Author Topic: Why were people given birth certificates?  (Read 6696 times)

Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Why were people given birth certificates?
« on: Monday 23 April 18 10:09 BST (UK) »
No, it's not a silly question. 90 years ago my father was born and was registered under the name of his birth mother and her husband. He was then brought up by his mother's parents as if he was their own child. He never found this out until he was nearly 60.  His mother and grandmother took the secrets to their graves.

It seems ludicrous now that the family carried on this deception for 60 years, and it was only when applying for a 10-year passport in his late 50s that my father found out his real birth name and the identity of his real mother. (He thought she was his elder sister.) He was able to go through his entire life, including national service, marriage, annual holidays in Europe, and a pension with a major corporation without ever needing his birth certificate.

I'm sure now you will see what I am getting at. I would welcome any comments. His mother was given a birth certificate which was obviously just put in a box before eventually being lost over the years. What did people actually need their birth certificate for?  What did people use them for?

These days, because of computerisation and increased security you have to show it for all sorts of purposes.

Martin

Offline conahy calling

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Re: Why were people given birth certificates?
« Reply #1 on: Monday 23 April 18 10:27 BST (UK) »
Did he have a Baptismal Certificate?  What name was on that?  Was that possibly used instead?

Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Re: Why were people given birth certificates?
« Reply #2 on: Monday 23 April 18 10:35 BST (UK) »
Conathy, I have never seen one.  I don't think the family was particularly religious.  Again, what would he have NEEDED to use the baptism cert for?

Martin

Offline Nanna52

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Re: Why were people given birth certificates?
« Reply #3 on: Monday 23 April 18 10:43 BST (UK) »
Martin I had a neighbour in a similar situation.  He was told after the 'oldest sister' and grandparents died.  He found he was a year older than he thought and all other family members knew.  Although he didn't travel outside Australia he did serve during WW2.  They definitely didn't use birth certificates for that as my father lied and added two years to his age.  Another in his unit joined up at 15 and a third had served in WW1 and dropped quite a few years.
James -Victoria, Australia originally from Keynsham, Somerset.
Janes - Keynsham and Bristol area.
Heale/Hale - Keynsham, Somerset
Vincent - Illogan/Redruth, Cornwall.  Moved to Sculcoates, Yorkshire; Grass Valley, California; Timaru, New Zealand and Victoria, Australia.
Williams somewhere in Wales - he kept moving
Ellis - Anglesey

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Offline andrewalston

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Re: Why were people given birth certificates?
« Reply #4 on: Monday 23 April 18 10:58 BST (UK) »
He may well have had a "short form" certificate, which does not mention parents' details. It served for most purposes, but was cheaper.

I have my dad's short form cert from 1928 (Fee not to exceed Three-pence), and his long form one from 1944.
Looking at ALSTON in south Ribble area, ALSTEAD and DONBAVAND/DUNBABIN etc. everywhere, HOWCROFT and MARSH in Bolton and Westhoughton, PICKERING in the Whitehaven area.

Census information is Crown Copyright. See www.nationalarchives.gov.uk for details.

Offline Mart 'n' Al

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Re: Why were people given birth certificates?
« Reply #5 on: Monday 23 April 18 11:04 BST (UK) »
Nanna, thank you.

Andrew, would the short version not have had my father's surname (his father's) on it though?

Martin

Offline andrewalston

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Re: Why were people given birth certificates?
« Reply #6 on: Monday 23 April 18 11:07 BST (UK) »
Whoops! Yes!

I'd forgotten that minor detail.  :-[
Looking at ALSTON in south Ribble area, ALSTEAD and DONBAVAND/DUNBABIN etc. everywhere, HOWCROFT and MARSH in Bolton and Westhoughton, PICKERING in the Whitehaven area.

Census information is Crown Copyright. See www.nationalarchives.gov.uk for details.

Offline KGarrad

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Re: Why were people given birth certificates?
« Reply #7 on: Monday 23 April 18 11:32 BST (UK) »
In what name was the Birth Registered?

Don't forget that BMD certificates only contain the information given to the Registrar.

Also, I could turn the question around - What do we need Birth Certificates for these days (bearing in mind that each certificate says "This Certificate Is Not Proof Of Identity"!)
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Offline jim1

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Re: Why were people given birth certificates?
« Reply #8 on: Monday 23 April 18 11:41 BST (UK) »
I don't believe even today a birth cert. is needed that often apart from passports. I can't recall the last time I was asked for it.
National Insurance numbers seem to be the commonest form of identification which begs the question of how dad got one without proof of id ?
Was there possibly a declaration of age applied for by his Grandparents which was used instead of a birth cert ?
Going back to the general question the issuing of BMD certs. I believe was more of a statistical exercise rather than any form of identification.
Warks:Ashford;Cadby;Clarke;Clifford;Cooke Copage;Easthope;
Edmonds;Felton;Colledge;Lutwyche;Mander(s);May;Poole;Withers.
Staffs.Edmonds;Addison;Duffield;Webb;Fisher;Archer
Salop:Easthope,Eddowes,Hoorde,Oteley,Vernon,Talbot,De Neville.
Notts.Clarke;Redfearne;Treece.
Som.May;Perriman;Cox
India Kane;Felton;Cadby
London.Haysom.
Lancs.Gay.
Worcs.Coley;Mander;Sawyer.
Kings of Wessex & Scotland
Census information is Crown copyright,from
www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/