A sibling registered the same year could be a late
registration or a twin.
Otago Witness 27 January 1909, Page 33
The jubilee celebrations at Timaru have produced a number of interesting reminiscences. Mr A. E. Rhodes told an entertaining story of the difficulties attending birth registration in the early days. He was born in Timaru in 1859, and it was discovered some years afterwards that he had been given three names. The name which was entered in the baptismal register at Lyttelton was not that which had been bestowed on him at his baptism, and another incorrect entry had been made in the Wellington register. Mr Rhodes added that he had taken the precaution of securing from his mother a document setting out the fact that there was only the one child concerned, though there were three names to be accounted for. The original mistake on the Lyttelton register, he thought, might have been due to the fact that the person who performed the duty of registration had to undertake a long and arduous journey from Timaru, and it was quite likely that his memory in regard to the baptismal name had played him false.
Parents: Elizabeth Perry and George Rhodes
Year birth registered: 1888 Arthur Edgar Graverlor Rhodes
Born: 20 March 1859. He was born on his father's station, The Levels, near Timaru, the third son.
Died: 26 December 1922 from heart trouble, aged 63. He was buried the following day at Bromley Cemetery,
He received his education at Christ's College, Christchurch, where he captained the cricket and the football teams. Rhodes founded his own legal firm in Christchurch in 1884. Arthur Rhodes represented the Gladstone (1887–1890) and Geraldine (1890–1893) (practically the same seat under different name) electorates in the New Zealand House of Representatives. He was defeated in the 1893 general election for the Pareora electorate that replaced Geraldine by Frederick Flatman. Rhodes was a poor speaker. In 1892 he married Rose Moorehouse. Their son, Tahu married Helen Plunket, d/o Lord Plunket, former Governor General of N.Z. Mr. Rhodes was returned unopposed as Mayor of Christchurch in 1901.
A child may go into adulthood before obtaining a birth certificate and only then realise their name is spelled different or their DoB is out by a day or two.
Timaru Herald, 25 May 1866, Page 3
Registration of Births, Deaths, and Marriages in the Timaru District. On and after Monday, the 28th instant, the office for the above registration will be at the house of the undersigned. H. Belfield, Deputy Registrar.
Timaru Herald, 2 November 1867, Page 8
Births, Deaths, and Marriages — The following is the Registrar's return for the Timaru district for the quarter ending September 30, viz., 41 births, 9 deaths and 7 marriages.
Timaru Herald, 22 January 1868, Page 3
Registration of Births and Deaths.
To the Editor of the Timaru Herald. Sir, — Will you allow me to complain through your paper of the great inconvenience of having to walk a long distance to register either the birth or death of a child; and to ask whether some alteration cannot be made. The Registrar lives a long distance out of town, and all persons are forced to go to his private residence when they want to register a child. It is very hard when a person has to walk long distance in unpleasant weather, because the registration might be done by some gentleman in town, as it was when Mr Woollcombe was away, and the Deputy-Registrar was acting. I am, &c., X.Y.Z.
Timaru Herald, 1 August 1868, Page 5
The following gentlemen have been appointed registrars of births, deaths and marriages : — Mr Woollcombe, for Timaru ; Revd. L. L. Brown, for Geraldine ; and Mr G. M. Babington, for Waimate. Mr Belfield has been appointed deputy registrar for the Timaru district.
Timaru Herald, 4 May 1876, Page 3
The Guardian says:" As there appears to exist a dense ignorance relative to the Act which regulates the registration of births and deaths, we will for the second time supply a condensation of the Registration Act of 1875 - the Copy now in force; it is required that persons named as informants shall sign the register book as such within sixty-two days of the birth. The persons who are required to register the birth a child are: The father or mother of the child, or in case of their death or inability, the duty devolves upon the occupier of the house or tenement in which such-child shall have been born, or upon any persons present at the birth — such person present being liable for non-registration. .. A death must be registered within thirty-one days. The persons who are required to be in formants are : The occupier of the house in which such death took place, some relative of the deceased person present at the death, or the undertaker having charge of the funeral. An agent may be deputed to register the death....
