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Birth Certificate mystery

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Birth Certificate mystery

Postby DoggedDetermination » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:27 pm

I applied to the GRO for a copy of a birth certificate for someone that had been born in 1918, his parents weren’t married at the time though did marry a year after his birth. I had seen online that there were two registrations for his birth, one in 1918 and one in 1938. Today, I received two certificates both identical, stating birth date 29 June 1918, registration date 26 October 1938. His parents split up in 1922 and I believe he might have been raised by his mother’s new partner with him she had 8 children. I just wondered why I received two copies of his birth record both the same, I would have expected to received one for the 1918 birth possibly showing his mother’s maiden name only and then the second one for 1938 showing his father’s name. I’m also curious as to why he would have needed his certificate in 1938, perhaps to marry? It doesnt help that I can’t find a trace of him under his birth surname although there is a possible marriage record under his step-father’s surname.

Any help would be gratefully received. Thanks.
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Re: Birth Certificate mystery

Postby AntonyM » Fri Mar 02, 2018 1:17 pm

It will be a re-registration to legitimise the birth (introduced by the 1926 Legitimacy Act).

Unfortunately, when you order a certificate from an entry that has been re-registered (for this or another reason), GRO tend to automatically send you a copy of the later document.

You should contact GRO and ask that they send you a copy of the entry you ordered (the 1918 one).
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Re: Birth Certificate mystery

Postby DoggedDetermination » Fri Mar 02, 2018 3:05 pm

Thank you for the advice AntonyM, I have just spoken to the GRO, they didn’t seem to grasp what I was saying at first but my request will be forward to “queries” who apparently will search for the original 1918 registration. I will let you know how it goes.
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Re: Birth Certificate mystery

Postby AntonyM » Fri Mar 02, 2018 4:35 pm

I'm assuming you did actually order both, with different references .... the 1918 entry, and the 1938 entry ?

It is also possible that the 1938 is the only registration (done v late) and the 1918 is a cross reference to that, but without the details to look at impossible to say.
Last edited by AntonyM on Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:29 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Birth Certificate mystery

Postby peter kent » Fri Mar 02, 2018 5:09 pm

You haven't provided the details so we can't check for you but if the 1918 entry in the index has a manuscript note referring to the 1938 registration (something like "see...") then GRO will simply do what the index says and provide a copy of the 1938 registration. NB you need to look at the digital image of the paper index, not rely on the transcribed data.

You might be able to get a copy of the 1918 registration by approaching the local register office.
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Re: Birth Certificate mystery

Postby DoggedDetermination » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:19 am

AntonyM - I didn’t apply for both certificates, just the 1918 one for Charles W Bottrill 1918 Sept Walsall 6B 38.
I received on the same day two certificates in separate envelopes, the accompanying letters gave GRO references:
Charles W Bottrill
Year: 1918 District: Walsall Qtr: S Vol: 06B Page: 38
Year: 1938 District: Walsall Qtr: D Vol: 6b Page: 881
The super-imposed images on the certificates contains identical information, the only difference is one image is clear the other is shadowy (see attachments).
The other thing that puzzles me is the section on the certificates: “Signature, description and residence of informant”. It states Edwin Bottrill, Father, 32 Borneo Street, Walsall. Edwin was the father but he and Lily Alice Bottrill nee Jones had parted company in 1922. The address 32 Borneo Street was the home of Lily Alice and her partner Benjamin Albert Barker not Edwin Bottrill.

PS: I cant upload the images, the files are too big.
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Re: Birth Certificate mystery

Postby DoggedDetermination » Sat Mar 03, 2018 9:46 am

Peter Kent - I think you might be right!
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Re: Birth Certificate mystery

Postby ianbee » Sat Mar 03, 2018 10:17 am

DoggedDetermination wrote:just the 1918 one for Charles W Bottrill 1918 Sept Walsall 6B 38.

It says Bottrill Charles W., (mother) Jones, Walsall 6b Dec '38
Rather than page 38

Maybe
Births, Sep 1918 Walsall 6b 1116
Jones, Charles W.
mother Jones
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Re: Birth Certificate mystery

Postby AntonyM » Sat Mar 03, 2018 11:22 am

As peter kent says the 1918 reference you gave is actually an amendment to the page, referencing the later registration in 1938. It is NOT an original 1918 registration, so no certificate can be produced from it - just a copy of the later record.

But as ianbee has found, there is a 1918 registration in the right district and quarter under the name Charles W JONES with JONES as the mother's name. It could be a coincidence and completely unrelated, but I suspect not and that is the one to order to compare with the later record.

The most likely scenario remains that being born before his parents married, he was registered in 1918 by his mother alone. Unless the father went to register with her his name could not be shown, so the father's name will be blank and the entry indexed just under her surname. In 1938, the birth was re-registered (under the Legitimacy Act) which creates the second entry. Getting copies of both and comparing them is the only way to be absolutely certain.

The address of the informant on the 1938 entry should be his address at that time, not as it was at the time of the birth, so that is a mystery for you.

Most "late" registrations turn out to be re-registrations for one reason or another.
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Re: Birth Certificate mystery

Postby DoggedDetermination » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:30 pm

I couldn’t understand why on the 26 October 1938 birth registration Edwin Bottrill would state that he lived at 52 Borneo Street, Walsall which I know from the 1939 Register was the home of Lily Alice (Charles William Bottrill’s mother) and Benjamin Albert Barker (his stepfather). On Edwin Bottrill’s RAF discharge papers 27 December 1939 it states that his home address was 15 Charlotte Street, Walsall.

Edwin’s trade was stated on the birth certificate as a Butcher (Journeyman) but his discharge papers show that he was a Tailor on entering and leaving service, not a Butcher. But, Benjamin Albert Barker on all the census and 1939 register was a Butcher!

My feeling is that he went along with Lily posing as Edwin Bottrill.
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