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births at sea

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Malcolm Report 18 May 2013 09:55

If I understand it correctly, a child born on a ship or aircraft bears the nationality of the vessels registration flag. The birth would therefore logically be registered by the captain or purser and added to the vessels manifest which would be recorded at the port of arrival and disembarkation.

BMD Events at sea in Scottish records are included in the Minor Records.


Andysmum Report 17 May 2013 22:51

I think the father registered the birth because it had to be done within 6 weeks, the Registry Office was often some distance away and the mother, with a new baby, was probably not able to get there - particularly if she had to walk!!


GlasgowLass Report 17 May 2013 22:40

It would be interesting to know who actually registered the births and where!
For reasons that I never fully understood, birth registration seems to be the father's role.... and gives his occupation

I would expect that the cases posted by Andysmum would find their way onto Minor Records, on SP:
Foreign Registers, Marine Registers and Service Returns

There are no Madden ( or variant) births on the Minor Records between 1870 and 1879 and based on Ann's info, these must have been registered in the usual way, but by whom?


Andysmum Report 17 May 2013 22:25

It looks from this quote as though they were listed at the relevant GRO in the UK, but could also, presumably, be registered in the country of arrival??

Civil Registration - Birth, Marriages & Deaths At Sea (Overseas)

Registers of British and foreign passengers who were born, married or died at sea on British registered vessels or vessels registered in the colonies. The registers also included British subjects travelling on foreign registered ships carrying passengers to or from the UK. The registers were compiled from the ships' official logs and information given by the ship's masters to the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen and its predecessor the Registrar General of Shipping and Seamen (RGSS). Be aware that problems occurred with the quality of record keeping on board as many passengers were not recorded at all by the authorities or the details about the passengers was often wrong. The RGSS transferred details of the event to the relevant General Register Office for England and Wales, Scotland and Ireland.


GlasgowLass Report 17 May 2013 21:41

Hang on....
if a child was born at sea during emigration FROM their parents home country, I assumed that the birth would be registered on arrival at the next country.
( I have one where POB is Atlantic Ocean, 1week prior to arrival in Australia and birth was then registered in NSW)

Scottish births at Sea:
At first I thought that the Captain may register the birth on his return voyage, but then would the parents get a copy of the BC??

This leads me to believe that these children were born enroute TO Scotland.
Were they travelling from Ireland?


AnnCardiff Report 17 May 2013 16:31

ah, sounds a good explanation - thanks


Andysmum Report 17 May 2013 15:06

The 1800's were the time of the Highland Clearances, when people were forced off the land to make way for sheep.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of families emigrated, so not surprising if there were a lot of births at sea.


brummiejan Report 17 May 2013 13:24

Father worked on a ship maybe? I wonder if senior crew members could take their families? Or emigrating?


AnnCardiff Report 17 May 2013 11:35

just been doing some look ups for Scottish births in the name of Madden and am seeing quite a number of children, all born at sea on different vessels in the 1870's - why would this be? just curious