Guild of One Name Studies
Faux Certifcate Production
This facility for members of the Guild
of One-Name Studies allows the production of 'faux certificates'
using information transcribed from certificates of birth, marriage and
death registration, or from deposited marriage registers.
This facility is designed to accept birth, marriage or death registration
entries transcribed into a spreadsheet or database format, and transform
them into a pdf file in a format like that of a certificate. You may
create the transcript in any spreadsheet or database program (Excel, OpenOffice
Calc, Lotus 1-2-3, Custodian etc.), but you must save it in the generic
comma separated variable (csv) format before you upload it. The maximum
file size that can be uploaded is 200kb.
Each space in the register where information can be entered can be
accommodated by the program, but it doesn't require them all and allows
some flexibility in how you record the information. If the format
described for each type of transcription doesn't quite fit what you are
recording, please let me know and I can see if I can add it. Similarly
should you encounter any problems please let me know.
The list of column headings recognised is given on the page for each type
of registration, they may be in any order. Any
column that is not recognised will be ignored, so if you have additional
columns they do not need to be edited out.
Long entries will be wrapped over the appropriate number of lines, but
the wrapping method is unsophisticated. Consequently there is an outside
chance that very long entries might fill the available space and cause
the letters to overlap one another.
Other things to note:
- Dates are somewhat complicated. The Year should be a
separate column, as it usually appears in the heading of the entry. The
date given under "When Married/Born/Died" can be given as a single field
Date, or as separate Day and Month fields (or
both). If the aim is to reproduce the original as closely as possible,
then the Date field is best, as it has no fixed format. On the
upload form you can indicate whether the values in the Year
column should be appended to the Date or Day and
Month under "When Married/Born/Died". If Date is empty
the Day and Month are used for the registration entry,
whilst for a GMI file, the program uses Day and Month
if they are present, and if they are not attempts to extract the day and
month from the Date field.
- If Notes are present they will only print if the option is
selected on the upload page.
- The GRO reference can optionally be printed with the registration
There are three forms of output, with different methods of accessing
- All the certificates in one pdf file. The file will be about 7+2n kb
in size, where n is the number of certificates. You can choose to view it
on the screen, download it or have it sent to an email address with a message.
- Certificates as individual pdf files, each about 9 kb. These will be
placed in a zip file and can be downloaded or
sent as an attachment to an email address.
- For marriage registration entries, the program can generate a csv
file suitable for sending to Mary Rix for the Guild Marriage Index.
You can choose to view it on the screen or have it sent to an email
address with a message. For the Place field of the GMI the
Parish field of the input is used. (The forenames follow the GRO
index rather than the marriage entry, which may not be what you want.)
Various problems can arise in this output so it needs manual checking.
The final column of the output file consists of error messages which
should be dealt with manually and deleted before sending to Mary.
Not specifying a file to upload. (About 9% of accesses do this!)
Attempting to upload an Excel file (.xls or .xlsx), or some other
format which is not csv. You must
save the spreadsheet as a comma separated variable file (.csv) and upload that.
After processing is complete the uploaded files are deleted,
but a limited amount of information is retained to allow
monitoring of usage, solving of problems and, if necessary,
blocking of any attacks on the site. The information that is
logged is date and time of access, IP address, type of
certificate, file name, file size, the type of output requested,
how it was to be delivered, and error status (if any) of the
Last updated 03 August 2009.