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got it wrong?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Joan Report 9 Feb 2013 14:31

My sister and I are both doing our family tree. We both got back as far as Grt grt Grandparents and worked down to my Dad, I recently sent for Marriage cert for Grt Grt grandad William Smart and his wife Margaret,with same page number in records, only to be told that they are both on the same page but not married to each other. So now we're stuck and don't know how much of our records is wrong.
We must have the wrong Margaret but can't find another, We now they came from Northumberland and My grt grandad was their son Joseph but that's it now we're stuck. Oh dear! :-S


KathleenBell Report 9 Feb 2013 15:12

If you are sure that William Smart is the correct person you are looking for just order the marriage certificate using just his name. This will give you the name of the person that he married.

Do you have Joseph's birth certificate? That should name both of his parents (if they were married to each other).

Kath. x


greyghost Report 9 Feb 2013 15:18

How have you got back to them - give some details and we can try to help. When was Joseph born and do you have the family on a census at all?


Andrew Report 9 Feb 2013 15:33

Is this correct family

1851 England Census
about Joseph Smart
Name: Joseph Smart
Age: 5
Estimated Birth Year: abt 1846
Relation: Son
Father's Name: William Smart
Mother's Name: Margaret Smart
Gender: M (Male)
Where born: Lambton, Durham, England

Civil parish: Harraton
County/Island: Durham
Country: England

Street Address:


Condition as to marriage:

Disability: View image

Registration district: Chester Le Street
Sub-registration district: Chester
ED, institution, or vessel: 2c
Neighbors: View others on page
Household schedule number: 35
Piece: 2394
Folio: 435
Page Number: 10
Household Members: Name Age
William Smart 40
Margaret Smart 40
John Smart 10
Thomas Smart 7
Joseph Smart 5
Sarah Smart 74
Thomas Smart 35



safc Report 9 Feb 2013 15:39


Search Results From Marriages 1841 to 1850

Details of your chosen Marriage certificate (including spouse) are as follows:

Surname Forename(s) Year District
92% SMART William 1842 Durham Northern
92% HUNTER Margaret 1842 Durham Northern


patchem Report 9 Feb 2013 16:20

If Andrew shows the correct family in 1851, then John was born 1840/1841, so before that marriage. So William married before, or wrong marriage?
Or, as Margaret is 40 in 1851, then an earlier marriage, or a second marriage for her?

Have you got any of the family in 1841?


Joan Report 9 Feb 2013 17:03

Thank you. I will check these and get back to you. I am going to check on .Margaret Hunter. I will have to switch off now so will start next time I'm on line


Porkie_Pie Report 9 Feb 2013 18:26

I suspect you got the wrong marriage because you names the bride?

Their are 3 brides with forename Margaret on that page

Marriages Dec

Margaret HUNTER,
Margaret LATIMER
Margaret NEWTON

Just order the cert using the name of the groom leave the brides name blank

alternative Durham has its own local web sites that matches up spouses$

I personally would buy the cert for their fathers details


Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 9 Feb 2013 20:20

(above sometimes useful)

Chris :)


mgnv Report 9 Feb 2013 23:35

Although the info given above is all correct, I think a bit of background would be useful to you.

Suppose I were registering a birth in Chester-le-Street rego district.
I have a choice of going to 2 local register offices - the main one in Chester-le-Street, or the branch one in Harraton. (Chester-le-Street RD had 2 subdistricts.)
Each subdistrict kept it's own regos for Bs and Ds. At the end of each quarter, the local registrars made copies of their regos on the special big GRO sheets, and sent their copies to the district superintendent, who checked them over and bundled the subdistrict stacks together and shipped them off to the GRO in London (now Southport).
Full regos were also sent to the district superintendent.

Marrs were similar, but here each C of E vicar was authorized to keep a marr rego, so they sent the quarterly copies to the district superintendent, who bound and filed them in a seperate rego for each church, and forwarded another copy to the GRO.
The local office would also make a copy of their own rego for the GRO.
Their own rego would include rego office marrs, and any non-conformists who were not authorized to keep official marr regos, so the marr would have to be recorded in the registrar's own official marr rego.
Pre-1898, only C of E, jews and quakers were authorized to keep regos. RCs were not authorzed until the 1980s. Full church regos were lodged in some archive, usually the county records office.

The GRO took the stacks from each local office, piled them together, bound them into volumes (I think vol 24 covered all of Co Durham), and then indexed the whole lot, referring to their vol # & their page #.

