False registration of births – transportation for 7 years.

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Currie
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False registration of births – transportation for 7 years.

Post by Currie » Wed Oct 24, 2012 1:37 pm

False registration of births – transportation for 7 years.

You’ve possibly thought about how one of your ancestors could easily have supplied false or misleading information to a Registrar of Births etc, and that would have been the end of the matter.

But that could be far from the truth as telling porkies to a Registrar was a very serious offence and people were often caught out and severely punished for what might seem to us to be something fairly trivial.

Here are some examples.


The Dundee Courier & Argus, Friday, January 22, 1864
FALSE REGISTRATION OF BIRTHS.—At the Edinburgh Police Court on Wednesday, before Bailie Auchie, John Storm, residing in Northumberland Place, was remitted to a higher court on a charge of registering the birth of a female child in the month of August 1861, as the lawful issue of himself and Isabella Macfarlane, his wife, the truth being that the child was the illegitimate daughter of the accused and Isabella Macfarlane. At the same court, Isabella Farnie or Macfarlane, the woman referred to, was remitted to a higher court for the false registration of another female child in November 1863.


The Dundee Courier & Argus and Northern Warder, Tuesday, May 14, 1878
FALSE REGISTRATION OF A CHILD'S BIRTH.—Before Sheriff Barclay yesterday, Mary Williamson or Gorman, wife of Hugh Gorman, flaxdresser, Perth, pled guilty to having, on 3d July, 1877, falsely registered her child as being illigitimate. She was sent to prison for thirty days.


The Dundee Courier & Argus, Thursday, July 24, 1879
ALLEGED CASE OF FALSE REGISTRATION OF BIRTH.—Mrs Margaret Johnston or Grieve, a widow, residing in Kilconquhar, was yesterday morning taken up and conveyed to Cupar, on the charge of alleged concealment of birth and false registration of the birth. According to current reports, the case is rather a peculiar one. Nearly six weeks ago Mrs Grieve, after having disappeared for two days, exhibited to her neighbours an infant male child. Her story was that she had just returned from a long journey, bringing the child with her, and that it was the illegitimate offspring of a niece of her own. Meanwhile the old wives of her acquaintance, who had been busy taking notes of her appearance, both before and after the advent of the child, had their suspicions aroused, and the rumour soon spread that she herself was the mother of the little stranger. Before the three weeks allowed for registering births had expired, she duly registered the birth, but falsely, it is alleged—she having given the name of her niece as the mother. Her husband, who died some two or three years ago, left her with four of a family to bring up, and much commiseration is shown for them, as well as for their unfortunate mother.


The Dundee Courier & Argus, Wednesday, March 21, 1894
“TO HIDE HER SHAME."
Lord Kincairney heard evidence yesterday in an action by William M’Taggart, joiner, 20 Church Street, Partick, against his wife, Mary M’Donald or Bennie or M’Taggart, cited as being in Duke Street Prison, Glasgow. Pursuer said he was married to defender in October, 1887, and they had two children, one of whom is now dead. In September, 1890, they separated because defender was drinking and putting away things. Defender admitted that in February, 1893, she gave birth to a child, since dead, of which a slater in Stirling was the father. She registered the child's birth as her husband's to hide her shame, and for that she was convicted of false registration and was sent to prison. Decree was given.


The Dundee Courier & Argus, Wednesday, April 01, 1896
FALSE REGISTRATION.—Yesterday—before Sheriff-Substitute Henderson—James Robertson, ploughman, at present residing at Blinkbonny, was brought up for sentence in connection with the following charges:—(1) On 16th December, 1893, within the registrar’s office, Markinch, caused the registrar, William Fyffe Haxton, to enter in the register of births for said parish a male child born on 8th December, 1893, at Lochtyside, Markinch, by Joan Ralston, residing with him, as their legitimate child, and falsely alleging to the registrar that they were married at Perth on 29th Nov., 1891; (2) on 24th December, 1895, falsely registered with David M. Dingwall, Flisk, registrar for the parish of Flisk, a male child born at Flisk millan Cottages on 15th December. To Mr Dingwall he stated he was married to Joan Ralston at Scone on 23d May, 1890, said statement being untrue, and the child being illegitimate. On the Last Court day it was stated that accused was willing to marry Joan Ralston, and the diet was adjourned to allow of inquiries being made regarding the assertion that his wife was dead. Yesterday Mr R. J. Davidson, who appeared for accused, said he had discovered that accused's wife was still alive. Sheriff Henderson said the Legislature considered charges of false registration as very serious. The Act of Parliament which instructed such prosecutions limited the punishment to two years imprisonment and transportation for seven years. He was not going to inflict the full penalty, and he thought probably in the peculiar circumstances of the case justice would be served by a fine of £2, or thirty days' imprisonment.


Be warned!
Alan

Corsebar
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Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:35 pm

Re: False registration of births – transportation for 7 year

Post by Corsebar » Wed Oct 24, 2012 2:04 pm

Alan ,
As usual,very informative news from you. Wish i had the ability to surf the web and find these things out.
Any tips?
Ray.

trish1
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Location: australia

Re: False registration of births – transportation for 7 year

Post by trish1 » Wed Oct 24, 2012 3:37 pm

Hi Alan

I wonder were they still thinking to transport someone to Australia in 1896? I have a thought now that there may be other pieces of legislation retaining the option of transportation.

