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How long to register a birth?

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Florence61 Report 14 Jun 2019 15:45

Can anyone tell me back in the 1870's whether it was legal to have a child in Dec and not register them until early March?

I have a birth certificate which I ordered years ago and only recently noticed the length of time between birth and registration.

Maybe then there was no time limit as today I think its only a few weeks, maybe 3?

Anyone shed some light on this please.


Florence in the hebrides


+++DetEcTive+++ Report 14 Jun 2019 16:09

It wasn’t compulsory to register a birth until 1876. After then, the parents had 42 days to comply.

Previously it was up to the registrar to encourage parents to do so. In some instances it might have meant traveling through villages asking if any child had been born since their last visit.


Florence61 Report 14 Jun 2019 16:29

Thanks DET.This was 70 days from birth til registration.

Its complicated, but a thought occurred to me that the child was born overseas and the mother came back with the child but lied where it was born. It seems a plausible explanation.

thanks nyway

Florence in the hebrides

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 14 Jun 2019 16:46

It's six weeks and still is

It's historical because a new mother was consisdered unclean after she had given birth and was made clean by a blessing known as being churched

The mother to had to stay in for 6 weeks and till after she had had the blessing

It was often the mum who registered the birth .not always of course

The six week time limit is still in operation


ErikaH Report 14 Jun 2019 17:55

Does the same time-scale apply in Scotland? One assumes this enquiry relates to a Scottish birth


Just googled. In Scotland it is currently 21 days. Can't find info about the 19th century at the moment


Florence61 Report 14 Jun 2019 19:39

No not Scotland. This was a birth in kent/margate area in 1877.

However when my children were born in the 90's, I had 3 weeks to register them in Scotland.

It was 70 days so over the 6 weeks. But from researching this bit of the tree with so many twists and turns. It is just possible she had the child overseas and came back in mar and then registered it.
I know it sounds a bit weird but believe me, this twig of the tree is so complicated, anything is possible.

Thanks for all your info

Florence in the hebrides

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it

Shirley~I,m getting the hang of it Report 15 Jun 2019 07:30

Would the fathers occupation tie with being abroad at some time

It may just be they hadn't reg the birth and then found they had too as it was a legal requirement
The fine for late registration may have been waived

It's possible too the child was sickly at birth and they held off registering the birth

All speculation of course

Gwyn in Kent

Gwyn in Kent Report 15 Jun 2019 10:45

Have you looked for a baptism, that just might have an earlier birth date shown?


SylviaInCanada Report 16 Jun 2019 03:20

I have seen several births registered late, but then the mother also told the Registrar a later birth date to make it appear as if she was registering within the 6 week period. That way, she avoided paying the fine!

Finding the baptism record(s) showed the truth :-D


Florence61 Report 16 Jun 2019 11:27

Thanks, ill try and look for a baptism as haven't researched that before.

The father supposedly was a sailor and a fisherman but the mother told so many stories that the truth is difficult to find!

However I will look for a baptism and get back to you

Thanks again

Florence in the hebrides