Written by Bob Cumberbatch
Category: Barbados Research
Last Updated: 06 April 2012
Created: 06 April 2012
Barbados. An Act to provide for the registration of births.
A full transcript of the Barbados Registration of Births Act 1889.
No. 42 – Session 1888-'89 (Assented to 16th
Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Assembly of this Island, as follows:
1. This Act may be cited as "The Registration (Births) Act, 1889."
Interpretation of terms.
2. In this Act is unless the context otherwise requires, "Registrar" shall mean in the case of District "A" the Chief Clerk or other officer appointed by the Inspector General of Police for the purposes of this Act and in the case of the other districts shall mean the sergeant in charge of the Police Station of he District, or any officer deputed by the Inspector General to perform the duties required of such sergeant under this Act, in case of his death, illness or unavoidable absence.
"Occupier," shall for the purpose of the notification of births for registration under this Act of births for registration under this Act include the governor, keeper, master, superintendent or other chief resident officer of every gaol, prison or house of correction, and of every school, reformatory, workhouse, hospital, lunatic asylum, or other public or charitable institution, and where any house is let in separate apartments or lodgings shall include the person under whom such lodgings or separate apartments are immediately held and any agent or servant of such person residing in such house.
Island divided into six districts for the purposes of registration; their limits. &c
3. For the purposes of registration under this Act the Island shall be divided into the following districts, that is to say;
District "A" which shall comprise the parish of Saint Michael.
District "B" which shall comprise the parish of Saint George and Christ Church
District "C" which shall comprise the parish of Saint Philip and Saint John
District "D" which shall comprise the parish of Saint Thomas and Saint James
District "E" which shall comprise the parish of Saint Peter and Saint Lucy
District "F" which shall comprise the parish of Saint Andrew and Saint Joseph
Salary of Registrars.
4. The Registrar of District "A" shall receive ten pounds per annum and the Registrars of the other Districts shall receive five pounds each per annum for the duties they respectively required to perform under this Act, and such salaries shall be paid them monthly on the warrant of the Governor-in-Executive Committee.
Registration of Births.
Duty of Registrars to ascertain and register births.
5. Every Registrar is hereby authorized and required to inform himself carefully of every birth, occurring in his district, and to register the same as soon after the event as conveniently may be done in the proper register book, entering the particulars required to be registered according to the form contained in the first schedule to this Act, touching every birth.
Notification of births to be given to Registrar.
6. (1.) The father of every legitimate child
, or the mother, if the father is dead, or, if both the father and mother are dead, the possessor or occupier of the house, or of the apartment or dwelling in which such child is born, or the head of the family or household, or of the persons residing or being in such house, apartment or dwelling; and the mother of every illegitimate child
, or, if the mother is dead, the possessor or occupier of the house, or of the apartment or dwelling in which such child is born, or the head of the family or household, or of the persons residing or being in such house, apartment or dwelling, shall, within forty two
days after the birth of any child, whether the same be born alive or be still-born, give or cause to be given notice of the birth of such child to the registrar of the district in which such child is born, and such notice shall contain and express the following particulars; that is to say, the day of the birth of the child; the sex of the child; the name of the child, if a name has been given to it; the names, abode, and quality, trade, or profession of the father and mother, if the child is legitimate; and if illegitimate, the name abode, and quality or occupation of the mother; and, if the child is still-born, such fact shall be stated.
Penalty for default.
(2.) Every person liable to give the notice herein required to be given who shall fail to give such notice shall, on being convicted thereof, be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds.
Registration of child of parent domiciled in the Island born at sea.
7. If any child of a parent domiciled in this Island is born on board of any vessel at sea, the person in command of such vessel shall make a minute in the log-book of such vessel of the several particulars required to be registered touching such birth so far as the same may be known, and shall, as soon as practicable, transmit a certified copy of such minute to the Colonial Secretary, who shall file the same in the Record Branch and shall cause a true entry thereof to be made in the register book of the district in which the parent of such child resides.