Now one can buy BMD certs from the local office or the GRO (and the church if it's in their current rego).
However, the GRO ref doesn't really help locate local stuff.
They need to know which subdistrict rego (for Bs & Ds) or which church, etc, rego for marrs, and then where in that rego.
Also, most local indexes reference marrs by entry # (so one knows who wed whom) - even when they just use their own page #s, often they're misaligned with the GRO copy, so difft couples are jumbled together, which can sometimes isolate your couple.

Some local indexes are available online - see

In particular, most of Co Durham and Tyneside have some of their indexes online, see:

Here's the contentious GRO page:
Marriages Dec 1842 (>99%)
DAWSON John Chester le Street 24 25
FENWICK Joseph Chester le Street 24 25
HUNTER Margaret Chester le Street 24 25
LATIMER Margaret Chester le Street 24 25
NEWTON Margaret Chester le Street 24 25
Robson Ann Chester le Street 24 25
SMART William Chester le Street 24 25
SOULSBY Edward Chester le Street 24 25
TAYLOR Henry Chester la St 24 25

The local look up gets:
Surname Forename(s) Year District
SMART William 1842 Durham Northern
HUNTER Margaret 1842 Durham Northern

If I now click on the postal application form link, I see:
Register No. - Entry No. - District
DNCP1 - 250 - Durham Northern (1842)
[CP is code for St Mary and St Cuthbert Chester-le-Street - although Durham no longer tell you this (S Tyneside do have an online key)]

Here's the other couples:
Surname Forename(s) Year District
NEWTON Margaret 1842 Durham Northern
FENWICK Joseph 1842 Durham Northern
Register No. - Entry No. - District
DNCP1 - 248 - Durham Northern (1842)

Surname Forename(s) Year District
TAYLOR Henry 1842 Durham Northern
LATIMER Margaret 1842 Durham Northern
Register No. - Entry No. - District
DNCP1 - 249 - Durham Northern (1842)

Surname Forename(s) Year District
DAWSON John 1842 Durham Northern
ROBSON Ann 1842 Durham Northern
Register No. - Entry No. - District
DNCP1 - 251 - Durham Northern (1842)

Although there's no births locally indexed for Chester-le-Street, here's another arbitary example:

Births Sep 1845 (>99%)
Atkinson John Durham 24 63
MacGowan Isabella Durham 24 63
McDermont Male Durham 24 63
McDermont Female Durham 24 63
MITCHELL Matthew Durham 24 63
Pattison Mary Ann Durham & 24 63
Smart Margaret Ann Durham 24 63
TURNBULL Elizabeth Durham 24 63
Wheatley Elizabeth Hannah Durham 24 63
WHITFIELD Thomas Hunter Durham 24 63

Now if I click on FreeBMD's "Durham" link, then the more info "here" link, I get to see info abt the old Durham RD, including:

Sub-districts : Brandon, Durham, Lanchester, St. Nicholas, St. Oswald, Tanfield.
Registers now held by : County of Durham.

Birth certificate for:
Surname: SMART
Forename: Margaret Ann
Year: 1845
District: Durham Western
Register No. - Entry No. - District
DNLAN4 - 175 - Durham Western (1845)

Here's another lookup from that GRO page:
Birth certificate for:
Forename: Thomas Hunter
Year: 1845
District: Durham Western
Register No. - Entry No. - District
DNLAN4 - 170 - Durham Western (1845)

So although they don't say what DNLAN4 means, it's not hard to guess this page were rego'ed in Lanchester subdistrict (the 4 refers to the fourth Lanchester births rego).

I think it's always worth checking both indexes as they don't have the same info.
Here's my g grandad, before he moved to Tyneside:

Births Dec 1851 (>99%)
BALDWIN Thomas Wigan 21 831

Lancashire Birth indexes for the years: 1851
Surname Forename(s) Sub-District Registers At Mother's Maiden Name Reference
BALDWIN Thomas Pemberton Wigan & Leigh WINSTANLEY PEM/9/456

[There's another Thos, b 1851q1, but my Thos has page-mates from Pemberton subdistrict, not Wigan subdistrict. His early censuses say his pob was Orrell, i.e., Pemberton subdistrict.]


Joan Report 10 Feb 2013 07:26

Thanks everyone, you've all given me something to work on. I'll talk it over with my sister and see what we come up with


DazedConfused Report 10 Feb 2013 11:26

I would suggest that after your discussion with your sister you both go and do seperate research and see if you both come up with the same results.

No good doing it together as you will bounce ideas of each other and possibly continue to make the same errors as before.


Joan Report 11 Mar 2013 20:26

The update on my earlier thread. I sent for my Great Grandad Joseph Smarts birth certificate and found his mother's maiden name was Margaret Nicholson. My Grt grt Grandparents William and Margaret Smart came from Ancroft Northumberland. Thank you all for your advice earlier at last I am on the right track