Missing maiden name on GRO index

+2 votes
93 views
Hello, I'm trying to find maiden surnames by searching the GRO indexes for the births of the children - but keep coming across records that look right (name, date and place) but just have a dash instead of mother's maiden surname. Frustrating! Why is this - are some records just illegible / damaged? Might I be able to decipher a name if I got a copy of the record, given that I think I know what it might be? Are there any situations when the mother's maiden name would not be recorded? Grateful for any enlightenment, thanks!
in Policy and Style by Marjorie Gibbon G2G3 (3.5k points)

2 Answers

+7 votes
 
Best answer
The usual reason for a dash in the mother's maiden name on the GRO birth record is that there is no father identified. The child is given the mother's maiden name as surname and the maiden name field shows blank. If you buy the certificate then you will most likely see a blank in the column for father.
by Lynda Crackett G2G6 Pilot (623k points)
selected by Pip Sheppard
Thanks, I wondered about that - more likely not to know the father's name than the mothers! I've got a family, they appear married from the census, and two of the children have the dash on the GRO, but the later two have a mother's name - I guess the first two children were born before the wedding then. Thanks for your answer.
Pip, Thanks for the best answer star.
Marjorie, Try to check the dates of when the parents may have met each other. It may be that they are the husband's children born before they married or she may have been a single woman with two illegitimate children  by another man at the time he met her.
+3 votes
If they were born before 1911 you probably won't have the maiden name on record as it wasn't required before then :)

It was only required from 1911 onwards. :)
by Wendy Sullivan G2G6 Pilot (141k points)
On FreeBMD you won't, but on the new GRO Services index you will - right back to 1837.

https://www.gro.gov.uk/gro/content/certificates/indexes_search.asp
Thanks Ros, that's what I was looking on. So many of the registrations do have a mother's maiden surname it is disappointing to find these two with a dash! They all are registered with the same surname, that of the father, so the same father, presumably.

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