Timaru Herald, 30 May 1898, Page 3
Wellington, May 29. At the Magistrates Court a number of persons were charged with failing to register the birth of their children, and were fined in small amounts. The Registrar pointed out that in the last twelve months 20 children who had died, had their births not registered, therefore how many of those living were unregistered was not known. The Magistrate held that a father was for registration, and referred in the Registrar's decision that it must be distinctly understood that if a child had lived at all, however short a time, it must be registered. The Registrar said that had it not been for the registration of deaths of the children in question it would never have been officially known that the births had occurred.
Hawera & Normanby Star, 4 January 1910, Page 8
Remarkable defect in the law. The provision for registration after two years. A peculiar anomaly exists in connection with the Births and Deaths Registration Act (writes the Auckland Star's Dargaville correspondent). It appears that there is no provision in the Births and Deaths Registration Act, 1908, for the registration of a birth after two years, so that if a child is unregistered after that period nothing can be done to place him or her on the registration, records, and to all intents and purposes the child, so far as the law is concerned does not exist. The provisions generally as to registration are that a birth may be registered within sixty-two days, inclusive of the date of birth. After sixty-two days, and within six months, a birth is registrable only after a declaration before the Registrar, and on payment of a late fee of five shillings. When six months have elapsed, a birth cannot be registered, except within one month, after conviction of a responsible person for neglect. But information for such neglect must be laid within two years of date of birth. Recently, in the Northern Wairoa district, several parents, who had neglected to register the births of their children within the period prescribed, discovered that the only way by which the necessary registration could be effected was to go to the police station and ask that proceedings be taken against them for having failed to register, and by following this course the omission was rectified. As a rule, people like to keep away from the precincts of a Police Court as far as possible, but in the cases under review it was the only way open to make amends. After two years, however, as previously pointed out there is no provision whatever for registration. There is every reason to believe that hundreds of back block settlers, who had no facility for registration during; the time children were being born to them, have failed to comply with the law, and, as a result, whole families are unregistered, and likely to remain so, no provision having been made for such cases.
Evening Post, 3 July 1920, Page 5
The difficulties back-country settlers have in complying with the regulations governing the registration of births were brought under the notice of the Minister of Internal Affairs-yesterday by Mr. W.. T. Jennings (Waitomo) in the form of a question for the Order Paper. He said it was frequently impossible for the settlers to register births in the time allowed, and asked, that when, they were unavoidably late they should be allowed to register without; the imposition of the penalties laid down.
Distance, inconvenience, ignorance of Act, spousal dispute, born out of wedlock, forgot to sign the register, forgot, inability to get into town, defect in the law, baptism was more important to RC than civic registration, registry office burned down!
The Catholic baptism / register question.
There is the Driscoll family of Roman Catholic faith, from the
Temuka district, who had twelve children born 1882 - 1902. None of their births
were registered, but all were baptised and their birth dates recorded at the
parish they attended. Some were baptised within a fortnight of their births,
others within three weeks of their births. The parents were not illiterate and
were married. One of the above 12 was born in 1891. His birth was registered in
NZ in December 1981, his Baptismal Certificate was used as the Statutory
Declaration of his birth. He died in Queensland. Nor did they reside far from a
register office. All children survived to adulthood.
Another Catholic family, the Michael Barrett family of Temuka, the parents had seven children and none registered but all baptised. So that is two Catholic families in the Temuka area who had their children baptised within weeks of their birth but no civil registration. Why? There hasn't been any call to compare whether births were registered as well as baptised. Many researchers generally used baptismal records for research on South Canterbury Catholics rather than civil registrations (no cost you see). Later on when the children were to attend school etc. a "form of declaration" was devised and signed by a JP.
The John Fitzgerald family of Arowhenua children births were not registered either. John was from Darragh, Cullen, County Cork and married in 1868.
From the Catholic Baptism CD index The CD does not give parents names so that not helpful either. The baptisms on the CD ALL start after 1870 so early ones are not really noted on the CD at all. Fitzgerald baptisms didn't start in Temuka until after 1880.
Edward Cuthbert Fitzgerald baptised in Timaru 14 Jan 1872 Norah Fitzgerald baptised in Ashburton 5 Apr 1885 John Joseph Fitzgerald baptised in Temuka 4 Feb 1883 William Fitzgerald baptised in Timaru 18 Sep 1870
Among Catholics baptism was considered a prerequisite to salvation, such that if
a baby died without receiving the sacrament their eternal fate was in jeopardy.
