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Very late registration of a birth

Discussion in 'England & Wales BMD registers' started by Alexander Bisset, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Alexander Bisset

    Alexander Bisset Administrator Staff Member

    I saw this post on Facebook by a Mary McCarthy and it seemed like an interesting post forum members may like to see.

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  2. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I know from speaking with my Granddaughter (a B&D Registrar in Kent for many years) that in the case of a birth registration when the mother is the informant and no father is present, much of the information recorded will be as she recounts. The mother may admit to not being married (whether she is or not) and/or refuse to name a father, so the father's name is left blank and crossed through. If she gives the father's name but does not have a signed proof of paternity by the father, she may offer the excuse that the father is since deceased. In such cases the father's name is recorded as given and (if applicable) shown as deceased. The occupation of the father is also recorded as given, or even left blank if not forthcoming. In short despite the statement "I was surprised that the registrar would have just taken Mary Jane's word for it? the Registrar often has to do just that.

    I accept that information from one person known to me from one Registration authority may not constitute the same throughout the country, or indeed have applied back in the 40's but I am willing to bet not that far from the mark. My Granddaughter sums it up as it is the Registrar's job is to get the birth registered with as much accurate information as can be obtained.

    She has since qualified for Marriage Registrations, but have not had time to speak with her on the pitfalls involved in such work.
     
  3. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    In cases like this I always wonder what it was that prompted the correction (or registration in this case).

    But more intriguing is what happened to Lilian Vera whatever-her-surname-was - there isn't an obvious match on the 1939 Register, though I didn't spend a lot of time looking as I was supposed to be working on my tax return. Did anyone track her down?
     
  4. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    Is she the Lilian V Gritton, married to Reginald Henry, and in Merton, Surrey?
    That’s what happens if you leave it until (almost) the last minute. :D
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2020
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Can't rule it out, but there is no marriage that fits.
     
  6. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Superstar

    7 Nov 1915, Holy Trinity, Clapham - at Ancestry.
     
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Well done - the GRO marriage indexes show her husband's surname as Gritten, that's why it didn't show up at FreeBMD or Findmypast.

    Still no obvious reason why she needed a birth certificate in 1946.
     
  8. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Perhaps she wanted to get a passport?
     
  9. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's possible, but I wouldn't have thought it the most likely reason - this was 1946, after all. If she did travel overseas it must have been within Europe as I can't find on passenger lists.

    It's more common to need to prove one's age for pension purposes, but she was only 55 in 1946. Perhaps she needed to prove her identity in order to claim an inheritance?
     
  10. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Wouldn't she have her wartime National Identity card to prove her identity? I think that was accepted for other purposes but not passports. And yes, I was thinking of travel within Europe. The reason I mentioned the passport is that my husband's grandfather (born 1903) got a copy of his birth certificate in 1972 to travel abroad for the first time, aged nearly 70! His birth was registered at the correct time in 1903 but it seems the original birth certificate had been lost. He didn't seem to need it for his pension.
     
  11. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    An identity card wouldn't prove anything - the information in the 1939 Register wasn't verified. And in any case ID cards didn't show the holder's date of birth.

    Travelling abroad in 1972 was a bit different from doing it in 1946. About 2% of the population travelled abroad in 1950, but by 1979 Britons were spending more on holidays abroad than holidays at home.
     
  12. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Quite, hence no good for passports. I take your point about scarcity of travel in 1946 compared to 1972, but 2% of the population is still quite a lot of people and she could have been one of them. What % of the population needed a birth certificate to claim an inheritance? Quite a small percentage too I'd guess.
     
  13. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I think we are reading too much 'technicality' into why anyone would want a birth certification in 1946 and , although a shade later - but not by much - I recall my mother being asked by my Grandmother (her mother in law) for my birth certificate around 1953/4. My Grandmother wanted to open a bank account in my name at the Birmingham Municipal Bank and apparently had been asked by the bank to produce a Birth Certificate to prove my date of birth. I believe this was because I could not withdraw from the account, until I had reached a certain age - 16 I think. I could of course if accompanied by a parent and heaven only knows if Dad or Mom would have had to produce a Marriage Certificate...the mind boggles. The only thing I recall of all this is my father berating my mother (after all it was his mother asking) for not being able to put her hand on my birth certificate. (It seems women were responsible for keeping such things). I've no idea whether she eventually found it or either she or Dad had to take a bus ride to town and go to the Birmingham Registry Office to get a facsimile copy.

    I was very proud of my Bank Account with its £5 initial deposit , plus the occasional incremental birthday deposits, and money added as a wage earner...and of course withdrawals. But one final story about the bank (it later became the Trustee Savings), which occurred in the early 60's after leaving the RAF - married and living away from home - I decided on a return visit home to close the account - which only had a few pounds remaining at most. I was unable to provide a satisfactory signature to match the one given years before when the account was opened. How many people can recall their youthful signatures? After several tries, and a hint from the Manager (think of Mr Mannering) telling me to write in full my first and middle names and not just my initials (as my signature had become) and make them more 'round', did I finally produce a signature that satisfied.

    As the song says..."those were the days my friend"
     
  14. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It is the key to the story. An unregistered birth in 1891 isn't that unusual, but a birth registered after 55 years is, given the administrative hoops they would have had to jump through. It would also be interesting to know if there was any sinister reason why they showed the father's name as Harry Tester (given that he had died in 1886), or whether they were simply copying what had been done when her illegitimate siblings were registered.
    This is a major problem for those whose writing becomes unsteady in old age - a cheque my father signed in his early 90's was 'bounced' by the bank for this reason, and it was very difficult to convince them to pay it. (I can't remember how we solved the problem - possibly by doing the transaction online.)
    It's M-A-I-N-W-A-R-I-N-G you stupid boy!
     
  15. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    Ouch!!
     
  16. Helen7

    Helen7 LostCousins Superstar

    Reading this reminded me that my mother's birth was registered after her mother died - she died 10 days after my mother was born and the birth was registered by her father 3 weeks later - but the mother is not shown as deceased on it (I have the original full certificate from 1923). I assume this is because the mother's demise was after the birth but before the registration? It got me wondering if any mother would ever be shown as 'deceased' on a birth certificate, even if she'd died in childbirth?
     
  17. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    In case anyone reading this discussion isn't family with Dad's Army, and thinks I was insulting Bob, one of Captain Mainwaring's catchphrases was "you stupid boy"- used when reprimanding Private Pike, the youngest of the platoon (played by Ian Lavender - the only one of the actor still living).
     
  18. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    And of course as someone who has watched umpteen episodes of Dads Army my "Ouch" was in full recognition (and quite a bit of merriment) that of course I should have known his name was spelled Mainwaring. After all the Captain himself often reprimanded those who addressed him as 'Main-waring', to remind it should be pronounced Mannering.

    My favourite quote from Dads Army is when Captain Mainwaring and his squad are captured by an invading German party, led by an officious Officer. After receiving an insult from the Private, the German Officer demands to know his surname to record in his notebook. The Captain, seeming to prevent this, warns the Private..."don't tell them your name Pike"
     
  19. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    See it here on YouTube
     
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  20. Bob Spiers

    Bob Spiers LostCousins Star

    I very much doubt this as regardless of whether a mother dies in childbirth , or for that matter an hour or even a day later, the fact remains she was the biological mother. I suppose it is possible for an annotation (such as) 'later deceased' or 'deceased before registration' to be added by a Registrar, but I somehow doubt this also...unless someone knows different of course.
     

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