Trish

StewL
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:59 am
Location: Perth Western Australia

Re: False registration of births – transportation for 7 year

Post by StewL » Wed Oct 24, 2012 11:59 pm

Hi Trish
The last convict transportation was in 1868 to Western Australia, so most of the people in the cases listed could not be transported to Australia.
Stewie

Searching for: Anderson, Balks, Barton, Courtney, Davidson, Downie, Dunlop, Edward, Flucker, Galloway, Graham, Guthrie, Higgins, Laurie, Mathieson, McLean, McLuckie, Miln, Nielson, Payne, Phillips, Porterfield, Stewart, Watson

Currie
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Location: Australia

Re: False registration of births – transportation for 7 year

Post by Currie » Thu Oct 25, 2012 6:29 am

Hello Ray, I got that stuff from 19th Century British Library Newspapers, hopefully available via a library near you. I selected the Dundee newspaper and the search words were “false registration”.

Trish & Stewie, the provision for 7 years transportation etc. was provided for in the original 1854 legislation, and was then do-able. Like with a lot of legislation the parliamentarians manufactured it but never got around to tidying things up once bits of it became redundant. I’m not sure what the Sheriff had in mind.

All the best
Alan

Corsebar
Posts: 36
Joined: Mon Aug 27, 2012 3:35 pm

Re: False registration of births – transportation for 7 year

Post by Corsebar » Fri Oct 26, 2012 4:33 am

Thanks Alan, much appreciated
Looked at the 19th. Century Newspapers site, interesting!
Unfortunately, live in Thailand nowadays. Access to UK or any other old foreign newspapers, is as you can imagine not easy. Libraries here are few and far between, even in Bangkok, where i reside. So i'll probably take out a subscrition for the site.
However, must boast that a Scottish railway engineeer built their first golf course in 1924 in Hua Hin. And they do love our Scotch whisky.
All the best
Ray

trish1
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Location: australia

Re: False registration of births – transportation for 7 year

Post by trish1 » Sat Oct 27, 2012 2:51 am

I was somewhat (completely) tongue in cheek with my reply, the law seems to take a long time to catch up with reality. Another example - the Judges at the Old Bailey were sentencing people to transportation in the period 1776-1788 when it seems there was absolutely no place for these people to be sent. Our family first fleeter was sentenced to seven years transportation in 1784 and was on a hulk for years before arriving in Australia in 1788. Then again - perhaps that was reality catching up with the law.

trish58
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Joined: Wed Mar 22, 2006 6:41 am
Location: Australia

Re: False registration of births – transportation for 7 year

Post by trish58 » Sun Oct 28, 2012 12:41 am

Great reading Alan.


Thanks-Trish
searching. Rae, Kennedy, Agnew, McConnell, Singleton, Appleton, Feeney, Fury, & many more

StewL
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Joined: Sat Dec 11, 2004 12:59 am
Location: Perth Western Australia

Re: False registration of births – transportation for 7 year

Post by StewL » Sun Oct 28, 2012 1:42 am

Hi Trish
The lang deid yins who were sentenced to transportation 1776-1788 was probably an example of the kind of legislation that was on the sentencing books for magistrates at the time.
Until 1776 convicts could be sent to the "Americas" for a number of reasons. In fact Scottish and Irish soldiers taken in battle were sent to the southern states as slaves. Transportation to the America's began around 1620 and ceased in 1776 after the revolutionary war.
Stewie

Searching for: Anderson, Balks, Barton, Courtney, Davidson, Downie, Dunlop, Edward, Flucker, Galloway, Graham, Guthrie, Higgins, Laurie, Mathieson, McLean, McLuckie, Miln, Nielson, Payne, Phillips, Porterfield, Stewart, Watson

Currie
Posts: 3831
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 3:20 am
Location: Australia

Re: False registration of births – transportation for 7 year

Post by Currie » Sun Oct 28, 2012 2:44 pm

Hello Ray,

This could be bad news about the Scottish Golf Course designer.

The design of the Hua Hin Golf Course has been attributed to A.O. Robins, who is usually described as a Scottish Railway Engineer.

AncestorsOnBoard has an Arthur O Robins, born 1879, traveling from the UK to Singapore in 1920 and 1925, and possibly also in 1910.

On the 1901 England census there’s an Arthur O Robins, age 22, born Oxon Henley, living Oxfordshire Henley, who is a Civil Engineers Assistant.

FreeBMD has a birth in June quarter of 1879 at Henley
Robins, Arthur Overington

On the 1881 census, in the household of Sarah Townsend, he appears to be the son of a niece Mary A Robins, a carpenter’s wife, who was born in Reading, Berkshire. There’s a visitor by name of George Robins, who is a carpenter, born Devon, and is probably Arthur’s father. https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/XQ3B-6TX

In the London Gazette, 17 June 1919, is notification that Arthur Overington Robins has been granted the Order of the White Elephant by the King of Siam in recognition of his services as Maintenance Engineer on the Siamese State Railways. http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/ ... 6/page.pdf

I’m not sure that I can go any further than this with the resources at my disposal, and I didn’t really set out to destroy any legends, but, unless I’ve completely run off the tracks, (and that wouldn’t surprise me) it’s starting to look as if the gentleman wasn’t Scottish.

All the best,
Alan

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