It wasn't that they would be damned as such, just not eligible for heaven
proper. There was an odd theological construct known as 'Limbo' to explain what
happened to unbaptised infants caught between heaven and hell. This was not a
risk that Catholic parents would have taken lightly and hence the importance of
having a baby baptised as soon after birth as possible.
Other reasons for a preference for baptism over civil registration though.
1) The cost. There wasn't any matching incentive to register a birth civilly and in fact there was a fee involved there.
2) Apart from the possibility of being fined for not registering a birth, there really wasn't any urgency about it and it is perhaps no wonder that some parents weren't too worried about it.
3) A little later there was a diphtheria epidemic and all newborns were obliged to have the immunisation shot. The first baby was so ill after it, that none of the following four children were registered.
Timaru Herald, 22 October 1896, Page 2
The Gazette of the 25th inst. contains a notice that Mr Alexander Montgomery has been appointed Registrar of marriages, births, and deaths, and vaccination inspector for the district of Timaru, from 2nd of November next.
Timaru Herald, 13 October 1892, Page 2
By an Act passed last session the Registrar General has power, under certain conditions, to register the birth of any child born in the colony before the 24th of September, 1891. The power only extends until the 24th of September, 1893. The fee of £1 is to be paid on application.
The registration acts
of 1847, 1858, and 1875 did not allow for registration of births
after six months. The first act to specifically do so was the
Registration of Births and Deaths Act Amendment Act of 1882,
followed by seven subsequent acts:
Registration of Births Extension Act 1889
Registration of Births and Deaths Amendment Act 1892
Registration of Births Extension Act 1901
Registration of Births Extension Act 1906 Births and Deaths
Registration Amendment Act 1912
Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1915
Births and Deaths Registration Amendment Act 1920
Each act was valid for only one year (two years in 1901), and only applied to children born more than 12 months BEFORE the passing of the act (reduced to six months in 1906).
Permanent provision was introduced in the 1924 Act. From then on, late registrations are noted in the index by sec 24 (1924 Act), or sec 14 (1951 Act), or sec 16 (1995 Act).
Each act required registrations made under its provisions to be recorded in a separate register, so the district keys do not apply in this context. When you are ordering the certificate, make sure you state "1912 Extension Act" (or the appropriate Act), else you will get a nil return (which still costs). In all cases, the births were registered by the Registrar-General, not the local Registrar.
When looking through the NZ birth indexes, you may come across the words “Sec 14” with an entry. This means the birth was registered under section 14 of the 1951 Births and Deaths Registration Act, and that the birth was not registered within six months of the birth, or under any of the previous extension Acts. The birth was probably registered so that the person could obtain the pension. The certificate will be available in the usual manner, but do not forget to mention ‘section 14’ when you order it; otherwise you will get a nil return. The district keys books will not work in this case, so do not be put off if the person appears to have been born elsewhere.
Primary Schools admission records may include the dates of birth of children.
Timaru Herald, 29 May 1878, Page 4
Resident Magistrate's Court. Timaru — Tuesday, Mat 28.
Ellen Pederson stated that she was married four years to Carol Pederson, and had two children, one aged three years, and the other twelve months. In the beginning of March she was living with her husband at the Washdyke. My husband was cruel to me and my child. Pederson wanted to register the birth of his youngest child, but she would not tell him the date. He refused to let her go to do so.
No match - there is no wildcard
search so could be a transcription mistake
The entries were handwritten in the large old registers until the early 1960s.
There’s so much wonderful history in BDM.
Timaru Herald, 1 May 1878, Page 3
Joseph Foster pleaded guilty to neglecting to register the birth of his child. Mr C. E. Cooper, Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages for the district of Timaru, appeared in support of the charge. The accused was mulcted in the nominal fine of 6d.
1875/14819 Foster William Jane Joseph 1878/14307 Foster Ellen Jane Jane Joseph 1883/8656 Foster David Jane Joseph
Timaru Herald, 1 November 1878, Page 3
Resident Magistrate's Court.
Temuka, Oct. 30. (Before A. LeG. Campbell, Esq., J.P) Several persons are charged with having neglected to register the birth of their children. The defendants proved that it was not owing to their negligence, and a fine of 6d was inflicted.
