Re: Importance Value of various Birth Sources

Julia Vokes

Following on from David’s comments I would like to make an observation about marriage in the 1990’s when I married in a Methodist Church.  The minister asked my husband and I to produce ID which was easy as we had passports.  With regards to occupation he took our word for it and the same for name of father.  My father had died but I wasn’t asked for proof of this.
In my research I have several instances where either the bride or groom has invented a father, conveniently deceased, upon marriage to give a veneer of respectability and disguise the fact that they were illegitimate.

On 4 Feb 2020, at 14:59, "uhkh3tsccmz9@..." <uhkh3tsccmz9@...> wrote:

There is of course another problem with birth certificates (at least historically)

When I was trying to track down a possible relative who might have been "adopted out", I was looking for a birth registration under a number of possible names (and having found it and no further records for that name I was planning to buy a copy of the certificate to see if it was marked "adopted").

This led to an interesting email correspondence with one of my local registrars about "historic practices". In essence (at least in the 1950s) a woman could walk in to a registry office, claim to be Jane Doe wishing to register the birth of Joe Doe, claim to be married and give her maiden name as Smith - and a Birth Certificate would be issued without further questions or requests for evidence of proof of identity, marriage or even of the child's existence.

What is the current practice for proof during registration?

  • Deaths: When (in the last 2 decades) registering my parent's deaths, the only evidence produced was the doctor's formal letter - everything else was taken on trust.
  • Marriages: The claimed people are at least there, but as a witness (signing the register in the 1980's) I was not asked for any proof of identity
  • Births:?


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