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How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

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How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby pforkes » Sun Sep 10, 2017 6:49 pm

My great grand uncle was Albert Hill.

According to his birth record, he was born on 6th December 1865 in Walsoken, Norfolk. His birth was registered on 7th January 1866 (31, or so, days later). Now. I am unsure if it was required (at that time) to register a birth within one month.

I bring all of this up, because I have found other records (including his war records) that he was actually born on 1st December, 1865.

What is the likelihood that he was actually born on 1st December 1865, and because his father waited 38 days until 7th January, 1866 (longer than one month) that he said that he was born on 6th December?

How long was given to register a birth, back in 1865, and what were the punishments for failing to do this in time?
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Re: How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:32 pm

Good job I checked - I always get the transition wrong, but assuming that I'm right this time....

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/General_Register_Office_for_England_and_Wales#The_GRO_registration_process explains that until 1875 the compulsion was on the registrars not on the parents - so there was no penalty on the parents for a late registration in 1865.

After 1875, see http://www.whodoyouthinkyouaremagazine.com/forum/topic12301.html where it's explained that the limit quoted is 6w but,if you read the whole thread, there doesn't seem to be any mandated, automatic penalty. Penalties (i.e. fines after prosecution) for non-registration or giving false information are a different kettle of fish from simple late registrations, where the window actually seems wider than first thought.
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Re: How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby ianbee » Sun Sep 10, 2017 8:39 pm

Forty two days.

AdrianB38 wrote:so there was no penalty on the parents for a late registration in 1865.

Not sure about that?
After the six weeks, and up to six months from the event, it was still possible to register the birth, on payment of 7s. 6d.
That's a penalty!
Or is that wrong?
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Re: How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby pforkes » Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:18 pm

Hmm. So I wonder why the birth record says 6th December, but most other references say 1st December.

I have attached a copy of the birth record, though there is pretty much no doubt.
Attachments
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 2.17.09 PM.png
Albert Hill's birth record.
Screen Shot 2017-09-10 at 2.17.09 PM.png (218.94 KiB) Viewed 1464 times
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Re: How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:09 pm

ianbee wrote:...
After the six weeks, and up to six months from the event, it was still possible to register the birth, on payment of 7s. 6d.
That's a penalty!
Or is that wrong?
Ian


Has it turned round to bite me in the posterior again? Sorry Ian, where does the 7/6 amount come from? Is that in the legislation effective in 1865? I confess that I assumed that as the compulsion to register at that time was on the Registrar, then the parents couldn't be fined or penalised for a late registration. Concealing one or giving false information, yes. But a plain simple late registration I simply assumed couldn't be laid at their door.

Even in the post 1875 situation, as you can see from the linked thread, it's not totally clear, particularly when you try to disentangle penalties, fines and fees.

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Re: How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby ianbee » Sun Sep 10, 2017 10:37 pm

Peter (edit, sorry!) - It's not that unusual to come across such discrepancies with dates of births, often just a day or so, occasionally more drastic (I am not referring to year of birth, we know ages given on census etc, are not always reliable)
Perhaps Albert didn't have his birth certificate, he may have forgotten the exact day he was told he was born, or his parents did...

Adrian - It's in the 1836 Act, see (edit!) XXII
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.anc ... 836Act.htm

And that's also summarized elsewhere online
7/6 and six months is mentioned by Colin Rogers in The Family Tree Detective (still a fantastic book!), page 26

The situation from 1875 on re fines is interesting. I remember that thread, and was a little taken aback.
I've got my grandfather's birth certificate (well no actually, it's one of those Factory and Workshop Act things), and he was born 7 January and registered 21 March!
So I'd like to know the answer!
Ian
EDIT To get Peter's name right!
Last edited by ianbee on Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:40 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun Sep 10, 2017 11:16 pm

Thanks Ian. No wonder that it got rewritten in 1875 or thereabouts. The parents' actions appear to be written as "may" but they have to pay this 7/6 fee if they don't... Unless it's dereliction of duty by the Registrar in which case it's only 2/6 so far as I can see. That's not my definition of "may".

And that post 6w scenario is quite different from the post 1875 Act, I think.

So yes. It did turn round and bite me in the posterior. So how does that play with those who say that registration wasn't compulsory for the parents if they get fined when it doesn't happen??? Confused??

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Re: How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby pforkes » Mon Sep 11, 2017 3:05 am

So, summarizing:

It is very unlikely that my great, great grandfather gave the wrong date of birth of my great uncle because he took 32 days to register his birth.

Thank you.

Peter
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Re: How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby Mick Loney » Mon Sep 11, 2017 5:56 am

The birth date on my father's birth certificate shows 31stDecember, when he was actially born on 18th. Nan always stated that it was 'adjusted' so she wasn't fined for late registration (this was in 1915). I genuinely believe it often happened for the same reason.

I don't believe, as previously suggested, that someone could have forgotten or mis-remembered their birth date. He/She won't remember which date they were born :) , and rely entirely on what their parents tell them, and it is the parents who decide when a child celebrates their birthdays!


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Re: How long was allowed (back in 1865) to register a birth?

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Sep 11, 2017 6:24 am

Peter - yes, whatever the undoubted confusion about about whether the parents would, could or should (?) pay extra for a late registration, there's no reason to assume it was a factor in your case. My tidy mind likes to get this stuff right but here I appear to be failing!

Mick - my own granddad had his birth-date adjusted, presumably because it crossed the 42d boundary. In his case, there was a family tradition that it had happened, plus when he was baptised, with it being a late (of course!) baptism, his date of birth was written in the register and it was the "traditional" one, not the official one. So easy to see that case.

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