|Q and A with Jean - I
Found The Birth Entry For An Uncle
Doreen Langford of Tilehurst,
Reading, and Berkshire:
I found the birth entry for an uncle,
Frederick, registered in the September quarter lgog.
Because his existence was previously unknown I
assumed he had died young and checked the death index
for the same quarter and found an entry under "male".
The local registrar confirmed that the parents were
the same in both entries and I ordered the
certificates. These showed that baby Frederick was
born prematurely on 11 July 1909 and died the same
day. But, the Coroner registered the death on 14 July
and the birth was not registered until the following
14 August. Is this an unusual situation?
In the circumstances this disparity of dates
appears to be the result of the special
circumstances arising because of the postmortem.
A copy of the death certificate was, and is,
needed before burial can take place and the
coroner always registers the event immediately on
completion of his inquest. The birth certificate
is not required before burial and, in this case,
it would seem that the parents took time to
recover from their grief and simply registered
their son's birth within the legal six-week limit.
I am sure that they, and other officials, were
not aware of this reversal of the usual order of
events in the records.
It is worth remembering that, if the coroner
had not been involved, the parents would almost
certainly have registered Frederick's birth and
death together on the same day.