Barbados Seal

Barbados. An Act to consolidate and amend the Acts of this Island relating to the registration of births, baptisms, marriages, and burials.

No. 24 – Session 1891-'92 (Assented to 3rd April 1891)
 
Be it enacted by the Governor, Council and Assembly of this Island, and by the authority of the same as follows :

Short title

1. This Act may be cited as "The Registration (Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials) Act, 1891."

Division of Act.

2. This Act is divided into three Parts.
Part I. Registration of Births.
Part II. Registration of Baptisms, Marriages and Burials.
Part III. Miscellaneous.

PART I.

Registration of BIRTHS.

Interpretation.

Interpretation of terms.

 
3. In this part of the Act 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 the 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 purposes of the notification of births for registration include the governor, keeper, master, superintendent or other chief resident officer of every prison and of every school, reformatory, almshouse, 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.

Registration Districts.

Island divided into six districts for the purposes of registration; their limits, &c.

 
4. For the purposes of Registration under this part of the Act the Island shall be divided into the following districts that it to say;
            District "A" which shall comprise the parish of Saint Michael.
            District "B" which shall comprise the parishes of Saint George and Christ Church.
            District "C" whish shall comprise the parishes of Saint Philip and Saint John.
            District "D" which shall comprise the parishes of Saint Thomas and Saint James.
            District "E" which shall comprise the parishes of Saint Peter and Saint Lucy.
            District "F" which shall comprise the parishes of Saint Andrew and Saint Joseph.

Salary of Registrars.

 
5. 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 are respectively 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.

 
6. Every registrar is hereby authorised 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 proper register book entering the particulars required to be registered according to the following form.
 
FORM OF REGISTER OF BIRTHS
 

Number.  
Date when born.  
Name (if any.)  
Sex.  
Parents' names. Christian name.  
Surname.  
Maiden name of mother.  
Abode.  
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.  

Notification of birth to be given to Registrar.

7. (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, apartment or dwelling in which such child is born, or the head of the family or household or of the person 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 stillborn, give or cause to be given notice of the district in which such child be born, and such notice shall contain and express the following particulars; that is to say, the day of 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; 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 this Island born at sea.

 
8. 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 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.

9. If any person finds exposed any new born 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.

Colonial Secretary to send Registrars, copies of the duplicate registers of birth sent him by ministers.

10. The Colonial Secretary shall, within ten days after receiving the copies of the registration of baptisms required to be sent to him by each religious body, denomination sect or person authorised by law to baptise, cause copies of such copies to be made and sent to the respective registrars of births.

Registration of birth after expiration of forty two days therefrom.

11. (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.

 
12. (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 this section, 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.
 
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] of
and of                                                  and declared by the said
to have been born at                                        in the                                       registration district on the                                      day of                                       ].
            Dated this                                            day of                                       ].
                                                                                    (Signed)
Minister.
(2.) The registrar, upon the 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.

Books.

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.

13. Registers of births shall be kept in proper bound books, and such books shall be in the form given in section six of 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 every month be transmitted by each registrar to the Colonial Secretary of the Island, to be kept by him 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.

Penalty for failing to forward certified copies.

14. If any registrar shall fail to forward to the Colonial Secretary the duplicate registers, which he is required to forward to him, between the times in which 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.

Error in Register.

Procedure for correcting any erroneous entry discovered in a register.

15. (1.) If any error 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.

Searches.

Right to search registers in Colonial Secretary's office and fee for searching.

16. (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 fee of sixpence shall be paid.
(3.) The foregoing fees shall be paid for the public uses of this Island.
 

Right to search registers in Registrar's possession and fee for searching.

17. 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 a fee of sixpence.

Penalties.

Penalty on Registrar for refusing to register birth &c.

18. 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 birth has been made, and who wilfully or carelessly injures or loses the same or wilfully or carelessly allows the same to be injured 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.

19. 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.

20. 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 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.
21. 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
(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 case be guilty 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

22. In case any person whose signature is required under this Act is unable to write, he 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.

23. 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.

Miscellaneous.

Report of birth on board vessels in harbour &c.

24. In case of any birth occurring on board of any vessel in any port or harbour or in 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 this Island.

Act not to affect officers &c.

25. The first part of this Act shall not apply to officers and soldiers of the British army on military service on this Island.

Rules and regulations.

26. (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 of the provisions of this Act.
(2.) The forms contained in this Act may at any time be altered or rescinded by any such rule or regulation.
 

PART II

REGISTRATION OF BAPTISMS, MARRIAGES, AND BURIALS.

Registers.

Registers of baptisms, marriages, and burials to be kept in prescribed form.

Entries in the register books to be made and numbered progressively, and a copy made on duplicate sheets.

Copies to be certified and transmitted to Colonial Secretary to be kept as records of his office.

