Reading Branch meeting 28th November 2019

Speaker: Antony Marr

Speaking from a background of an ex Deputy Registrar he gave an interesting insight of what can be found on these certificates. The rules surrounding these certificates are covered by a 150-page instruction book. Original certificates will have original signatures; the GRO (General Register Office) version is a copy of a copy.

Four checks are done on birth certificates (not telling the truth is purjury)
1. Live birth computer check with hospital/midwife (no still births)
2. Correct district
3. Within time limit (Registrar 12 months, parents 42 Days)
4. Not already registered.

a) Who signed?
b) their qualification
c) Address of the informant.

Who can sign,
i) Mother,
ii) Father, if married (not unmarried fathers),
iii) Occupiers of the premises where birth occurred,
iv) Anyone present at birth,
v) Person in charge of child.

Childs surname is specified since 1969 and from 1950 put in capital letters. Today any surname is possible not necessarily mother or fathers’ surname. In 1874 unmarried fathers had to be named only if present, re-registration was possible later and could include fathers’ middle name. Mother’s maiden name is from first contacted marriage in old indexes in the new it is registered as ‘–‘, indicating she was not married. Reasons for late registration could be 1) over 1 year at Registrar General, 2) 1926 Act Legitimise a child born before marriage, 3) rescinded in 1950’s, 4) to register father if not named.

Corrections to certificates are numbered in sequence to index and can be due to typing errors, simple clerical errors, complex clerical errors or errors of fact or substance.

Death certificates five things to note 1) Registration district of death, 2) Qualified to certify, 3) Proper medical certificate, 4) no coroner required, and 5) not already registered. Other documents medical certification of cause of death (Act 1953) Death Cert, Certificate for Burial (green form) cause of death 1st cause 2nd secondary. Old age is not a cause of death, conditions can be cardiac arrest, asphyxia, renal failure or respiratory arrest.

Inquests in olden days took place quickly usually in pubs, today they can take many months or years, no death can be registered until an inquest has been held if an inquest has been necessary.

Picture of Vicki