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Birth Registrations.

Discussion in 'General Genealogical Queries' started by pennywise, Aug 23, 2019.

  1. pennywise

    pennywise LostCousins Star

    Is it quite usual for births not to be registered in the early 1900s? My friend's mother was born 3 September 1905 in Battersea and was baptised Ada Menhennett. I found her baptism on ancestry.co.uk, but have been unable to find an entry in the Indexes of Birth for her. Nor could I find an entry for her two younger siblings, Alice and Millicent, though I did find entries for the two older siblings and the three younger ones. Why would three out of the eight be missing?
  2. Liberty

    Liberty LostCousins Megastar

    How widely have you cast your net? With an unusual surname such as this, births could be registered under a different spelling, and maybe the first name you know is not the one the child is registered under.

    For example I can see a Dorothy Melicent Menhennett registered Wandsworth 4Q1906, and quite few other Menhennetts and Menheneotts in this and other parts of London (Kensington, Fulham) ta around this time.
  3. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

  4. pennywise

    pennywise LostCousins Star

    Firstly, in reply to Liberty - Dorothy Melicent Menhennett registered Wandsworth 4Q1906 is a different branch of the family. Her mother's maiden name was Barnes. The mothers maiden name of the siblings I am searching for was Moult.

    Secondly, in reply to Tim, you have the correct family. The children born after 1911 were Millicent, Albert, Lily and Marjorie.

    I did try looking for Ada Menhennett in FREEBMD by typing in only her Christian name and volume number for each quarter of 1905 in case there was a very unusual way of spelling Menhennett that I hadn't encountered. I also watched out for any other possible surnames that might have been used, such as Moult. Nothing seemed relevant. I then widened my search and tried 1904 and 1906. Still nothing.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I was informed that it was against the law not to register the birth of your children, yet I can find no information at all regarding my Dad's younger sister, who was born in 1916 (one source says 1915, so I looked there too). Not under her mother's name, her alleged father's or the name of the man she married a few years later. I can only assume she used the name of the actual father.

    Perhaps your friend's mother's birth was not registered, although since she was baptized, that would seem unlikely. Was infant baptism a regular thing for everyone back then? It appears that neither my Dad, nor his two sisters were.
  6. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    Could they have been adopted? Have you DNA for these branches?
    Or maybe born out of the country?
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  7. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Family Search reveals 3 Menhennett births after 1911 -ALL with mother 'Moult'

    Lily Menhennett birth registration 1917 Wandsworth - 1D/636/14
    Albert Menhennett birth registration 1917 Wandsworth-1D/636/13...twins?
    Marjorie Menhennett birth registration 1920 Wandsworth- 1D/1037/34

    Are these of help? (Sorry if the ones you already have)
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  8. pennywise

    pennywise LostCousins Star

    Thanks for looking Bob. I do have these Menhennett children. It's only the middle three that don't appear to have been registered. Their names are Ada, Alice Elizabeth and Millicent.

    We don't have DNA for my friend. We don't think that they were born out of the country. They were working class and didn't have much money. They might have been able to emigrant by getting a cheap passage, but I think it was more expensive to return. There would have been six of them by the time they came back which I doubt would have been cheap.

    I thought that it was illegal not to register children's birth and that by 1905 there would have been very few children not being registered. I don't know what percentage of children were baptised. I have been doing my own family tree for quite a few years now, and there seems to be no rhyme of reason as to why some children in a family were baptised and some weren't.
  9. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    Have you just checked for those names without the Menhennett name in the years specified?
  10. pennywise

    pennywise LostCousins Star

    I checked all births with the Christian name Ada for the years 1904, 1905 and 1906.
  11. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's fairly unlikely that births wouldn't have been registered after 1875.

    The most common reason for a failure to find a birth is because you;re looking under the wrong name - or, as you would see it, the birth was registered unde the wrong name.

    People with unusual surnames - and they don't get much more unusual - sometimes changed them, and just to confuse us, they subsequently changed them back again.

    Anyway, if the dates for birth aren't given in the baptism entries your first step is to find their 1939 register entries and/or their post 1969 death entries, so that you know precisely when they were born.

    Something else to consider is that the family weren't in England & Wales when those three chilldren were born. Birthplaces aren't always shown correctly in the census.]

    Finally, a reminder that this forum is a privilege for LostCousins members, and if you are researching on behalf of someone else they need to join LostCousins, even though you're the one doing the research. Otherwise you would be depriving their 'lost cousins' of the opportunity to connect.

    You can, of course, use one of your own email addresses for their account.
  12. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I think one is left with the Sherlock Holmes type resolution after extensive research proves negative...in what remains lies the answer.

    Quoting from 'The Family Tree Detective (Colin Rogers 1983)' - on the subject of missing birth registrations after 1875 (with the penalty for non-registration -at that time - being £2) - "...the odds are very high that you will find it. If you can't it is much more likely to be caused by a mis-indexed registration than a missing registration.

    Even so with it applying to 3 of 8 children, I am not at all sure what sort of mis-indexing could happen to remove their names from the register.
  13. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    There was another similar case in the newsletter and in the forum a while back - the missing birth registrations of Kate Luard and some of her siblings. That mystery is still unresolved.
  14. pennywise

    pennywise LostCousins Star

    I do apologise to all of the Lost Cousins members for posting a query about a friend's mother. It really should have occurred to me that the forum is for members only. Decades ago, my mother used to tell me that I seemed to get sillier as I got older. Time is definitely proving her right!
  15. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It was a general reminder - I had no way of knowing whether your friend was a LostCousins member or not. But in any case, why wouldn't you want to open an account on behalf of your friend - her 'lost cousins' might be able to provide some valuable clues.

    There are many very experienced researchers in this forum, but cousins will know things that aren't recorded online.
  16. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Member

    I would then ask - are there any correlating entries for the other two "missing" children - i.e. is there an Ada who has the same surname and mother's maiden name as entries for an Alice and a Millicent?
  17. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    How did you check with just the first (Christian) name? I tried just using my aunt's name and my grandmother's maiden surname but was informed a valid surname must be provided. Which is the problem; I tried four different ones and none got a match.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I believe you refer to the GRO where a surname is mandatory, while I think you will find pennywise carried out her Christian name only searches (depending on subscription) with Ancestry or FMP or the free BMD, Family Search websites. Even so, carrying out searches with just a first name rarely pays dividends but can be improved if it is possible to narrow down the location, but I'm afraid 'London' hardly qualifies on that account. Much better to try wild card surname searching, but in this case even that seems to have proved unsuccessful.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  19. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Even narrowing it down to Wandsworth (reg district for Battersea) produces lots of births with first name Ada in 1905.
  20. pennywise

    pennywise LostCousins Star

    I haven't tried looking for any correlating entries for the other two "missing" children - i.e. is there an Ada who has the same surname and mother's maiden name as entries for an Alice and a Millicent? I will have a shot.

    Is it likely that the births were registered but the copy certificates were not sent to GRO for inclusion in the Index Books? Would it be worth trying the local register office?

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