Do the entries in the database refer to birth names or adopted names?


Only names registered at adoption by the child’s adoptive parents are listed in the G.R.O. Adoption Index and hence in the Hickmore Archive database.


Why are there no records in the database for adoptions prior to the year 1927?


Legislation regarding the State’s recognition of the adoption process did not come into force throughout England and Wales until the year 1927. All adoptions before that date were normally private arrangements for which there were no legal requirements to keep any records.


What sources were used to compile the database?


The English and Welsh Adoption Index database in the Hickmore Archive was compiled solely from extracts taken directly from the index books originally held by the Registrar General at Somerset House (then at Saint Catherines House and more recently The Family Records Centre at Islington).


Since the G.R.O. (General Register Office) only make routine amendments to the master-copy, now held in the search-room at the Family Records Centre, this has the added advantage of enabling the Archive to include in its database any official amendments that might be made.


Which surnames are covered by the database?


The database contains an exact transcription of the complete entry for all instances of the Hickmore surname that are listed in the G.R.O.’s adoption index for England and Wales.


Some entries for variant surnames (such as Hickmer) have also been included, together with a number of similar sounding but non-variant surnames).


In addition to this, entries for other surnames will eventually be covered for cases where the name Hickmore (or a variant) has been given as one of the adoptee’s forenames.


Can I add an entry for a person who has only recently been adopted?


No. The database is intended to be an accurate reflection of entries for the surname Hickmore (and its variants) exactly as they appear in the adoption index at the G.R.O. and not as they actually exist.


Is there any significance in the background colour of the database pages?


Yes, the background used throughout the adoption database pages in the Hickmore Archive is meant to represent the colour of the original G.R.O. adoption index books and of the adoption certificate application forms, both of which are normally coloured or printed in yellow in order to avoid confusion with other records.


Why do I need a password to search the Adoption Index?


The Hickmore Adoption Index is password protected because the Archive organisers are anxious to avoid any potential hurt or embarrassment that might be caused to adoptees or their families by making information about their status available to the general public.

Consideration has also been given to the fact that many adopted children are not told that they are adoptees until they reach the age of majority. The Archive therefore has a duty to ensure that it does not become the source of family difficulties as a result of the premature release of sensitive data.


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