record of Elizabeth and Andrew.  Since both records were ordered at the same time I anticipated that both would have been mailed in the same envelope, but they weren't.  I'm still waiting for Martha and Thomas's marriage record.  The record I received arrived in two weeks.

I contacted the GRO office at the beginning of this week.  Yesterday I received a response via email with instructions to check with my local mail provider to see if they have the envelope.  If not, the GRO will send another certificate.  Of course, my USPS provider knows nothing about this lost envelope.

On May 3, 2018, I ordered and paid for the marriage record of
          >  Jane Barron and Andrew Doyle

The U.K. GRO website indicates that this record was mailed on May 9, 2018.  It's already been three weeks and it has not yet arrived.  (The other marriage record arrived in 14 days.)

After all this trouble and disappointment I hope, when the records finally arrive, that they tell me what I imagine they do and that I won't be disappointed a second time.

How I wish the U.K. GRO sent PDFs of marriage records, too.


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  1. Did the marriage record give you any new information?

    1. Sadly, no, Wendy. It confirmed information I'd already found but gave no new information.

  2. That's so strange, PDFs of birth and death, but not marriage? Seems it would save them a lot of trouble not to use snail mail too, unless specifically requested. I hope you receive the other two records soon!

    1. I'm sure it would save paper and postage if they did marriage PDFs. And I have no idea why they don't. One more record has come, the one I ordered about two weeks after the first two, but the missing one from the first order has not come. GRO said they'd send another. I just need to contact them.

    2. I think it might be because they've already digitized the births/deaths, but not the marriages, so it's extra work. Whilst annoying, I'm just so relieved to be able to get cheaper birth/death certs via pdf, that I'm willing, if necessary, to get marriage ones by paper if necessary.

    3. I didn't realize that they had not yet digitized the marriage records, Teresa. Like you, I'm thrilled to have access to the lower cost pdfs. It makes the records so much more accessible.

  3. That is disappointing. I hope you receive the records soon and they prove worth the wait.

    1. Thanks, Liz. I had two separate orders, one with two certificates, another with only one. From the first order, only one has arrived. The second order arrived a few days ago. So I'm still missing one certificate. I'll contact the GRO one day this week.

    2. Did it ever arrive? I know that mail from the UK can be a bit dicey at times. Hope you finally received it.

    3. Yes, Teresa, the last one arrived this week. (Before that, a transcription arrived, and after contacting them again, a paper copy of the image arrived. How wonderful!

      I wrote a post ( in praise of the GRO!


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