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TIP OF THE DAY: How to find the missing.

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ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


IAN Report 31 Mar 2015 19:19

Did parents sometimes purposefully not register their offspring in a census?


DazedConfused Report 7 Nov 2012 11:41

Nudges :-)


Joy Report 22 Oct 2012 12:48



DazedConfused Report 4 Mar 2012 14:42

nudge :-)


vanessa Report 15 Dec 2011 23:37

yeah!!!!!!... I found my g/g grandmother - as I said before, her name was BETSEY WARE MANLEY. i found her in the 1861 census using "shpae of the name " tips and she is enumerated as BETEY H MOLLEY....
I think I have her in the 1871 census, too as BETSEY MORLEY, but her occupation has changed from a music teacher to a needlewoman.

So exciting to be really sure of her in 1861, at least.


vanessa Report 15 Dec 2011 08:04

Hi Jonsey
thanks for the tip.
I have just about given up on my g/g grandmother Bestsey Ware Manley (Nee Eversfield). born 1826 in Gravesend, Kent.. i have her in the 1851 census and the 1901 census (the latter in the almshouse) but nothing in between. she was estranged / divorced from her husband in 1851. I have tried various combinations in the census, but hadn't considered the pronounciation issues.
off I go to try


SylviaInCanada Report 13 Dec 2011 01:40


I did not know that!

I've always believed the onus was put on the mother!

Thank you :-D



Jonesey Report 12 Dec 2011 08:34

Sorry to be a pedant Sylvia but I'm afraid that on this occasion you are wrong (A very rare occurrence indeed).

The Registration of Births and Deaths Act 1874 Chapter 88 clearly stated that the responsibility for the registration of a birth fell to a group of individuals, specifically including the child's Father. An extract may be seen below:

1) Information concerning birth to be given to registrar within forty-two days

"In the case of every child born alive after the commencement of this Act, it shall be the duty of the father and mother of the child, and in default of the father and mother, of the occupier of the house in which to his knowledge the child is born, and of each person present at the birth, and of the person having charge of the child, to give to the registrar, within forty-two days next after such birth, information of the particulars required to be registered concerning such birth, and in the presence of the registrar to sign the register."

The punishment at the time for not registering the birth in accordance with the act was set as a fine of two pounds.

The only exclusion of the responsibility of the father of a child to be liable to register the birth was if the child was born illegitimately. See extract below:

7) Saving for father of illegitimate child

"In the case of an illegitimate child no person shall, as father of such child, be required to give information under this Act concerning the birth of such child, and the registrar shall not enter in the register the name of any person as father of such child, unless at the joint request of the mother and of the person acknowledging himself to be the father of such child, and such person shall in such case sign the register, together with the mother."

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 11 Dec 2011 22:25

lol Sylvia.

Before census records made it onto computers (apart from the 1881 census on disk) I spent ages looking for a family on the 1841 census who I knew were living in a particular street before and after the census (because of baptism records).

The street was very long, the census records were split into many fragments across numerous microfilms and it was almost impossible to read the census records because the ink had seeped through from the other side of the page.

I spent ages trawling through the whole street very slowly, once, twice, three times, four times over a period of time.

I was beginning to believe an alien spaceship had whizzed them off lol...until i visted chester record office and found them in Chester staying with their parents.... :)

The census records online have made things easier but I've still got the odd UFO (Unidentified Family Online)

One of my ancestors I knew died a year later in 1902 but can I find her on the census?

As for my nan's grandparents and great grandparents, they must be still alive or visiting another planet somewhere. Unfortunately they're from one of my branches that have very common names. (I've got quite a collection of common branches - all very short) ;)


JerryH Report 11 Dec 2011 21:22

Even then, there were some that "slipped the net"

How often have we seen an entry in the Register where the Page Number is shown as See 'S 98 - or something similar.
These relate to Late Registrations where the entry for a Birth Registration was made in a later period - sometimes many years later.

I know that in such circumstances, FreeBMD tries to link the records with a "System Link"


SylviaInCanada Report 11 Dec 2011 20:36

Actually, after mid-1874, it became the MOTHER's responsibility to register the birth of a baby within 6 weeks of the birth. And she was the one who would be fined.

Fathers were not allowed to, nor was anyone else, unless the mother was unable to do it ....... ie, too ill, or dead.

You might want to try looking over a much wider time period .................. some mothers who did not register the birth within the 6 weeks, would say the baby was born later, to avoid the fine.

Also, don't forget that the 6 week period could push the registration into the next quarter ...... or even into the following year, if the baby was born after mid-November.



Jonesey Report 11 Dec 2011 19:10

Civil registration of births began in the latter part of 1837 in England and Wales. However it did not become mandatory until 1874. Consequently a lot of births went unregistered.

Prior to 1874 it was the responsibility of registrars to register a birth in their district. After 1874 parents could be fined if they did not register the birth of their child within 6 weeks of the actual date of birth. A child may have been baptised but that then, as now, was optional.

Bunty the Mouse Slayer

Bunty the Mouse Slayer Report 11 Dec 2011 18:42

Warmest wishes to all!

Can anyone tell me if it was mandatory to register your child born about 1865 in England? Could the birth have been registered only with with the church and not the city?

Thank you,
Bunty :-S


SylviaInCanada Report 10 Dec 2011 02:06

good one, Christine!

Unfortunately my guy has a common forename, John

......... and his surname was common in the area in which he married ........ but also is relatively common in Cornwall at that time.

soooooooooooo ..... did he move from Cornwall to Buckinghamshire?

Possible ........... but no-one, and there have many people looking, can determine that.


Christine Report 9 Dec 2011 22:50

I had tried absolutely everything I could think of to try and find one of mine prior to 1841. He had an unusual first name so he should have been easy, but no such luck. I had had lots of help (on here and on another site), but all had drawn a blank. In desperation I decided to look at all instances of the name (Melatiah), even if they seemed impossible. I finally found him:

Baptised in 1806 (probable year of birth 1795)
A different surname (mother didn't marry until the following year)
Described as female instead of male!

Never give up!


SylviaInCanada Report 9 Dec 2011 22:36


that's the alien spaceship been down to earth again!

............. the one that dropped off my gt x something grandfather in 1740, just in time for him to get married ....... and then also appear in all records after that.

Either that, or he sprung out of the ground fully grown :-D


~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~  **007 1/2**

~~~Secret Red ^^ Squirrel~~~ **007 1/2** Report 9 Dec 2011 21:30

I've also tried finding other people in the family...sometimes they appear more easily than a particular member.

Failing that, if I know where the family lived 10 years before/after, I've searched for a particular neighbour in the street (if I think they may still live there) and it pulls up the street where they live. Sometime my family have been still living there, just badly transcribed.

Some are still illusive though :(


SylviaInCanada Report 9 Dec 2011 20:59

still a timely thread


Jonesey Report 30 Nov 2011 15:59

:-D :-D :-D


Suzanne Report 22 Aug 2011 20:49

done all of that jonesey, nothing.x