The Marriage Act of 1849 provided for the Civil Registration of Marriages. The newly formed Registrar General’s office also started to accept the voluntary registration of births and the retrospective registration of births that were authenticated by entries in the Registers of Dissenting Churches. This resulted, for example, in some Ramsey births being recorded in Douglas.
Civil registration for births remained voluntary until March 1878. Births were recorded in books at the various Registry Offices and copies forwarded to the Registrar General on a quarterly basis. The births were then recorded into separate volumes for each office and indexed.
A few births are explicitly marked as illegitimate in the registers and are indicated with an asterisk * in this index. However, there are many cases where no father’s name is given in the record and it is assumed that these also are illlegitimate births. In these cases the birth is indexed here under the mother’s surname.
It was normal practice to record only the child’s forenames in the column headed ” Name if any” in the record book. Many second forenames are obvious surnames recording either the mother’s family or other antecedants. In a few cases where no father’s name has been recorded a surname is recorded in the ” Name if any” column which is different from the mother’s surname. It is not clear from the records whether this was how the child was registered but it may be a hint towards the missing father.
In 1849 it became legal to perform marriages in a place other than the Established Church (C of E). At this time any existing records of baptisms and marriages that had been performed in Dissenting Churches were forwarded to the Registrar General and retroactively recognized. The Records are from the Athol Street Chapel, The Scotch Church and the Roman Catholic Church. The copied records are on LDS film 0106721. The Reference column shows the church at which the baptism was performed and a number indicating the page of the register in the case of Athol Street Chapel and the Scotch Church or the entry number in the case of the Roman Catholic Church.
For Athol Street Chapel and the Scotch Church the date given is the date of BIRTH. The original documents also show the date of baptism. For the Roman Catholic Church the date is the date of baptism which would appear to the same as the date of birth as in a few cases both dates are given.
Perusal of the original records is highly recommended as much additional information is given such as God parents/sponsors and father’s occupation.