Timaru Herald, 22 August 1881, Page 2
Public meeting at St. Andrews. It having long been, felt a great inconvenience, amounting almost to hardship, that people should be obliged to travel such a long distance to Waimate to register the birth of a child, or to obtain a marriage or burial certificate, it was resolved that application should be made to the Registrar-General to appoint a Registrar of Births, Deaths, and Marriages, for the district of St. Andrews.
Timaru Herald, 16 March 1882, Page 3
John Tehu was charged with, neglecting to register the birth of a child. The accused pleaded guilty. The Registrar (Mr Cooper) said he thought the case would be met by the imposition of a fine of 5s, and the costs of the Court. His only object was to warn persons that they must register children within the time prescribed by law. The Bench inflicted a fine of 5s.
Fitzsimmons was charged with neglecting to register a dog and was fined £1.
Timaru Herald, 22 February 1881, Page 2
Resident Magistrate's Court, Temuka. — At this Court yesterday, before Nugent Wood, Esq., R. M., Thomas Credy was charged by Mr O'Halloran, Registrar, with having neglected to register the birth of his child in accordance with "The Births, Deaths, and Marriages Registration Act 1875." The defendant pleaded ignorance and was fined 5s and costs.
1881/15884 Creedy Thomas Ellen Thomas 1882/19630 Creedy Thomas Ellen Thomas 1883/17472 Creedy Joseph Ellen Thomas 1885/8907 Creedy Ellen Ellen Thomas 1887/2936 Creedy John Ellen Thomas
Timaru Herald, 30 March 1882, Page 2
James McGimpsey, of Makikihi, was fined 1s and costs on the complaint of the Registrar for neglect to register the birth of his child within 62 days of its birth. The defendant said he had been twice to Timaru to register and did not then know he was in the Waimate district.
1878/9691 McGimpsey Elizabeth Elizabeth James 1882/4347 McGimpsey John James Elizabeth James
Timaru Herald, 4 October 1882, Page 2
John Delaney, for neglecting to register the birth of his child, was fined 10s and costs.
1878/14677 Delaney James Joseph Annie John Francis 1882/16386 Delaney John Francis Annie John Francis 1886/8043 Delaney Annie Maria Ann John Francis 1888/10087 Delaney George Annie John Francis
Timaru Herald, 19 September 1882, Page 3 Regina v. McGinn,
false declaration under The Registration of Births and Deaths Act.
Before His Honor Judge Ward. William McGinn was charged with having made a false declaration in the registration of the birth of a child at Waimate. The prisoner pleaded guilty, but said that he did not know he was doing anything contrary to law. His Honor said the purposes of the Act would be met by the infliction of a fine, and as prisoner bare a good character he would inflict the nominal one of 20s.
Prisoner asked for time to be given him in which to pay.
His Honor : Did you hear what you have to pay?
Prisoner : No, your Honor.
His Honor : You are fined 20s.
Timaru Herald, 28 February 1882, Page 2
Resident Magistrate's Court, Temuka. — At this Court yesterday, before S. D. Barker and J. Mendelson, Esqs., J.P.'s,
Thos. Talbot (opens up in a new window) was charged by Mr O'Halloran, Registrar of births, deaths and marriages, with neglecting to register the birth of his child. The evidence showed that the defendant had attended at the registration office, and that all the particulars required had been duly given and entered, but that the defendant had forgotten to sign the book, and as the child had since exceeded the age of six months, the action was compelled to be taken, so that the child could be registered. The Court inflicted a nominal fine of 6s.
1877/14912 Talbot Lucy Jane Lucy Thomas 1878/9612 Talbot Ellen Lucy Thomas 1880/6670 Talbot Emma Frances Lucy Thomas 1882/4190 Talbot Winnifred Lucy Thomas 1882/12435 Talbot Thomas Henry Lucy Thomas 1884/43 Talbot Mabel Lucy Thomas 1886/5135 Talbot Selina Brown Lucy Thomas 1888/679 Talbot Norah Lucy Thomas 1890/3797 Talbot John William Lucy Thomas 1892/15723 Talbot Sarah Lucy Thomas 1893/18655 Talbot Richard Edward Lucy Thomas 1895/1951 Talbot Sarah Elizabeth Lucy Thomas 1897/18397 Talbot James Evan Lucy Thomas
Timaru Herald, 7 February 1883, Page 3
Jeremiah Hogan was fined 5s and ordered to pay 7s costs for neglecting to register the birth of a child
Timaru Herald, 13 September 1884, Page 3
J. W. S. Ziesler was summoned, on the information of Mr Cooper, Registrar, for neglecting to register the birth of a child within the prescribed time. The offence was admitted, and defendant pleaded that it was quite unintentional. He called to rectify the error, but found it was beyond the time. A fine of 1s was inflicted, with costs 7s.
