The Registrars themselves were in a world of their own. They could not be challenged even
by another Registrar. It was up to them how they managed their records, even if the record
was wrong. They were paid up until about 2 years ago by government but employed by the
All of this may have had something to do with them taking over from the church and
modeling themselves on the previous incumbents who had been charged by Parliament to carry
out the job, the parish priests.
As church property was technically in the ownership of the parish priest, vested in him on
his institution to that parish, he probably regarded the people of its community or
congregation as being under his personal ownership. Their morals or lack of them for not
conforming may have be seen as a sin to such a person.
Re: RE: Birth registration and baptism
Actually this assumption is also wrong and I have had this argument with you before. The
act of 1836 says that a parent, householder, etc MAY wish to register the birth of a
child. Even if the registrar found the birth of a child it was not necessarily registered.
About 40% of births were not registered in the 1840's and part of the 1860's was a
bad time in some places. By the time the act was changed in 1874, taking effect in 1875,
making it a legal requirement to register the birth, more than 90% of births were being
registered. This was also when, if the mother was not married she could not declare the
name of the father without him being present and signing the register (before this there
were many records of The Prince of Wales as the father). This non-registration gave huge
problems with the introduction of the Old Age Pension in 1908 and the census had to be
consulted. The act is online but I have a very nice copy that I could send to anyone,
email me off list. Dave