BARBADOS. An Act for the better making and keeping Registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials solemnized in the several parishes of this Island.
A full transcript of the Barbados Act for the making and keeping of Baptism, Marriage and Burial registers.
Whereas it is expedient to amend the form and manner of making and keeping Registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials solemnized in the several parishes of this Island in order to afford a more accurate description of certain particulars relating to the same and thus to facilitate the proof of claims of relationship and rights of property and otherwise to promote the public benefit. Be it therefore enacted by the Governor, Council and Assembly of this island and by the authority of the same That –
1. After the 1st July next  the registers of baptisms, marriages + burials to be kept throughout the Island in a prescribed form.
I. From and after the first day of July next ensuing registers of baptisms, marriages and burials solemnized according to the rites of the United Church of England and Ireland within the several parishes of this island shall be made and kept by the rectors, curates or officiating ministers of the respective churches and chapels of such parishes in proper bound books to be provided as hereinafter directed in the forms prescribed in the schedules hereunto annexed marked A, B and C; and every such rector, curate or officiating minister shall as soon as possible after the solemnization of every baptism whether private or public, or burial, record and enter in the proper register books respectively provided for that purpose in a fair and legible hand the several particulars mentioned in the several schedules A and B as the case may be and shall duly sign the same and in no case unless prevented by sickness or other unavoidable cause later than seven days after the solemnization of such baptism or burial.
2. Baptisms or burials solemnized by other than the Rector to be transmitted to him for Registry.
II. If any baptisms or burials shall be solemnized by any minister not being the rector or curate of the parish or district in any other place than the church or chapel thereof such minister shall without delay certify to the rector or curate of the parish or district in the form contained in the schedule D to this act annexed that he has duly solemnized the same and such rector or curate shall therefore enter the requisite particulars in the proper register books adding the words according to the certificate of the Reverend __________ transmitted to me on the ________ day of ____________
3. Entry of marriages; how to be made.
III. Every such rector, curate or officiating minister shall, immediately after every office of matrimony solemnized by him, enter in the marriage register book several particulars relating to the marriage according to the form of the said schedule C; and every such entry shall be signed by such rector, curate or officiating minister and by the parties married and by two witnesses and shall be made in order from the beginning to the end of the book.
4. The Treasurer to supply Register books in duplicate to be paid for by the respective parishes.
IV. For the better ensuring the regularity and uniformity of such register books and in the making of copies thereof for the purposes hereinafter mentioned the treasurer of the island shall as soon as conveniently may be after the passing of this act and from time to time as occasion may require cause to be prepared for the use of the churches and chapels of the several parishes of this island proper bound books of good and durable paper whereon shall be printed upon each side of every leaf the heads of information herein required to be entered in the registers of baptisms, marriages and burials respectively according to the forms contained in the said schedule A, B and C; each entry to be divided from the following entry by a printed line and every page of every such book shall be numbered with progressing numbers, the first page being marked with the number one to the middle of the upper part of each page and every subsequent page being marked in like manner with progressive numbers from number one to the end of the book. And the said Treasurer shall also cause corresponding duplicate sheets to be prepared and printed of the contents of every such book, such sheets to be equal in number to the number of sheets contained in every such book. And the said treasurer shall from time to time as there may be occasion furnish the rectors, curates or officiating ministers aforesaid the said register books and said corresponding duplicate sheets furnished to the rectors, curates or officiating ministers of each parish shall be paid to the said treasurer by the Parochial Treasurer of the parish from the funds of such parish.
5. Entries in the Registers to be made and numbered progressively and duplicates to be sent in to the Secretary's office, there to be bound and indexed at the public expense.
V. The entries in the said register books in respect of each year shall be made in progressive numbers the first entry of the year to be distinguished by number one and so on with progressive numbers to the end of the year, and the rectors, curates and officiating ministers aforesaid shall in a fair and legible hand transfer to and enter in the said duplicate sheets the several particulars which may from time to time in each year be entered respectively in the said register books ending the thirty first of December, and the said rectors, curates or officiating ministers shall stitch together the said duplicate sheets, containing the particulars of the entries made therein from the said register books respectively up to the thirty first of December, in each year, and shall at the foot thereof certify the same to be true copies of the original entries to which they respectively relate, and shall sometime in the month of January following, deliver the same over to the Secretary of the Island, to be kept with the other records of his office and the said Secretary shall cause Indexes of the contents thereof to be made and kept with the same and he shall cause the said sheets with the Indexes thereof relating to the baptisms, marriages and burials solemnized in each parish, to be properly bound together in separate and distinct Volumes, and the said Secretary shall also cause Indexes to be made and properly bound together of all duplicate registers already lodged and hereafter to be lodged in the Secretary's Office relating to baptisms, marriages and burials solemnized in the several parishes of the Island prior to the said first day of July next and to have the said Indexes kept and preserved with duplicate registers to which they relate and the expenses incurred by the said Secretary in and about the same shall be defrayed from the public Treasury on the Warrants of the Governor in Council, and the Treasurer of the Island is hereby directed not to pay to any rector or curate his stipend after the said month of January until a certificate shall be produced to him from under the hand of the said Secretary that such rector or curate that made the returns required of him as aforesaid.
