LONDON-L ArchivesArchiver > LONDON > 2002-01 > 1012177211
From: "John Henley" <>
Subject: Re: [Lon] Re: Civil Registrations: Vital Change
Date: Mon, 28 Jan 2002 00:20:11 -0000
References: <3C530F69.D870F6A6@virgin.net> <003b01c1a77e$4cbc20c0$e465ff3e@qdwqq>
----- Original Message ----- From: "Tony Mitchell"
> In response to my earlier posting on this thread, both Guy Etchells and
> have suggested that the Registrar General has been acting unlawfully by
> allowing searches to be made of BDM registers. Recently, I had an amicable
> off-list discussion with Guy on this very subject - in conclusion, we
> to differ!
> Liz has now quoted information apparently from Guy that access to such
> registers was provided for in an 1812 Act. Sorry Liz and Guy, but I don't
> understand - in 1812, the Registrar General and Civil Registration were
> unlikely to have been even a twinkle in the legislators' eyes - the RG and
> Civil Registration were both introduced in an Act 24 years later.
> The 1812 Act relates to Parish Registers for baptisms and burials (never
> part of any Registrar General's jurisdiction) and marriages (for which the
> RG has little responsibility in relation to Church of England and Church
> Wales marriages). If there are problems concerning access to information
> Parish Registers, why blame it on the Registrar General?
> My former discussions with Guy and his latest posting are based on his
> that the Registration Acts since 1836 "require that searches are allowed
> be made of the REGISTERS of Births, Marriages, and Deaths".
> Provision for such searches, except in current registers being used by
> Registrars for new entries, has never been in any Act. Here are relevant
> extracts from the 1836 Act (which can be viewed in full on Guy's website
BUT the Registrar-General has a clear duty ro make the quarterly copies
available at his office in London or Westminster - see section XXXIV
> Para XXXII
> "............; and the Registrar shall keep safely each of the said
> Books until it shall be filled, and shall then deliver it to the
> Superintendent Registrar, to be kept safe by him with the Records of his
> (So, as soon as the Registrar fills a B, D, or M register, he passes it
> the custody of the Superintendent Registrar. The Registrar's
> for that register ceases forthwith.)
> Para XXXV
> "And be it enacted, That every Rector, Vicar, or Curate, and every
> Registrar, Registering Officer, and Secretary, who shall have the keeping
> for the Time being of any Register Book of Births, Deaths, or Marriages,
> shall at all reasonable Times allow Searches to be made of any Register
> in his keeping, ...................."
> (So, a Registrar must allow a search of any REGISTER in his keeping - i.e.
> only those current registers that have not yet been filled.)
I think the phrase "a Registrar" may be open to a wider interpretation, to
cover all varieties..
The Clergy continue to keep in their legal custody all (not just current)
duplicate registers of marriages, possibly even when for safe-keeping they
are deposited elsewhere, they may remain legally in the incumbenmt's
> Para. XXXVI
> "And be it enacted, That every Superintendent Registrar shall cause
> of the Register Books in his Office to be made, and kept with the other
> Records of his Office; and that every person shall be entitled at all
> reasonable Hours to search the said Indexes, ................"
> (So, only the INDEXES of registers in the custody of the Superintendent
> Registrar may be searched - not the REGISTERS).
> Incidentally, how accurate are the indexes held at Register Offices? At
> end of the index, there is a reconciliation page on which the
> Registrar has to state the number of entries in the index for each surname
> initial letter. Then these numbers are totalled, and the overall total
> agree with the number of entries in the register to which the index
> Simple, but effective.
> If anyone is contemplating asking their MP to follow up the allegation
> the Registrar General is acting against the law in relation to searches,
> would surely be courteous to show the MP the above facts so that he can
> judge what he may be letting himself in for.
> Tony Mitchell
(still catching up on masses of emails )
using Archive CDs - see
and researching (and not finding much time for - but always very glad to
hear of any)
HENLEY, PARKER, PRENTICE, SECKER, RAPER, DURDEN
ROLFE, (O)RAFFERTY, EVANS, PARSONS, SYMONDS [IN Berks/Hants/Wilts]
HILL [IN Staffs/Cambs/Berks]
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