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Berkshire Family Historian
September 1999

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Berkshire Family Historian
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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.

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Berkshire Family History Society 2001

updated 10th June 2001