27. (1.) Registers of baptisms, (private or public) marriages and burials solemnised by any religious body, denomination, sect or person authorised by law in this Island, shall be made and kept in proper bound books, and such books shall be in the forms given in this section with the adaptations necessary to the circumstances of each case; and the entries in the register books in respect of each year, shall be made immediately after the solemnization of any baptism, burial, or marriage, by the person solemnising the same and 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 every month, be transmitted by each religious body, denomination, sect or person authorised by law to the Colonial Secretary of the Island, to be kept by him as records of his office, and the proper officiating minister or every such religious body, denomination, sect or person authorised by law (as the case may be) shall certify in writing on such copy of the register that the same is a true and correct register of the baptism, marriage or burial solemnised for the past month.

Making and keeping Parochial Registers.
 
 
Burials solemnized in the                                                                      of                                                                                             in the Island of
Barbados, in the Year 189
Number. When Buried. Name and Surname. Age. Rank, Occupation, or Profession. Abode. Place of Birth. Minister Officiating.
               
 
 
 
Baptisms solemnized in the                                                                  of                                                                                             in the Island of
Barbados, in the Year 189
Number. When Baptized. When Born. Child's Christian name. Parents' Names. Mother's Maiden Surname. Abode. Rank, Occupation, or Profession of Father. Minister Officiating.
Christian. Surname.
                   
 
 
 
Marriages solemnized in the                                                                 of                                                         in the Island of Barbados in the Year 189
Number. 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                                      *           by me,
 
This Marriage was                                                                     in the presence
Solemnized between us,                                                           of us,
 
                                    * By License; or after Banns [as the case may be].

Penalty for failing to forward duplicate registers.

(2.) If any minister or other person solemnizing any baptism, marriage, or burial, shall fail to forward to the Colonial Secretary the duplicate registers which he is required to forward to him, between the times in which 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.

Entry of marriages how to be made.

(3.) Every rector, curate, officiating minister of any religious body, denomination, or sect, or person authorised by law shall immediately after every office of matrimony solemnized by him, enter in the marriage register-book the several particulars relating to the marriage according to the their form hereinbefore given and every such entry shall be signed by such rector, curate, officiating minister of any religious body, denomination, or sect, or person authorised by law and by the parties married, and by two witnesses, and shall be made in order from the beginning to the end of the book.

Penalty on false statements in register.

(4.) 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 guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be imprisoned for any time not exceeding two years with or without hard labour.

Penalty on refusal or omission to register; and on injury or loss of registers.

28. If any rector, curate, officiating minister of any religious body, denomination, or sect, or person authorised by law 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-books, 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 for the public uses of the Island, a sum not exceeding twenty pounds for every such offence.

Military registration.

Chaplain of forces his duties under Act.

29. (1.) The Chaplain of Her Majesty's Forces stationed in this Island, or other person duly authorized to solemnize baptisms, marriages, and burials among officers and others in garrison or subject to military authority, and with respect to other persons permitted to be interred in the Military Cemetery at Saint Ann's is hereby declared exempt from the provisions of this part of the Act and shall instead be subject to the provisions in this section contained.

Assistant Adjutant General or person under any military regulation having custody of registers of baptisms, &c. to forward certified copied thereof half yearly to the Colonial Secretary.

Such certified copies to be bound and kept by Colonial Secretary.

(2.) Certified copies made on duplicate sheets and corresponding in every particular with the registers or other entries of baptisms, marriages, and burials solemnized or taking place among officers, soldiers and others in garrison, or subject to military authority and with respect to other persons permitted to be interred in the Military Cemetery at Saint Ann's shall on the first days of January and July in every year, be forwarded by the Assistant Adjutant General or person who under any military rule or regulation has the custody of such registers or other entries of baptisms, marriages, and burials as aforesaid to the Colonial Secretary of this Island and such person shall certify on such copies that the same is a true and correct register or other entry of the baptisms, marriages or burials solemnized for the past six months.

Proceedings to be taken if certified copies not duly forwarded.

In default of the person who under any military rule or regulation has the custody of such registers as aforesaid complying with the provisions of this Act, by refusing or neglecting to forward to the Colonial Secretary such certified copies of such registers or other entries as aforesaid, the Colonial Secretary shall within fifteen days after the date on which the same should have been received report the same to the Governor who shall, with all convenient speed forward such report to the officer for the time being in command of Her Majesty's Forces in this Island.

PART III

MISCELLANEOUS.

Supply of books and duplicate sheets.

Treasury to provide at public cost books and duplicate sheets.

30. The treasurer of the Island shall provide the bound books and duplicate sheets required to be kept in accordance with the provisions of this Act, from time to time as it may be necessary to do so, at the public cost.

Registers to be kept in the Colonial Secretary's Office.

31. The duplicate registers shall be bound and indexed and kept in the Colonial Secretary's office of this island at public cost.

Evidence.

Originals and copies certified by rector or Secretary to be admitted as evidence.