Registration of new born child found exposed.
8. If any person finds exposed any newborn child, he shall immediately thereafter give notice thereof to the registrar of the district, and, in default of so doing, he shall, on being convicted thereof, be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds.
No child to be baptized unless a certificate of registration of its birth be produced.
9. No minister of religion shall perform the rite of baptism on any child unless a certificate of the registration of the birth of such child is produced to him; provided always that, in any case of sickness of a child in which death is imminent, it shall be lawful for any minister of religion to baptize such child without the production to him of a certificate of the registration of the birth of such child, but such baptism shall be notified by the minister to the registrar of the district within seven days thereafter, and, in default of so doing, such minister shall forfeit and pay a sum not exceeding five pounds.
Registration of birth after expiration of forty two days therefrom.
10. (1.) It shall be lawful for the registrar, at any time after the expiration of forty two days and within twelve months after the day of the birth of any child, at the instance of any person present at the birth of such child, or of any other person interested on behalf of such child, who makes solemn declaration, to the best of his knowledge and belief, of the particulars required to be known touching the birth of such child, then and there to register the birth of such child according to the particulars of such declaration.
(2.) Every person who knowingly registers or causes to be registered the birth of any child otherwise than is herein mentioned after the expiration of forty two days after the birth of such child shall on being convicted thereof be liable to a penalty not exceeding five pounds.
Registration of baptismal name of child.
11. (1.) If any child born in this Island whose birth shall have been duly registered shall, within six months after such registration, have any name given to it in baptism, the parent or other person procuring such name to be given, may, within seven days after such baptism, procure and deliver to the registrar a certificate according to the form contained in the second schedule to this Act, signed by the minister who shall have performed the rite of baptism; and such certificate the said minister is hereby required to deliver on demand made and on receipt of a fee of sixpence.
(2.) The registrar, upon receipt of such certificate shall, without any erasure of the original entry, forthwith register the name by which the child was baptized, and he shall also certify upon such certificate the additional entry so made, and shall send the certificate to the Colonial Secretary to be recorded by him.
Registers of births to be kept in prescribed form, the entries being numbered progressively copies to be made and certified, and sent to Colonial Secretary.
12. Registers of births shall be kept in proper bound books, and such books shall be in the form in the first schedule to this Act, and the entries in the register books in respect of each year shall be numbered progressively to the end of each year, the first entry to be distinguished by the number one; and a copy of such register made on duplicate sheets and corresponding in every particular with the aforesaid bound books shall between the first and tenth days of February one thousand eight hundred and ninety, and between the first and tenth days of every succeeding month be transmitted by each registrar to the Colonial Secretary of the Island, to be kept by his as records of his office and each registrar shall certify in writing on such copy of the register that the same is a true and correct register of the births registered for the then past month.
Treasurer to provide books &c. at public cost.
13. The Treasurer of the Island shall provide the books and duplicate sheets required to be kept in accordance with the provisions of the preceding section of this Act from time to time as it may be necessary to do so, at the public cost.
Registers to be bound and indexed and kept by the Colonial Secretary.
14. The registers shall be bound and indexed and kept in the Colonial Secretary's office of this Island, and the cost and expenses incidental thereto shall be defrayed and paid out of the public treasury.
Penalty for failing to forward certified copies.
15. If any registrar shall fail to forward to the Colonial Secretary the duplicate registers, which by section twelve of this Act he required to forward to him, between the times in which that section he is required to forward him the same, he shall for every day immediately following those times respectively during which he makes default in forwarding such duplicate registers forfeit a sum not exceeding one pound.
Procedure for correcting any erroneous entry discovered in a register.
16. (1.) If any register is discovered in the entry of any birth, in any register, the person discovering the same shall forthwith give information thereof to the Chief Clerk in the Record Branch of the Colonial Secretary’s Department.