1881/4756 Ziesler Thyra Helene Lucy Emma John William Smith 1882/19415 Ziesler Ernest Hadeler Lucy Emma John William Smith 1884/15567 Ziesler Freja Lina Lucy Emma John William Smith 1878/17671 Ziesler Kaja Minnie Lucy Emma John William Smith 1888/19241 Ziesler Charlton Conrad Lucy Emma John William Smith 1890/8123 Ziesler Erling Lucy Emma John William Smith
Timaru Herald, 7 January 1885, Page 3
Maxwell Spens Black and T. H. Wigley were charged by the Registrar of Births (Mr C. E. Cooper), with failing to register the births of their children within the specified time. In Black's case a fine of 5s, and 9s costs, was made ; and in Wigley's a fine of 5s, and 16s costs. Mr Reid appeared for Mr Black. Mr Cooper did not press for a heavy penalty, having only brought the cases to show people that they must not fail to comply with the Registration Act.
Timaru Herald BLACK. On the 8th April, 1884 at Maranui, the wife of Maxwell Spens Black, of a daughter
1885/4199 Black Marie Spens Marie Vivienne Maxwell Spens 1885/13776 Black Maxwell Spens Marie Vivienne Maxwell Spens
Timaru Herald, 23 February 1887, Page 3
Maxwell Spens Black was charged on remand with keeping two unregistered dogs. Mr Godby appeared for the accused, who pleaded "Not Guilty." After hearing Mr Gudby's defence, which was that Black was a rabbit agent and had been unable to register the dogs in question on account of absence from home, His Worship held the charges proved and fined Black 10s for each dog.
1871/29270 Wigley William Cranstoun Henry Mary Thomas Henry 1880/15491 Wigley Stella Frances Annie Caroline Thomas Henry 1881/13354 Wigley Rudolph Lysaght Annie Caroline Thomas Henry 1885/3640 Wigley Harold Thomas Annie Caroline Thomas Henry 1887/7597 Wigley Arthur James Annie Caroline Thomas Henry
Timaru Herald, 22 January 1885, Page 2
G. Latimer, A. Edgar and E. Williams attended to answer charges of neglecting to vaccinate their children. Mr O'Halloran, Registrar, in producing certificates of successful vaccination, informed the Court that he had only received them after laying the informations. The cases were dismissed, the defendants being informed that it was the duty of parents to see that the necessary certificate was forwarded to the Registrar when children were vaccinated by others than Government vaccinators. A similar charge against P. Cassidy was dismissed, it being proved that the child died at Geraldine before reaching the age of six months. Notice of that fact had, however, not been sent to the Registrar at Temuka, who registered the birth. On behalf of H. Goodey, similarly charged, Mrs Goodey attended, and a certificate being handed in, that vaccination did not " take " within the first six months, and that the child had not been in a fit state since to be vaccinated, the case was dismissed.
Timaru Herald, 24 March 1887, Page 3
Resident Magistrate's Court
Temuka — Wednesday, March 23rd. (Before D. Inwood, J. Talbot, and J. Guild, Esqs, J.P.s.) Jeremiah Tangney was fined 10s for neglecting to register the birth of a child.
1884/47 Tangney Joseph Maggie Jeremiah 1887/18067 Tangney Patrick William Margaret Jeremiah 1887/18068 Tangney Patrick William Maggie Jeremiah 1888/15206 Tangney Jeremiah Maggie Jeremiah 1889/14233 Tangney Robert Edward Maggie Jeremiah 1891/17004 Tangney Michael James Maggie Jeremiah 1893/15143 Tangney Norah Agnes Maggie Jeremiah 1896/10946 Tangney Francis Maggie Jeremiah 1898/9040 Tangney Walter Bernard Margaret Jeremiah 1899/11270 Tangney Edward Margaret Jeremiah
Why a duplicate name in the same year in the same family?