32. Every original register of any birth, baptism, marriage, or burial, and every copy thereof certified under the hand of the registrar, rector, curate, officiating minister of any religious denomination, body, or sect, or person authorized by law 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 to be a true copy, shall respectively be admitted in all Courts and places in this Island as legal evidence of facts therein recorded.

Certificate of registration.

Fee to be paid for certificate of baptism &c.

33. Any person shall, on payment of a fee of sixpence, be entitled to demand of every registrar, rector, curate, minister or person in charge of a register book a copy of the register of any birth, baptism, marriage or burial certified under the hand of such registrar, rector, curate, minister or person to be a true copy; and any registrar, rector, curate, minister or person as aforesaid 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, rector, curate, minister or person the date of the registration of birth, baptism, marriage or burial, as the case may be, then such registrar, rector, curate, minister or person shall be entitled to demand a fee of sixpence for each year of search. All fees received by the Colonial Secretary, shall be paid into the public treasury to the credit of the general revenue.

Protection of Registers.

Destroying, &c. registers, misdemeanour, and subjects offender to imprisonment.

34. If any person shall unlawfully, wilfully, and maliciously injure, erase, obliterate, or destroy, or cause or procure to be injured erased, obliterate, or destroyed, any such original register, or duplicate original register as aforesaid, such person shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanour, and on being duly convicted thereof, shall be liable to be imprisoned for any term not exceeding twelve months, and if any person shall unlawfully and wilfully forge, or alter, or falsely make or cause, or procure, or permit to be forged or altered, or falsely made any such original register, or duplicate original register, or any certified copy thereof, respectively, or shall knowingly and wilfully deliver, offer utter or put off any such forgery, false, or altered copy, he shall be guilty of a misdemeanour and shall be liable, for such his offence, on conviction thereof, to be imprisoned, for any term not exceeding eighteen months.

Penalties.

Penalties how recovered.

35. All penalties imposed by this Act, not otherwise provided for may be recovered in a summary manner before any magistrate, on complaint of any person, and shall be paid into the public treasury for the use of the Island.

Act not to apply to registers of civil marriages.

Cases not within Act.

36. The provisions of this Act shall not apply to the registration of any civil marriage solemnized by a police magistrate nor to the registers of such marriages.

Repeal.

Repeal.

37. The several Acts mentioned in the schedule to this Act are hereby repealed, provided that
(1.) Any register, now in force whether made under any enactment hereby repealed or not shall continue in force until otherwise provided; and
(2.) Any officer appointed under any enactment hereby repealed shall continue and be deemed to have been duly appointed under this Act; and
(3.) Any enactment or document referring to any Act or enactment hereby repealed shall be construed to refer to this Act or to the corresponding enactment in this Act.
(4.) This repeal shall not effect
(a) The past operation of any enactment hereby repealed nor anything duly done or suffered under any enactment hereby repealed; or
(b) any right, privilege, obligation, or liability acquired, accrued, or incurred under any enactment hereby repealed; or
(c) any penalty, forfeiture, or punishment incurred in respect of any offence committed against any enactments hereby repealed; or
(d) any investigation, legal proceeding or remedy in respect of any such right, privilege, obligation, liability, penalty, forfeiture, or punishment as aforesaid; and any such investigation, legal proceeding and remedy may be carried on as if this Act had not passed; or
(e) any act in which the enactments hereby repealed have been applied, incorporated or referred to.
(5.) This repeal shall not revive any enactment, right, office, privilege, matter or thing not in force or existing at the passing of this Act.
 
Read three times and passed the General Assembly the seventeenth day of March one thousand eight hundred and ninety one.
A.J. PILE
Speaker.
 
Read three times and passed the Legislative Council with amendments, the twenty fourth day of March one thousand eight hundred and ninety one.
GEORGE C. PILE
President.
 
Amended by the Legislative Council and amendments agreed to by the General Assembly the twenty fourth day of March one thousand eight hundred and ninety one.
A.J. PILE
Speaker.
 
 
 
 
SCHEDULE.
 

Date of Act. Title of Act. Extent of Repeal.
6th March 1839. An Act to amend the Laws relating to marriages in this Island.
 
 
Section twelve.
10th February 1855. An Act for the better making and keeping Registers of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials solemnized in the several parishes of this Island.
 
 
 
 
The whole Act.
30th October 1885. An Act to amend An Act for the better making and keeping Registers of Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials solemnized in the several parishes of this Island – passed on the 10th day of February 1855.
 
 
 
 
 
The whole Act.
18th November 1886 An Act relating to the solemnization of baptisms, marriages, and burials among Her Majesty's Forces stationed in this Island.
 
 
 
The whole Act.
16th July 1889. An Act to provide for the registration of births.
 
The whole Act.
14th January 1890. An Act to amend "The Registration (Births) Act 1889."
 
 
The whole Act.

 
 Source: BARBADOS The Registration (Births, Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials) Act, 1891. The National Archives: CO 30/33/fo:120-127