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Christening records in the 20th century?

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Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby pforkes » Mon Feb 06, 2017 6:41 am

Before 1900 it is often possible to find records of christenings (baptisms) on sites like Ancestry.co.uk. But after about 1900 they cannot be found.

Is this because they have not been digitized or were records of baptisms just not kept after 1900?
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Re: Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:19 am

They have not been digitised - usually because the suppliers or the record offices are concerned about privacy.

I have seen a microfilm of entries from about 1920 in a record office. Looking at lists of accessions to record offices, it is also apparent that many registers from the 20th century are still at the church - there is no specific process, so far as I know, that requires completed registers to go anywhere. And when they do arrive at record offices, they are not a priority for microfilming, while the record offices may also place them under privacy restrictions.

The above applies to England and Wales. The situation is less clear to me for Scotland where I'm not sure if formal records were kept nationally after the introduction of civil registration in 1855!

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Re: Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby MaureenE » Mon Feb 06, 2017 8:21 am

I agree that the issue is about privacy, but different organisations seem to follow different practices.

In respect of the India Office church records on findmypast, released in January 2014, which are records from the British Library, a BL webpage says
"Some of the records in this service may contain details for individuals who are still living, and therefore full-image views and transcriptions have been redacted so that only a basic index is available. In line with the Information Commissioner’s advice on data protection, this is set at:
100 years for birth/baptism records
84 years for marriage/career records
The full records may be consulted in person at the British Library".
http://www.bl.uk/reshelp/findhelpregion ... index.html

However, perhaps once a batch of records is released, the restrictions remain unaltered, as looking at the records just now, the last year images are available appears to be for 1914.

In respect of the same records which were transcribed by Family Search as index records in April 2010 there was initially a restriction of 100 years for baptisms, (nothing past March 1910) and 75 years for marriages,(nothing past March 1935) however as far as I am aware, these same dates still apply, even though it is six years later.

The fact that the original restrictions apply for both datasets may indicate that the records were never filmed/transcribed past the original "cut off " dates.

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Re: Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 10:31 am

Off the top of my head, the only moving cut-offs that I know are the censuses and ScotlandsPeople, where their cut-offs are 100y for births, 75y for marriages (so much for ICO recommendations) and 50y for death records. And credit to SP, each January, a new set of data is released.

Bear in mind that there is NO blanket ban on publishing details about living people - otherwise phone directories would be illegal. It's down to the information concerned, what it's needed for, and the views of the controller of that information.

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Re: Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby AntonyM » Mon Feb 06, 2017 11:27 am

I've looked at baptism registers in the county archives from the 1960s/1970s - have a look in their catalogue and see what has been deposited.
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Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby Mick Loney » Mon Feb 06, 2017 12:37 pm

I don't see why parish registers should stop! There is just as much 'sensitive' information on freebmd, yet births are shown well into the 1960's, including my own (I think I'm still living :) :) ).

Glamorgan Archives in Swansea hold copies of local parish registers on view, but sadly I cannot say if they have a cut-off date. I'll check next time I'm there

Of course another reason they don't appear on Ancestry, FMP etc, is because they are not unique and have a low 'resale' value, as there are others records around that cover the same thing e.g. GRO & Freebmd etc.

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Re: Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby Guy » Mon Feb 06, 2017 1:20 pm

pforkes wrote:Before 1900 it is often possible to find records of christenings (baptisms) on sites like Ancestry.co.uk. But after about 1900 they cannot be found.

Is this because they have not been digitized or were records of baptisms just not kept after 1900?


It is simply that the online companies err on the side of caution.

The legal position in England & Wales is that all baptisms, marriages and burials recorded by the C of E must be made publicly available by the C of E.

However due to online providers making records available in other countries they could fall foul of those countries legislation so they use a fall back position of caution.

The answer is to visit the relevant church or diocesan archive and check the registers yourself, if that cannot be done then get someone else to access the registers for you.

Cheers
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Re: Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby junkers » Mon Feb 06, 2017 7:40 pm

Records of BMD are available within the last 100 years but I believe the data protection use applies to online records, so for example Scotland's People have a cut off date for BMDs online, but you can walk into their Centre and look up the entries from about 18 months ago, but you cannot photocopy them and have to have an Official Extract. It is more organisations believing that falling foul of data protection, but for example The National Archives releases information online about individuals although in some cases with caveats and of course the General Register Office have for some years. It is a question of what information is released, for example The Queen's Birthdays could be construed as 'personal data' but one has to be sensible about the issue.
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Re: Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:24 pm

junkers wrote:... I believe the data protection use applies to online records,...

Data protection applies to any personal data, on-line or off-line, computerised or not.

junkers wrote:... The Queen's Birthdays could be construed as 'personal data' but one has to be sensible about the issue.

Fortunately, the Data Protection Act (or whatever it is called now) is slightly more helpful than an injunction to "be sensible about it". The questions that need to be asked include, "Is it personal? Is it sensitive? How is it to be used? Is it being used like that?" Thus my telephone directory example contains personal data, but the whole point in having a telephone number is to communicate it to people, so by definition it can hardly be judged to be sensitive. At least, that was the starting point - when people introduced the concept of ex-directory numbers (way before any Data Protection Act), it allowed them to self-define their own number as sensitive with the result now that anyone publishing ex-directory numbers would be in breach of the DPA.

As far as publishing recent BMD etc. data goes, there seems to be a pragmatic acceptance that such data has to be made accessible for legal reasons but such access should be restricted to penny numbers - thus you can go to the ScotlandsPeople centre and access recent certificate copies there but the business of travel there, payment, etc., is going to reduce the likelihood of bulk access. Or at least, that's my attempt to explain it.

I Am Not A Lawyer but I did have some Data Protection duties some years ago.
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Re: Christening records in the 20th century?

Postby Sylcec » Mon Feb 06, 2017 9:33 pm

Guy said:
The legal position in England & Wales is that all baptisms, marriages and burials recorded by the C of E must be made publicly available by the C of E.

Well that is interesting. So, presumably even those registers still held by the local parish, must be made available if requested.
Unless significant changes have been made in the detailed family information recorded, you could expect that a baptism record would show somewhat less information than an actual birth certificate.

I was a bit surprised at Maureen's comment regarding India Office Records that:
The fact that the original restrictions apply for both datasets may indicate that the records were never filmed/transcribed past the original "cut off " dates.

Although the records have not been digitised, they have indeed been filmed and are able to be hired to view at any LDS Family History Centre. Records extend beyond 1947 Indian independence, though become very scant from the 1930s onwards.
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