Yorkshire Civil Registration
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Introduction[edit | edit source]
Civil registration, the government recording of births, marriages, and deaths, was instituted on 1 July 1837 in England. The act required for births to be reported within 42 days of the event and deaths within 5 days. Marriages had to be recorded in a civil register immediately after the ceremony. Copies of birth, marriage, and death registrations were sent by the district registrar to the Office for National Statistics each quarter. Because of this, civil registration is found by year, quarter, and registration district.
Although civil registration was required by law from its institution in 1837, compliance was far from universal during the first few years. Compliance became better by 1850, roughly 90% of the events were registered, and was basically universal beginning in 1874, when penalties for non-compliance were instituted. The registration of marriages and deaths were better reported than births until the 1850s.
When civil registration began, each county was divided into a number of registration districts, each containing several parishes. These districts were reorganized in 1935, meaning many of the historical districts created in 1837 no longer exist. Birth, marriage, and death certificates can be obtained from district registrars in the county or the General Register Office. Church marriage records after 1837 are identical to the civil marriage certificates. England Jurisdictions 1851 Map provides an interactive view of England’s civil registration districts and the parishes they cover.
Civil registration records are excellent sources for names, dates, relationships, and places of births, marriages, and deaths. See England Civil Registration for more information.