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.

General instructions

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:


There are three forms of output, with different methods of accessing them:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Common errors

  1. Not specifying a file to upload. (About 9% of accesses do this!)
  2. 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.

Data collected

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 upload.

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