6. Duplicates of all former Registers to be made and sent in to the Secretary's office; and the originals when decayed or mutilated to be recopied for presentation in the respective Parishes.
VI. Whereas by the Act of this Island of the fifth of September, one thousand eight hundred and forty eight, relating to Vestries and Church Wardens, the Vestries of several parishes were required to provide books for registering christenings, marriages and burials in duplicate, one of which to be deposited in the Secretary's Office. And whereas it is desirable that copies should be made of all registers of baptisms, marriages and burials theretofore made and kept in original only, in order that such copies may be deposited in the said Secretary's Office, and it is also desirable when such original registers may be in decayed or mutilated state that two copies thereof should be made, one to be kept in the parish and the other to be deposited in the said Secretary's Office. It is therefore hereby enacted that the Vestries of the several parishes of this Island, shall at the cost of their parishes cause true copies to be made in a fair and legible hand of the contents of all the register books of baptisms, marriages and burials solemnized in the Churches and Chapels of their respective parishes (of which copies have not yet been returned to the Secretary of he Island) and the rectors and church-wardens of said parishes shall examine and attest the accuracy under their hands of such copies and the same shall thereupon be delivered by the rectors of the parishes to the Secretary of the Island to be preserved amongst the records of his office, and where any such register books shall be in a decayed or mutilated state two copies of the contents thereof shall be made and one of such copies kept and preserved in the parish in the same custody with the original registers books, and the copies as made for the purposes of being preserved in the parishes to which they relate shall be examined and attested in manner as aforesaid by the rectors and church-wardens of such parishes, and such copies so made and preserved in such parishes shall be deemed and taken to be duplicate original registers and shall have the like force and effect and be as valid for all purposes whatsoever as if they were original registers.
7. Penalty on false statements in Registry.
VII. If any person shall wilfully make or cause to be made for the purpose of being inserted or shall insert or permit to be inserted in any register of baptism, marriage or burial any false statement touching any of the particulars herein required to be known and registered such person shall be subject to the same fines and penalties as if he were guilty of perjury.
8. Penalty on refusal or omission to Register; and on injury or loss of Register.
VIII. If any rector, curate, or officiating minister shall refuse, or without reasonable cause omit to register any baptism, marriage, or burial solemnized by him; or if any person having the lawful custody of any register book, or certified copy thereof or of any part thereof, shall carelessly lose or injure the same or carelessly allow the same to be injured whilst in his keeping such person shall forfeit to her Majesty, her heirs and successors for the public uses of the island a sum not exceeding twenty pounds for every such offence.
9. Originals and copies certified by Rector or Secretary to be admitted as evidence.
IX. Every original register of any baptism, marriage or burial, and every copy thereof certified under the hand of the rector, curate, or officiating minister who for the time being shall have the custody of the original, to be a true copy; and also every copy of any such register which hath been or shall be deposited according to law in the Secretary's Office of this Island, and also every copy certified under the hand of the said Secretary to be a true copy of the copy deposited in his office shall respectively be admitted in all courts and places in this Island as legal evidence of the facts therein contained.
10. Provisions of the forgery law in regard to original Registers to extend to the duplicates and copies.
X. The provisions against forging or altering registers of baptisms, marriages or burials, contained in the eighteenth clause of the Act of this Island passed the nineteenth of October, one thousand eight hundred and forty-seven, to amend the law relating to Forgery, shall extend and apply to all copies of registers of baptisms, marriages and burials heretofore made and deposited, and which may hereafter at any time be made and deposited according to law in the Secretary's Office of this Island and to all copies made therefrom in as full and ample a manner to all intents and purposes as if the same were the original registers in respect of which the said provisions have been and are provided in and by the said clause.
Read three times and passed the Legislative Council unanimously this sixth day of February, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five.
Clerk of the Council.
Read three times and passed the General Assembly nemine contradicente this second day of January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-five.
Clerk of the General Assembly.
SCHEDULES TO WHICH THIS ACT REFERS
Baptisms solemnized in the of in the
Islandof Barbadosin the year 185 .
|No.||When Baptized.||When born.||Child's Christina Name.||Parent's Names||Mother's Maiden Surname.||Abode.||Rank, occupation or profession of Father.||Minister officiating.|
Burials solemnized in the of in the
Islandof Barbadosin the year 185 .
|No.||When Buried.||Name and Surname.||Age||Rank-Occupation or Profession.||Abode.||Place of Birth||Minister Officiating|
Marriages solemnized in the of in the Island of Barbados in the year 185 .
|No.||When Married.||Name and Surname||Age.||Condition||Rank-Occupation or Profession.||Residence at time of Marriage.||Father's Name and Surname.||Rank-Occupation or Profession of Father.|
Married in the according to the Rites and Ceremonies of the Established Church of England and Ireland*
_____________________________________________________ by me _______________________________________
This Marriage in the presence
was solemnized of us
I do hereby certify that I did on the Baptize according to the Rites of the
United Church of England and Ireland, son [or daughter] of and
His wife by the name of
To the Rector of _______________________
Source: BARBADOS An Act for the better making and keeping Registers of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials solemnized in the several parishes of this Island 1855. The National Archives: CO 30/25/fo:240-242