(2.) Such Chief Clerk shall summon before him the person who made, and any person concerned in making, such erroneous entry, or any person having any knowledge regarding the same, and also any person interested in the effect of such erroneous entry, and shall examine all such persons on oath; and for this purpose such Chief Clerk, shall have the like powers for summoning enforcing the attendance of, and examining, such persons as a Magistrate has for summoning, enforcing the attendance of, and examining, witnesses in his Police Court in its criminal jurisdiction.
(3.) If, upon making due inquiry under this section, such Chief Clerk is satisfied that an error has been committed in any entry in any of the registers, he shall forthwith correct the erroneous entry, according to the truth of the case, in the margin of the register, without erasure or obliteration of the original entry; and such marginal entry shall contain a reference to the affidavit or declaration upon which the Chief Clerk made the correction, and shall be signed by such Chief Clerk; and in every such case such Chief Clerk shall cause the correction to be duly entered and signed in the duplicate register in the Record Branch of the Colonial Secretary’s Office.
Certified copy of a register of birth how obtained.
17. Any person shall on payment of a fee of sixpence be entitled to demand of every registrar a copy of the register of any birth certified under the hand of such registrar to be a true copy; and any registrar who shall refuse to furnish such certified copy within three days after tender of sixpence shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding ten pounds; provided always that in case the person demanding such certified copy shall be unable to state to such registrar the date of the registration of the birth, then such registrar shall be entitled to demand a fee of sixpence for each year of search.
Right to search registers in Colonial Secretary’s office and fee for searching.
18. (1.) Any person may make a search in the index and register books in the Office of the Colonial Secretary during the hours in which the Office is open by law for public business, and may require and obtain a copy of any entry duly certified under the hand of the Colonial Secretary.
(2.) For a general search of the indices and registers, a fee of ten shillings shall be paid by the person desiring to make the search; and for a certified copy of any entry, a few of sixpence shall be paid.
(3.) The foregoing fees shall be paid for the public uses of the Island.
Right to search in registers in Registrar’s possession and few for searching.
19. Any person may, on giving forty eight hours notice to any registrar, search the register books in the custody of such registrar for any entry made therein and which shall not have been included in the sheets transmitted in any preceding month to the Colonial Secretary on payment of a fee of sixpence; and may obtain a certified copy of any such entry under the hand of the registrar, on payment of sixpence.
Penalty on Registrar for refusing to register birth &c.
20. Every registrar who refuses, or without reasonable cause, neglects to register any birth, of which he shall have had information or notice, and every person who has the custody of any register book or of any form on which any entry of any such birth has been made, and who wilfully or carelessly injures or loses the same or wilfully or carelessly allows the same to be injures whilst in his custody, shall respectively, on being convicted thereof, be liable to a penalty not exceeding twenty pounds.
Penalty on Registrar making a false entry.
21. If any registrar wilfully makes any false entry in any register of births, knowing the same to be false, he shall be guilty of felony, and, being convicted thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding three years.
Penalties on any person wilfully injuring &c. any register book &c. or falsely making any entry therein &c.
22. Every person who-
(1.) wilfully injures or destroys, or causes to be injured or destroyed any register book or any part thereof, or any form upon which an entry has been made under this Act; or
(2.) falsely makes or counterfeits, or causes to be falsely made or counterfeited any part of such register book, or any certified extract thereof, or any entry in such form as aforesaid; or
(3.) wilfully inserts, or causes to be inserted in any register book, or extract, or form as aforesaid, any false entry of any birth; or
(4.) wilfully gives any false certificate or falsely certifies any writing to be a copy or extract of any register book, knowing the same to be false in any part thereof; or
(5.) forges or counterfeits the signature of any registrar or of his deputy appointed under this Act, or of any other person, to any entry, certificate, or thing by this Act required to be made, given, or done, shall be guilty of felony, and, being convicted thereof, shall be liable to imprisonment with or without hard labour, for any term not exceeding three years.
Penalty for false statements &c.
