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Births, deaths and marriages – 10 things you may not have known this National Registrars Day

1:46 pm, Thursday, 1st July 2021 - 3 years ago


Civil Registration first began on 1 July 1837.

Its main purpose is to create accurate and timely records of all births, still-births, deaths, marriages and civil partnerships. Much of the legislation registrars work to today is based on that time.

As part of National Registrars Day, Mayor of North East Lincolnshire, Councillor David Hasthorpe, today (Thursday 1 July) visited Cleethorpes Town Hall to meet the dedicated local team at the North East Lincolnshire Register Office for births, deaths and marriages.

Ten things you may not have known about births, deaths and marriages in North East Lincolnshire:

  1. On average, the council registers 2,300 births, 1,900 deaths, 1,000 notices of marriage and 500 ceremonies per year.
  2. Getting married is not as expensive as people think. You can marry in the statutory Register Office for £162.
  3. Registrars are the only people who can determine whether or not a ceremony can go ahead. Their decision is final and ours have stopped ceremonies on a couple of occasions.  Once when a groom was hiding a large knife down his trousers, and another time when the groom was drunk. They have never encountered anyone ever being stood up.
  4. They are a Register Office, not a Registry Office.
  5. The registers themselves are not public documents, contrary to popular belief. You can, however, view the “Index Books” which simply show a name and register entry details. This is a familiar exercise of genealogists, although most records are now available, free of charge, online.
  6. Our registrars also conduct British Citizenship Ceremonies and issue more 2,500 duplicate certificates each year.
  7. Causes of death have become much more scientific over the years. For example, in the 1850s, a common cause of death was simply an “Act of God” or “Natural Decay”.
  8. Our registrars oversee and collate all of the information relating to all religious marriages in North East Lincolnshire. Unless you are getting married in a Church of England church, you will need to use the services provided by the local registration service and attest your legal notice of intention to marry at the Register Office.
  9. 2013 saw the removal of one of the four legal impediments to marriage due to the introduction of same-sex marriages. It was stated previously that a marriage had to be between one man and one woman. The three remaining legal impediments are:
    1. Pre-existing marriage (bigamy)
    1. Prohibited degree of relationship (you have to be three steps removed – which is why you can marry your cousin)
    1. Aged over 16 with consent or over 18 without consent
  10. Registrars have the privilege of registering their own family events. Registrars have married children, parents and siblings, registered their own children or grandchildren – such a privilege

Local facts about North East Lincolnshire’s registers

Our registers clearly record the sad bombing of Alexandra Road Baptist Church in Cleethorpes, when a zeppelin had a direct hit and killed many soldiers of the Manchester Regiment.

They also have the death of Jack Cornwell VC recorded – the youngest recipient of the Victoria Cross, awarded to him during World War One (his picture and story are shown in Grimsby Town Hall).

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