Timaru Herald, 12 May 1892, Page 3
Tuesday, May 10th. (Before C. A. Wray, Esq , R.M.) W. G. Aspinall was fined 5s for neglecting to register the birth of a child within the time prescribed by the Act.
1885 Aspinall Lancelot Caroline Helen William Gregson 1886 Aspinall Beryl Catherine Helen William Gregson 1888 Aspinall Mabel Caroline Helen William Gregson 1889 Aspinall Enid Caroline Helen William Gregson 1892 Aspinall Brian Cyril Caroline Helen William Gregan 1893 Aspinall Guy Caroline Helen William Gregson 1895 Aspinall William Dennis Caroline Helen William Greyson 1897 Aspinall Victor Ian Caroline Helen William Gregson
Timaru Herald, 22 April 1893, Page 4
A resident of St. Andrews, charged with neglecting to register the birth of a child, pleaded inability to get into town, and gave other reasons for delay. His Worship inflicted a nominal fine of 5s and court costs.
Timaru Herald, 27 September 1893, Page 3
H. F. Smith was charged with neglecting to register the birth of a child, and was fined 5s and costs.
1893/12688 Smith Henry Hugh Mary Dunlop Henry Foster
Timaru Herald, 14 November 1893, Page 2
Mr W. M. Smith has been appointed deputy registrar of births, etc. at Temuka.
Timaru Herald, 25 April 1896, Page 3
Neglect to Register Birth. D. Shine, summoned for failing to register the birth of a child born October 11th last, did not appear. T. Howley, registrar of births Timaru, stated that application was made to register the birth, but as six months had elapsed since the birth he could not do it without first obtaining a conviction in this court. A fine of 7s 6d was imposed.
1887/2875 Shine Ellen Minnie David 1889/2823 Shine Edward Minnie David 1890/16066 Shine Mary Ellen Minnie David 1896/10669 Shine David Minnie David 1897/18550 Shine Jeremiah Joseph Minnie David
Timaru Herald, 30 May 1896, Page 4
G. W. Ellis, charged with neglecting to register a birth within the proper time, pleaded guilty and said the summons was taken out at his request to enable him to register. Fined the minimum penalty, 7s 6d.
1893/13365 Ellis Emma Catherine Agnes Godfrey Wentworth 1896/10665 Ellis Rhoda Catherine Agnes Godfrey Wentworth 1898/14980 Ellis Irene Florence Catherine Agnes Godfrey Wentworth 1900/11810 Ellis Selina Catherine Agnes Godfrey Wentworth 1901/15849 Ellis Arthur Forrest Catherine Agnes Godfrey Wesbooth 1904/580 Ellis Cecil Goodall Catherine Agnes Godfrey Wentworth
Timaru Herald, 17 November 1900, Page 2
The Registrar of Births prosecuted T. Lynch for failing to register the birth of his child, aged 16 months. It was explained that defendant wished to register the birth, but that it could not be done until defendant had been fined in the Magistrate's Court for not registering the birth before the child was 12 months old. The Registrar had communicated with the Registrar-General, and had received instructions to prosecute. His Worship imposed a nominal penalty of 5s and costs.
1892/16065 Lynch Thomas Catherine Josephine Thomas William 1901/19186 Lynch Gertrude Agustine Katherine Josephine Thomas William 1900/18239 Lynch Katherine Rose Katherine Josephine Thomas William 1900/18246 Lynch Mary Dominic Katherine Josephine Thomas William 1904/9678 Lynch Stanislaus Katherine Josephine Thomas William 1906/2299 Lynch Patricia Katherine Josephine Thomas William
Press, 30 March 1911, Page 8
William James Fox was fined 5s and costs for failing to register the birth of his child.
Could be twins Parents Lily and William Walter Fox
1910/3315 Fox Jill Catherine
1910/3316 Fox Jack
This gets curiouser and curiouser cried Alice!
BDM NZ Historical records
site (what was
and search Papers Past for BDM notices.
To obtain the DOB or DOD of an event - narrow the range down for records - post 1880 does give the correct date.
Sort by clicking on the headings at the top of the sorted page - will sort by any of the columns.
Little Histories - Reflections on the keeping of NZ's registers of BDMs
Page created July 2011, updated December 2012.