In issue 25 we wrongly credited Fred Hughes with writing The History and Development of the Pottery Industry and The Staffordshire Potteries. Fred is in fact the author of Burslem (2005], Mother Town (2000] and A Short History of Cobridge Potters (1997].

sent to concentration camps. But it's not something our German cousins wish to talk about and as I cannot read or speak German it is very difficult to research. It is obviously one of those skeletons that I cannot yet dig up, but one day I hope it comes out. Maybe someone knows how I can go about researching this as a nonGerman speaker from Australia.

Gwen Waters

Mt Gambier, South Australia

DearSn am a relative newcomer to family history, my search being prompted by the death of a relative six months ago. In that time I have purchased 37 certificates from the GRO. At £7 a time, that comes to over £250. Before ordering my first certificate I telephoned the GRO at Southport to talk to them about their posting policy; I am very eager to receive the certificates unfolded. A very pleasant person informed me that the only way the GRO could guarantee certificates to be dispatched unfolded is if they received an order by post with a written instruction not to fold the certificate.

Consequently I have ordered all my certificates by post, paying the extra £1.50 per certificate for doing so. To date I have paid an extra £48.50, yet three of the certificates arrived folded. The picture with your article (page 53, issue 25) shows a GRO employee placing unfolded certificates in envelopes. Is she working on orders received by post? Or does the GRO dispatch online orders unfolded?

Andy Gale via email

The person who spoke to you on the telephone should have informed you that certificates ordered online don't get folded when sent out. It's surprising that postal orders do but these are processed in a slightly different way. Most people prefer unfolded documents and the GRO should look into this.

Dear&WIn issue 24 (May 2005) of Your Family Tree reader Chris Barber asked what is the best way of storing a collection of birth, death and marriage certificates. Your expert Lesley Bower was quite right to point out the dangers of vinyl (PVC) pockets etc. Lesley mentioned polyester as a recommended material and we are happy to endorse the virtues of this acid free material.

However, as a specialist supplier of certificate binders, acid free pockets and associated items, we would point out that polyester is relatively expensive to buy. As an alternative polypropylene is also acid free, is more readily available, and is less expensive. We have not seen any evidence that suggests that polypropylene is any less safe than polyester for storing documents, photographs and so on.

We supply both polyester and polypropylene (see www.cwsparkinson. certificate pockets and therefore have no preference in recommending one material over the other. However, 95 per cent of our certificate pocket sales are for our polypropylene version.

Colin Parkinson

CW & S Parkinson Genealogical Storage

Dear&irI found the painting of the Old Time Groom in last issue's Seeking very interesting and I can easily see why the reader has become very fond of it. But was it an editorial addition that he was getting married at the age of 90,

ONLINE OR POSTAL: Order your certificate online and it won't arrive folded

OLD TIME GROOM: Horse groom or bridegroom?

wondering if the bride was equally aged? In view of the comment towards the end of the letter about blacksmiths and farriers I suspect that he was a horse groom, not a bridegroom.

Roger Partridge

Surbiton, Surrey

Dear&in phoned the registry office in Basingstoke and explained that I was looking for a Charlotte Pearce born around 1838 whose father is Daniel and whose mother is Mary Ann. I was very impressed with their efficiency. They produced the certificate in three days - not the seven to 10 days it takes the GRO. If the search had failed, they would not have charged me a £3 search fee like the GRO. Finally they only charged £7 to produce the certificate from a phone order unlike the £8.50 that the GRO charge.

A day passed after I made the call and my phone rang. They said that they had found an entry for the right date, and the right parents, but the name against the entry was 'female', and therefore did I still want them to produce the certificate. This was where they went the extra mile. The GRO would not have produced a certificate because they wouldn't have found the name specified and would have charged me £3 for the lookup. I asked them to produce the certificate because it had to be right as there were no other Charlottes or females registered at that time. The certificate arrived the following day and everything matched including the father's occupation. I also checked again and found the index reference for the 'female' entry.

I guess the GRO can't do this because of the volume of certificates they handle, but I would suggest always going to the local registry office first if possible. I have nothing against the GRO office, and have ordered over 100 certificates from them. They do a great job considering the pressure and workload they are under.

Colin Pink via email

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