Archiver > NEW-ZEALAND > 2011-07 > 1311275163

From: Ian Westergaard <>
Subject: Re: [nz] Civil registration of BDMs has been compulsory for Pakehasince 1847 but this does not mean the records are either accurate orcomplete.
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2011 07:06:03 +1200
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

If one looks at the chaos that reigned during the gold rush era, especially
on the West Coast, it is little wonder that many deaths were not recorded
during the 1860's. Many people died without trace. Overloaded ships
disappeared with all on board. Parties crossing the Alps from Canterbury
were overwhelmed by flooded rivers or just got lost in the bush. Mining
camps were washed away or obliterated by slips. Nobody knew who had died in
many of these disasters.

Even without such chaos it seems deaths were not recorded. I have one
relative who was the subject of a coroner's inquest at Westport in
1867/1868. There is no record of her burial and it seems the death was not
registered but it was reported in the newspapers.

Ian Westergaard

On Thu, 21 Jul 2011 07:58:14 -0500, Olwyn Whitehouse <>
> Civil registration of BDMs has been compulsory for Pakeha since 1847
> and for Maori since 1911 (marriages) and 1913 (births & deaths),
> but this does not mean the records are either accurate or complete. NZ
> Archives.
> Looking for reasons.
> Why wouldn't someone register a birth?
> Was there a penalty for not registering?
> Did a child who died shortly after birth e.g. four days, have to be
> registered?
> Thanks.
> Olwyn
> Archives New Zealand's Christchurch Office Reopens With Limited Access
> July 12, 2011. The public reading room of Archives New Zealand's
> Christchurch office will reopen from Tuesday 12 July 2011. The opening
> hours are 9.30am to 1.00pm, Monday to Friday.
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