23. Every person who does any of the following acts; that is to say,
(1.) wilfully makes any false answer to any question put to him by a registrar relating to the particulars required to be registered concerning any birth, or wilfully gives to a registrar any false information concerning any birth, or the cause of any death; or
(2.) wilfully makes, gives, or uses any false statement or representation as to a child born alive having been still-born, or falsely pretends that any child born alive was still-born; or
(3.) makes any false statement with intent to have the same entered in any register of births
Shall in every such case be guilt of an offence, and, being convicted thereof, shall be liable to a penalty not exceeding twenty pounds.
Signature may be made by a mark duly attested.
24. In case any person whose signature is required under this Act is unable to write, they shall make his cross-mark as his signature, and such cross-mark, being made in the presence of the registrar, or other person attesting the same, shall be as binding as if the signature of such person had been written by him, if capable to write.
Colonial Secretary to submit annually to the Governor an abstract of the preceding year’s registers.
25. The Colonial Secretary shall, at the commencement of every year, submit to the Governor an abstract of the births registered during the preceding year, in such form as the Governor may from time to time direct, and such abstract shall be printed for public information.
Penalties how recovered.
26. All penalties under this Act may be recovered before a Police Magistrate in a summary manner on the complaint of any person and shall be paid into the public treasury to the credit of the general revenue.
Report of birth on board vessels in harbour &c.
27. In case of any birth occurring on board of any vessel in any port or harbour or in the waters of this Island the master or other person in charge of such vessel shall be bound to report such birth in like manner, and subject to the like penalties in case of disobedience, as is required of the occupier of a house on shore; and the master or other person in charge of any colonial craft shall also in like manner, and subject to the like penalties as aforesaid, report in like manner any birth occurring on board of any such craft, whether moored or on any coasting or other voyage within the Island.
Rules and Regulations.
28. (1.) The Governor-in-Executive Committee may from time to time make rules and regulations for the guidance of the registrars in the performance of their duties, and generally for the better carrying out the provisions of this Act.
(2.) The forms contained in the schedules to this Act may at any time be altered or rescinded by any such rule or regulation.
The passing of the Act and its provisions to be published as herein mentioned.
29. The Colonial Secretary shall immediately after the passing of the Act, furnish copies of the Act, printed in proper form for affixing to a door or building, and also printed notices of the effect and requirements of this Act to the following persons, (1) the ministers of religion of all denominations in this island in charge of any place of worship, (2) schoolmasters and schoolmistresses in charge of schools in this island receiving aid from the public treasury, (3) the several Parochial Treasurers of the island, and (4) the Police Sergeants or other non-commissioned officer in charge of the Police Stations in this island; and the persons to whom respectively the copies of the Act and notices are so furnished shall immediately upon receiving the same fix and place the same or cause the same to be fixed and placed, in some conspicuous place on buildings or places in which they respectively are in charge at the time the same are furnished to them, and they shall take care (as far as they can do so) to keep the same so fixed and placed until this Act shall come into operation; they shall also distribute the notices in such manner and to such persons as they shall think fit.
Commencement of the Act.
This Act shall not come into operation until the first day of January one thousand eight hundred and ninety.
Read three times and passed the General Assembly the twenty fifth day of June, one thousand eight hundred and eighty nine.
Read three times and passed the Legislative Council the ninth day of July, one thousand eight hundred and eighty nine.
GEORGE C. PILE,
THE FIRST SCHEDULE
FORM OF REGISTER OF BIRTHS.
Date when born.
Name, if any.
Name and surname of father.
Name and maiden name of mother.
Rank or profession of father.
Date when registered.
Name and abode of informant.
Signature of registrar.
Signature of the person registering the child.
Baptismal name, if added after registration of birth.
THE SECOND SCHEDULE
CERTIFICATE OF BAPTISM.
I, do hereby certify that I have this day baptized by the
name of a [male, female
] child produced to me
by as the [son, daughter
and of and declared by the said
to have been born at in the registration
district on the day of 1 .
Dated this day of 1 .
BARBADOS The Registration (Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials) Act, 1891 The National Archives: CO 30/33/fo:120-127