The beginning of a new calendar year can be an exciting time especially if like me, it means that family records are finally going to be made public because the statutory time has passed. I almost forgot that this year, on January 1st, the 1910 birth registration, 1960 death registration and 1935 marriage registration images for Scotland were being made available through the Scotland’s People website. This meant that I could finally see my paternal grandfather’s birth registration.
John Gaull Hadden (pictured left) was born on March 9, 1910. Now that 100 years have passed, and presumably most of the privacy concerns about making his birth registration available to anyone willing to pay a small fee, I obtained the registration. The record informs me that my grandfather was born at 4:15 p.m. at 6 Piries Lanes, Woodside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. It confirms his parents as Alexander Shand Hadden and Jessie Hadden (nee Gaull). Alexander’s occupation is listed as “Steam Ship Stoker” which later evolved to be the better sounding ‘marine engineer’!
The interesting aspect of the record is the spelling of the Gaull surname. I have seen it spelled ‘Gauld’ on many records but on my grandfather’s birth record, it is spelled as “Gall” in two separate places. It is possible that my great grandfather Alexander who signed the registration record didn’t know how to read or didn’t know or care how to spell the Gaull family name. I doubt I will ever know why he signed off on the error. The important lesson with the spelling issue is to check all variants because when a record like this containing an incorrectly spelled surname is indexed, the error will be carried into the index potentially making searches more difficult.
Develop a timeline type chart and see when important events in your ancestor’s lives occurred because you don’t want to miss obtaining that record you have been waiting for as soon as it is available.