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June 28, 2009

Ordering Documents from National Archives in Kew - a Comedy of Errors Part 2

Continued from A Comedy of Errors Part 1

I was now ready to fill out the online Request Form and order my ancestor's Chelsea Pensioner Records.

This is where it got a bit confusing. The fields were filled in for me with the Catalogue Reference Number and Details "Customer requested item reference WO 121/1/38 (part of document WO 121/1)"

My uncertainty was over how I could make sure I received all pages (images) for my ancestor Thomas Blandon? It was noted that his record was Image 170 but having had experience ordering other documents such as petitions, I knew that very often there were several pages (images) associated with one individual.

The detail box says "Or, give us details of the information you're seeking from the document. For example, name, service number, regiment, dates, ship's name, places etc."

So I decided to check "Copy all pages in this document" and add a note in the details box which stated that I was only interested in the images for Thomas Blandon whose document started on Image 170.

(This is where I believe I made my mistake. I failed to note the word "Or" which was not highlighted in red as I have made it here. So by ticking the radio button beside "copy all pages in this document" I inadvertently had made a choice of one or the other. I did not realize I couldn't add a note in the detail box! If I had simply written out what I wanted in the detail box, and NOT ticked off the "Copy all pages..." I believe I would have received just the papers on Thomas Blandon)

Next I received the following confirmation email:

Dear Lorine

This email is to confirm we have received your order for document copying.Please save or print this email or make a note of the following details. You should quote your order number in all correspondence and queries.

Order number: Cxxxxxx
Your copies will be produced with the following options:
Medium option: Digital Images
Colour option: Monochrome
Delivery option: By email

Documents to copy:
1. WO 121/1

Charge: £28.00
Transaction Number: R/09/xxxxxx
Payment Method: E-commerce

Once completed, your order will be sent

Thank you for your order.

Record copying department
The National Archives

And so I sat back to wait. And wait. And wait. 3 months later, on June 25th I received a CD ROM in the mail with 864 images. It was the complete microfilm of every soldier who was pensioned out in 1787! So besides paying for these 864 documents, I also paid for the CD ROM to be mailed even though I had requested the less expensive option of picking the records up on the National Archives website. I am sure this was because there was so many images that the National Archives realized it would be quite a task to upload them all and use their server room for 30 days.

I am happy to say though that my ancestor Thomas Blandon had 2 pages (images) on the CD ROM.

And I have 862 other documents to read through if I am ever bored....

1 comment:

Benita Steyer said...

Guess you got more than you asked for this time. Maybe you could sell it on ebay. ha.