Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Petition to open historic locally held BMD registers

Guy Etchells, who was responsible for securing early access to both the 1911 English and Welsh census and the 1939 National Identity Register, has launched an online petition asking for the right of public inspection to be restored for the viewing of locally held BMD registers at the superintendent registrar level (as opposed to the centralised GRO held copies). Here's the wording:

Petition to open historic registers

Responsible department: Home Office

We ask that historic birth marriage & death registers be open to public inspection at county record offices or the National Archives

Until 1973 registers of BMD held at superintendent registrar’s offices were open to public inspection

Today’s technology available allows the registers to be digitized and made available as facsimile copies protecting the original from damage

Commercial concerns are willing to scan the registers and make them available online under licence at no cost to the public purse

A new accurate index of BMDs could be compiled by volunteers thereby complying with the 1836 legislation for the first time in 177 years.

The benefits include taking pressure off Superintendent Registrars and the GRO enabling them to concentrate on the core task of recording & administering current registrations.

Revenue would be created for the County Record Offices or the National Archives swelling the government coffers.

All at no cost to the taxpayer or government.

The petition is available at http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/62779.

Guy also further explores the subject of accessing local BMD registers, including costs, in a three page article carried within this month's Family Tree magazine (April 2014).

(With thanks to Guy Etchells)

Chris

Time to find your inner Irish...! All the best online Irish genealogy resources can be found through my book Tracing Your Irish Family History on the Internet - in print and ebook formats. "Very useful, makes me wish I was Irish!" - Saint Patrick, patron saint.

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